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Goal of the day: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) vs Galatasaray

Aaron Ramsey scored one of the goals of the season as Arsenal cruised to a comfortable 4-1 Champions League win at Galatasaray on Tuesday.


Lukas Podolski got the Gunners off to a flying start at the Türk Telekom Arena with a thumping strike in the third minute, before Ramsey doubled their lead just eight minutes later.

Ramsey stole the limelight in the 29th minute as he doubled his tally with one of the best goals of the season so far.

Joel Campbell's corner was headed clear by Galatasaray defender Semih Kaya, but what followed next was pure brilliance.

Ramsey raced on to the loose ball, allowed it to bounce once and then unleashed a thunderous left-footed half-volley from 30 yards that flew into the top corner.

It was a goal so good it brought the home fans to their feet in spontaneous applause.

Wesley Sneijder pulled one back for the hosts late in the game but it was Arsenal who had the final say as Podolski netted his second to seal a comprehensive win for Arsène Wenger's side.

"The ball came to the edge of the box and I thought, 'why not have a go?'," Ramsey told Sky Sports. "So I had a go and thankfully it went in.

"It's up there with the best I've ever scored."

Wenger added: "When he took the shot, I thought that is maybe not the best of ideas but the way it went in was absolutely unbelievable.

"The goals he is scoring is linked to his performances at the moment and that certainly helps his confidence to score goals like that."


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Peruvian footballer injured after being struck by lightning during match

An unfortunate incident took place in Peru on Tuesday when Sport Águila player Joao Contreras was hit by lightning during a Peruvian Cup match against Fuerza Minera.

Just as the match was about to restart for the second-half, an electrical discharge hit Contreras and a linesman.

Both Contreras and the linesman were immediately treated by medical staff and the match was suspended with the score tied at 1-1.

Despite initial reports claiming that Contreras had died following the incident, reports from South America have now said that the player is in hospital and in a serious condition.


Sport Águila player Joao Contreras injured after being struck by lightning during match
Sport Águila player Joao Contreras injured after being struck by lightning during match
Photos: Libero

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Per Mertesacker avoided German military service for being too tall to fit into tank

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has revealed he avoided German military service as a teenager by claiming that he was too big to fit into a tank or submarine.


The towering centre back, who stands at 6ft 6in, may be a tough nut on the pitch but he never had any desire to deal with weapons.

After a successful request, the 30-year-old instead ended up working with patients with mental illness in a clinic.

"I missed military service in Germany," the former Germany international told The Mirror.

"I wrote to them and said I did not want to get in touch with weapons, and also that I could not fit into a tank or a submarine - and it worked.

"Instead I did civilian service, I worked in a clinic for patients with mental illness."

Military conscription was compulsory for all German males until 2010 which meant that he had to divide his time between training with his club and working with patients.

Mertesacker added: "I would train with my club in the morning and go there in the afternoons.

"It was like a hospital, where no one recognises you and they might shout or scream at you. But I was never scared.

"It was very memorable to go from one world to the other. It kept me grounded and humble, coming from this glamorous football world, and would help me to grow as a person. It had a big impact on my life."

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Who wouldn't want Napoli's Gladiator-themed calendar?

Italian Serie A side Napoli have produced a seemingly bizarre calendar in which their players pose as gladiators of the former Roman Empire.

The calendar features star striker Gonzalo Higuaín, captain Marek Hamšík, and Spanish winger José Callejón in scantily-clad gladiatorial gear.

Given that the club President is noted film producer, Aurelio De Laurentiis, it's safe to assume that not only does he approve but he may even have come up with the concept in the first place.

You can buy the calendar from Napoli's official website beginning on 18 December.


Who wouldn't want Napoli's Gladiator-themed calendar?
Photo: SSC Napoli

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Roy Keane: Sir Alex Ferguson owes me apology

Roy Keane claims he would end his infamous rift with Sir Alex Ferguson - but only if he receives an apology from the former Manchester United manager.


The 43-year-old won seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and one Champions League crown under Ferguson in a 12-year spell with the Red Devils.

But the pair have been at each others throats for a year and both savaged each other in their respective books.

Fergie had claimed the Irishman became a disruptive force in United's dressing room and said his tongue was the "hardest part of his body".

Keane blasted back at his own book launch in October, accusing Ferguson of "cheap digs" while hammering him for criticising other players who had brought him success.

