Sport by MoustafaTohamy


                           | pdf edition | Tuesday April 2 2013                                                           Sport
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Paolo Di Canio hits back at ‘stupid and
ridiculous’ racism accusation
Sunderland’s manager Paolo Di Canio says it is “stupid and
ridiculous” for him to be described as racist even though his
appointment prompted the resignation of a club executive citing
the Italian’s past support of fascism Page 2

Brave QPR revival narrowly fails to yield a
point at Fulham
QPR, 3-0 down at Fulham after an early Dimitar Berbatov
masterclass, replied with two goals but failed to get a point Page 2

Rafael Benítez says Chelsea’s ‘great
season’ could get even better
Rafael Benítez has set Chelsea a target of winning the FA Cup and
Europa League in addition to a top-four Premier League finish
Page 3

Manchester City’s                            Andy Murray climbs                           Magnus Carlsen sets             Michael O’Leary
Samir Nasri says                             to world No2 and has                         up chess showdown               donates €200,000 to
Stan Kroenke forced                          Novak Djokovic in his                        Page 8                          JT McNamara fund at
Arsenal to sell Page 4                       sights Page 7                                                                Fairyhouse Page 10
                                                                                          Laura Trott goes on
Marco Reus: ‘We                              Australia request                            the attack in road
push our boundaries                          secrecy over ICC                             debut for Wiggle
because we believe in                        squad list Page 8                            Honda Page 9
Dortmund’ Page 5 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page  G24 Sport                                                                          Tuesday April 2 2013           04:16 GMT

                                                                       am well-known, but sometimes it suits their purpose to put big
                                                                       headlines and a big story.
Paolo Di Canio hits back at ‘stupid and                                    “I don’t have a problem with anyone. I haven’t had a problem
ridiculous’ racism accusation                                          in the past and I don’t know why I have to keep repeating my
                                                                       story, to be defending myself on something that doesn’t belong
• New Sunderland manager responds to                                   to me every time I change clubs. Talk about racism? That is
‘fascism’ claim                                                        absolutely stupid, stupid and ridiculous. The people who know
                                                                       me can change that idea quickly. When I was in England my
• ‘I don’t have a problem with anyone. That
                                                                       best friends were Trevor Sinclair and Chris Powell, the Charlton
is absolutely stupid’                                                  manager – they can tell you everything about my character.
Agencies                                                                   “I don’t want to talk about politics because it’s not my area.
                                                                       We are not in the Houses of Parliament, we are in a football
                                                                       club. I want to talk about sport. I want to talk about football, my
                                                                       players, the board and the fans. My first priority is my family
                                                                       and my daughters, that’s obvious, and secondly to have the
                                                                       responsibility for thousands of people. This is my priority and I
                                                                       want to be focused on this aspect. I don’t want to talk any more
                                                                       about politics – I am not a politics person.”
                                                                           The Sunderland chief executive, Margaret Byrne, said: “It’s
                                                                       been very disappointing to read some of the reaction to Paolo’s
                                                                       appointment. To accuse him now . . . of being a racist or having
                                                                       fascist sympathies, is insulting not only to him but to the
                                                                       integrity of this football club.”

Paolo Di Canio’s appointment as Sunderland manager                     Brave QPR revival narrowly fails to yield
prompted vice-chairman David Miliband to resign.
Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA
                                                                       a point at Fulham
Sunderland’s new manager, Paolo Di Canio, has said it is
                                                                       David Hytner at Craven Cottage
“stupid and ridiculous” for him to be described as racist after
his appointment prompted the resignation of a club executive
citing his past support of fascism.
    The Italian told the Italian news agency ANSA in 2005 “I am a
fascist, not a racist”, and his appointment on Sunday to succeed
Martin O’Neill prompted the former foreign secretary David
Miliband to stand down as Sunderland’s vice-chairman and
non-executive director .
    But in a statement released on Monday by the club, Di
Canio said: “I don’t have a problem with anyone. I don’t know
why I have to keep repeating my story, to be defending myself
on something that doesn’t belong to me every time I change
clubs. Talk about racism? That is absolutely stupid, stupid and
    Di Canio’s statement came after Piara Powar, the director          Dimitar Berbatov scores Fulham’s second goal against Queens
of anti-racism group Football Against Racism in Europe,                Park Rangers. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters
demanded that the former Swindon manager clarified his                 Queens Park Rangers cannot hope to stay in the Premier
political beliefs .                                     League when their defending is as cringe-worthy as this. Harry
    Di Canio said: “Something can happen many years ago but            Redknapp’s team showed their spirit and, in a wacky game of
what counts is the facts. My life speaks for me. Of course it          contrasting halves, they missed a penalty and nearly completed
hurts me because people try to take your dignity and that is not       an outlandish comeback against a Fulham side that finished
fair. I believe in my pillars and I have values. What offends me       with 10 men after the harsh dismissal of Steve Sidwell.
more than anything is not because they touch me; they touch               But the blood and thunder could not mask the fundamental
what my parents gave to me; the values they gave to me. This is        truth. Rangers really needed to win, yet they defended like
not acceptable.                                                        schoolboys to leave themselves with too much to do.
    “What I can say is that if someone is hurt, I am sorry. But this      Redknapp lamented a “disastrous” first half, which was
didn’t come from me, it came from a big story that people put          scarred by “the worst goals I’ve ever seen in my life” and in the
out in a different way to what it was.                                 roll-call of shame, one man stood head and shoulders above the
    “I never have a problem in my past. I expressed an opinion in      rest.
an interview many years ago. Some pieces were taken for media             At 6ft 5in Christopher Samba has the capacity to do so but
convenience. They took my expression in a very, very negative          his performance was a personal nightmare that made a mockery
way – but it was a long conversation and a long interview. It was      of his £12.5m January transfer fee and the notion that he could
not fair. I know it is a part of my job to do interviews because I © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                               
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday April 2 2013            04:16 GMT