However, when asked if he would ever enjoy a pint with Ferguson, Keane told FourFourTwo: "Well, it would be a cup of tea. If Sir Alex apologises, then yes, I would.

"If Ferguson apologises, I would be happy to move on. For Ferguson to bad-mouth me after I left, I think he does owe me an apology."

The former United captain admitted that the similar personalities of himself and his manager meant a fractious parting was inevitable.

He added: "Yes. It was never going to end as a pal's act. I was never going to leave with champagne and flowers.

"I saw how Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce left the club, both decent United captains, and I didn't like the way they left."

And the outspoken Irishman couldn't give a damn if United fans think he is to blame for the vicious feud with Ferguson.

Keane said: "If United fans say I had a decent career, then brilliant. If they want to say, 'What's gone on with the Ferguson stuff?' then f*** them."

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Schalke poke fun at rock-bottom Dortmund on Twitter

Borussia Dortmund are currently bottom of the Bundesliga table, and local Ruhr rivals Schalke 04 decided to make of enemies' plight on Twitter.

Whilst they have performed admirably in the Champions League this season, Dortmund's start to the season is their worst in the club's Bundesliga history.

Almost unbelievably, a team who were playing in the Champions League final in 2013 are now sitting bottom of the Bundesliga table with just three wins from a possible 13.

However, as expected, fierce rivals Schalke are loving it so much that they tweeted out a mock-up league table showing just how badly Dortmund are doing this campaign.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was deleted not long after.

Schalke poke fun at rock-bottom Dortmund on Twitter
Photo: Twitter

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Branislav Ivanović: Eden Hazard is Chelsea's Lionel Messi!

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanović believes Eden Hazard plays the same role for the Blues that Lionel Messi does for Barcelona.


The 23-year-old winger is in sparkling form and has been central to Chelsea's unbeaten start in all competitions so far this season.

It has led to comparisons between Hazard and Messi - although the Belgian himself has admitted he still has work to do if he wants to emulate the four time Ballon D'or winner.

And although Ivanović is unsure whether Hazard is close to Messi's ability, he reckons that his teammate is as important for Chelsea as in the Argentinian for Barcelona.

Ivanović told FourFourTwo: "Hazard is a quality player and he has the qualities to play even better.

"It's hard to say how close he is to Messi, when we know about all the records of Messi, but for us at Chelsea he is like Messi for Barcelona."


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Romanian coach found out he was getting sacked from waiter

In what may be a football first, Flavius Stoican found out he was out of a job as Dinamo București coach from his waiter at a restaurant.

Flavius Stoican has resigned from his post as coach of Dinamo București
Flavius Stoican has resigned from his post as coach of Dinamo București

Photo: AGERPRES

According to Sport.ro, Stoican was supposed to meet club owner Ionuț Negoiță and President Constantin Anghelache for a dinner at a popular restaurant in Bucharest.

However, when he arrived at the restaurant he was informed by his waiter that his dinner partners were dining with former Dinamo striker Claudiu Niculescu, who was a rumoured candidate to take over for Stoican.

After being on the receiving end of the not-so-pleasant news about his own job prospects, Stoican reportedly stormed out of the restaurant and handed in his resignation the following day.

For what it's worth, Niculescu has not yet been put in charge of the club, with the interim coaching job going to former striker Ionel Dănciulescu.

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Leeds player Adryan reacts like oxygen-starved fish after being tackled

Leeds United beat Championship leaders Derby County 2-0 on Saturday but it was the diving performance of Brazilian midfielder Adryan that really stood out.

The 20-year-old was caught ever so slightly by a tackle from Derby defender Johnny Russell just after the hour mark at Elland Road.

But not content with merely going to ground, he then proceeded to embark on his best impression of a fish that had just been reeled out of water.


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Turkish footballer gets sent off, returns to pitch bringing KNIFE

An amateur footballer in Turkey was so angry at the referee that he brandished a knife on the pitch minutes after being sent off.

After receiving his marching orders just 10 minutes from time, Sakarya player Hamza Sari had to be restrained by his teammates as he tried to attack referee Yunus Yildirim.

Hamza left the field after several minutes and returned again with a knife.

Fortunately for the referee, eagle-eyed stadium officials saw the weapon and stopped the player just in time.

Reports in Turkey claim that Hamza went to the police station afterwards to "explain the situation" where no further action has been taken.


Turkish footballer Hamza Sari gets sent off, returns to pitch bringing KNIFE
Photo: HÜRRİYET

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Deportivo fan dies after violent clashes prior to Atlético Madrid match

A Deportivo La Coruña fan has died following violent clashes with rival supporters just hours before his team's game at Atlético Madrid on Sunday.

Spanish police escort Deportivo La Coruña fans upon leaving the Vicente Calderón Stadium
Spanish police escort Deportivo La Coruña fans upon leaving the Vicente Calderón Stadium

Photo: Reuters

Francisco José Romero Taboada, 43, was found with advanced hypothermia, a severe injury to his head and cardiac arrest when he was rescued from the Manzanares river by firemen.

He was admitted to hospital and underwent emergency cardiac treatment with doctors also attempting to increase his body temperature but sadly, attempts to resuscitate the man were unsuccessful.

Apart from the tragic death, eleven other people were treated for mostly minor injuries, including one female police officer with a fractured hand.

Meanwhile, the match at the Vicente Calderón went ahead despite attempts from the LFP (National Professional Football League) to have the game postponed.

A statement on the LFP website read: "The LFP shows its repudiation at the incidents in Sunday morning in the vicinity of the Vicente Calderón Stadium before the match for Week 13 between Atlético Madrid and Deportivo La Coruña.

"The LFP has been firm in its intention to suspend the match and (this) has not been possible."

Atlético President Enrique Cerezo and his Deportivo counterpart Tino Fernández appeared at a joint press conference following the match, which was won 2-0 by the hosts.

Cerezo said: "I would like to say that this has nothing to do with football. These are radical groups that meet up and start these kinds of situations.

"Neither myself nor the President of Deportivo have anything to do with the incident. Atlético and Deportivo have always enjoyed peaceful relations.

"We are unable to give any details about the incidents, we do not know what happened and the police are carrying out an investigation.

"I repeat, neither Atlético nor Deportivo have anything to do with these incidents, these are groups of extremists who have their own histories and accounts. It took place far from the stadium."

Fernández added: "We would like to express our complete rejection of violence. At this moment we do not know what happened, it is a tragic occurrence. Our thoughts are with the family.

"This call for calm should be represent the drawing of a line under these events. The clubs have to act to prevent these incidents from ever happening again.

"Our position is well-known and it is a tragedy. We are at the disposal of the family."


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Bruno Peres (Torino) scores vs Juventus after lung-busting 80-yard run

Bruno Peres produced a moment of brilliance for Torino but it's not enough as Juventus secured a last-gasp 2-1 derby win at a rain soaked Juventus Stadium on Sunday.


Having dominated possession without carving any clear opportunities, Juventus took the lead through Arturo Vidal's penalty after Omar El Kaddouri had handled Andrea Pirlo's free-kick in the box.

Torino had not scored against their Turin rivals in any of their league meetings for over 12 years, but they broke that drought in style courtesy of a stunning individual effort from Peres.

The Brazilian picked up the ball in his own area before streaking past the likes of Paul Pogba and Patrice Evra and unleashing an unstoppable drive past Marco Storari from the tightest of angles.

Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 80th minute, but Pirlo drilled home the winner from distance with the last kick of the game to give the Bianconeri the three points.

"When I reached midfield, I already felt exhausted, as it was raining hard and the pitch was heavy," Peres told Sky Sport Italia.

"But then I remembered the words of our coach, who asked us all to pounce on opportunities to hurt Juventus.

"I thank God for the goal, even though the result was not good."


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Real Madrid on verge of signing Spanish whizkid Marco Asensio

Real Mallorca starlet Marco Asensio has acknowledged his agreement with Real Madrid for the first time and admitted that everything is in place to finalise the deal.


Asensio has become an undisputed starter for Mallorca at the tender age of 18 this season and he now is considered as one of the most promising youngster of Spanish football.

Madrid have been tracking Asensio for quite some time and they have swooped in and signed the future star after a reported deal with Barcelona fell through this past summer.

Mallorca rejected an offer worth €2 million from the Catalan giants last summer as the club believed that more value could be generated if they hold onto him for another year.

Villarreal recently made a move to try to snap up Asensio, but the player himself seemingly has his heart set on heading to the Bernabéu.

"I've decided to go to Real Madrid and I'm very happy," Asensio told Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

"I'm proud that big clubs watch me and Real Madrid is the best club. The agreement is for five seasons, it's a moment to savour.

"I'm looking forward to seal the deal so we can all relax - the club, me and Real Madrid."

Mallorca are reportedly set to receive a fee of €3.7 million with the teenage winger remaining at the Segunda side for the rest of the season.

Additionally, Mallorca have a first-refusal option to take him on loan next season if they secure promotion to the top flight.


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Mario Götze selling World Cup-winning boot for charity

In a wonderful gesture, Mario Götze has decided to auction off the boot he was wearing when he scored the winning goal for Germany in this summer's World Cup final.


Germany were crowned world champions for the fourth time after Götze's extra-time strike sealed a 1-0 win over Argentina in Rio de Janeiro.

And the yellow Nike boot which volleyed the ball into the Argentina's net is now up for grabs, with the 22-year-old auctioning off the historic item in order to raise money for the German children's charity A Heart for Children.

"I have never washed the shoe. It is still in the same condition as it was in Rio, when I left the stadium with it," the Bayern Munich playmaker told Bild.

"There is still grass on it. I have never put the boot on after the final. I kept it safe at my house."

There has been plenty of interest in the boot over recent months but Götze resisted all of them so he can help out a charity in need.

He added: "I was often asked, many were interested. For example, sponsors, other companies and friends.

"The one who makes the largest donation to A Heart for Children in the seven days before the TV gala gets my World Cup boot!"

If you want to know more about Götze's cause, please visit the charity's website here.

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'Ghost' spotted on live TV during Argentina football match

Argentinean football fans are pretty certain that a "ghost" appeared in the stands during Racing Club's 1-0 victory over River Plate earlier this week.

The footage shows what appears to be a phantom football fan running through several people and move up and down the touchlines.


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Cleaner sacked for taking pictures inside mansions of Manchester United players

A woman was quizzed by police and sacked from her job after she took pictures while cleaning the mansions of three Manchester United stars.


Jessica Tinsley was interviewed by police after being accused of "rummaging" around the houses of Ángel di María, Marcos Rojo, and Javier Hernández, who is currently on loan with Real Madrid.

While scrubbing and polishing her way through their luxury homes, Ms Tinsley took snaps of bedrooms, bathrooms, chandeliers, swimming pools, and even Rojo's £200,000 wage slip.

The 24-year-old insisted she only took the photographs to show off to her family but it was feared the pictures could end up in the hands of professional burglars.

She was quizzed by police earlier this month and no charges were brought, but the nosey cleaner has since been sacked by the Warrington-based Clean And Sparkle firm.

Ms Tinsley told The Daily Mirror: "I'm gutted I've been sacked - all because I took a few photos.

"I did it out of sheer nosiness - their houses were incredible - and I just had to take a photo of the wage slip because I couldn't believe how much he was paid.

"I was gob-smacked when two officers came to my door. They took my phone and deleted all the photos.

"They said they thought I would sell the photos to burglars - but I would have never done that, it's not in my character at all.

"I just showed my family - my little brother is a massive Manchester United fan."

She added: "I would clean each house a couple of times a week - I would mop and Hoover the floors, dust, and on some occasions I did the ironing.

"Most of the homes were immaculate anyway, so I don't know why they bothered hiring a cleaner."

A Manchester United spokesman later confirmed the incident, saying: "We received information from a third party which concerned us enough that we felt we ought to contact the police."

While Greater Manchester Police said: "Police in Trafford received an e-mail from Manchester United football club that gave concern for possible breaches of safety and security of Manchester United staff.

"As a result of this contact, officers from GMP spoke to a woman from the Warrington area.

"No offences were disclosed and there were no concerns about the safety and security of Manchester United staff."

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Deco: One day Messi will leave Barcelona

Former Barcelona star Deco believes it is only a matter of time until former teammate Lionel Messi leave the Catalan giants.


The Argentine superstar has recently been linked with a move to the Premier League with Chelsea and Manchester City all credited with an interest.

And although Messi appears settled at the Camp Nou, Deco claims that a footballer's time in a team always comes to an end sooner or later.

Deco told Globo Esporte: "I know he'll leave one day. That's to be expected. Everything comes to an end.

"I understand that all sorts of speculation arises when a great player speaks, but nobody is eternal in a team, and much less so in football.

"Great players and great coaches come and go. For those of us in the game that is normal.

"Obviously with Messi's history at Barça, you can understand that it's hard to see him at another club, but one day it will happen.

"It could be this season, in a year's time or in five years. It will depend on lots of things.

"All I think is that players like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar need to be happy to perform at their best. That's the big secret.

"If Messi is happy, he'll stay. If he's not, he'll look for better options."

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