be the club’s survival talisman.
    Redknapp even suggested that Samba had taken it upon
himself to go up front after Sidwell’s 78th-minute red card for
                                                                    Rafael Benítez says Chelsea’s ‘great
a lunge at Armand Traoré, even though he wanted intelligent         season’ could get even better
probing to expose the 10 men rather than high balls to the big
lad. It must be said that Redknapp tied himself in knots on this    • Benítez targets FA Cup, Europa League
point and was not entirely clear as the frustration of yet more     and top-four finish
squandered points bit hard.
                                                                    • Chelsea upbeat despite Gary Cahill and
    At full-time Redknapp shook hands with his counterpart,
Martin Jol, before making his way alone to the tunnel in the
                                                                    Ashley Cole absences
corner of Craven Cottage. He has 19 points from his 18 matches      Dominic Fifield at Stamford Bridge
at Rangers but the club remain seven adrift of safety and have
only seven matches to play. No team in Premier League history
has escaped from such a position.
    “We murdered them in the second half,” Redknapp said, and
there was a barnstorming quality about the Rangers revival,
which had been ignited at the end of the first half when Giorgos
Karagounis’s loose back-pass led to Adel Taarabt beating Mark
Schwarzer from distance.
    Taarabt tricked Karagounis into nibbling at his ankles after
the interval only for Loïc Rémy to telegraph his intentions from
the spot and Schwarzer to read them and save. Yet Rémy hit
back with a brilliant finish from Stéphane Mbia’s pass and the
visitors created a clutch of presentable chances, with Rémy
blowing the best of them after he had beaten Brede Hangeland.
                                                                    Rafael Benítez said Chelsea ‘have to try to win every
Dimitar Berbatov called Fulham’s defending “childish”.
                                                                    competiton’ after booking their place in the FA Cup semi-
    But Rangers’ had been some way worse and Samba’s
                                                                    finals. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
catalogue of errors proved impossible to salvage. The first
aberration had him losing his bearings and hacking down             Rafael Benítez has claimed Chelsea have already enjoyed a
Ashkan Dejagah for a penalty that Berbatov tucked away              “great season” after the reigning European champions, who
without missing a heartbeat.                                        slipped to fourth in the Premier League at the weekend,
    The second, though, was the most grisly. Samba dwelt on         knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup to secure a semi-
the ball as the last man when under pressure from Damien Duff       final against Manchester City.
and prodded the ball at Berbatov who eased into space to beat           The interim manager will have defensive concerns
Julio César. “You can see which players are nervous and you         before that match at Wembley on 14 April, with his England
look to push and press with them, which was the case with the       internationals Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole unlikely to play any
second goal,” Berbatov said.                                        part in the cluttered schedule of the next two weeks.
    “He is a clever guy, Berbatov,” Redknapp said, sarcastically.       Chelsea will have top-flight and Europa League matches to
    Fulham could have been further in front by then. Duff drew      play in the interim, with Rubin Kazan due at Stamford Bridge
an early save from Julio César while Hangeland fluffed a free       on Thursday and the return leg only three days before the semi-
header. Berbatov dazzled in front of the TV cameras, drawing        final, and yet Benítez claimed the campaign to date should
the breath when he beat Traoré with one touch from a high           already be considered a success.
ball on the byline and Fulham’s comfort in possession was               “We had a turning point two weeks ago [against West Ham]
indictment enough of Rangers’ defending.                            and then, after one game, it seemed everything had changed,”
    The third goal came when Hangeland’s back-heel exposed          said Benítez, referring to the reaction to Saturday’s untimely
Samba in embarrassing fashion and John Arne Riise’s driven          defeat at Southampton that jeopardised their pursuit of a top-
cross hit Clint Hill and flew home.                                 four finish. “But it’s the same. The race for the top four will go
    Samba tweeted a grovelling apology to Rangers’ fans             until the end of the season. We’re in the top four with a game in
afterwards. “I can’t say sorry enough,” he said, and there was      hand [on Tottenham Hotspur]. We’re in the semi-finals of the
the accompanying promise to fight on.                               FA Cup and the quarter-finals of the Europa League. It’s a great
    But as Fulham embraced the near certainty of safety, the        season. It could be even better.
outlook was rather more grim for their neighbours.                      “My priority is the top four and trying to win the next game,
                                                                    in the Europa League, against Rubin Kazan. We know the
                                                                    priority has to be the top four but as a top side you have to try to
                                                                    win every competition. The problem we had between these two
                                                                    games was that we had less than 48 hours between them, and
                                                                    we don’t have the biggest squad. We don’t need to justify [the
                                                                    selection last Saturday]. We had to manage those we had. You
                                                                    cannot kill players by making them play two games in a row all
                                                                    in that time.”
                                                                        The assertion that Chelsea have already enjoyed a “great”
                                                                    campaign may perplex the team’s supporters, given the side © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page 4 G24 Sport                                                                      Tuesday April 2 2013            04:16 GMT

are 22 points adrift of Manchester United and now compete in
Uefa’s secondary club competition. Yet Benítez will continue
to juggle his resources in the hope of winning trophies and
                                                                    Manchester City’s Samir Nasri says Stan
a place in the top four from the games that remain. He made         Kroenke forced Arsenal to sell
six changes to the line-up beaten 2-1 at St Mary’s and was able
to savour an industrious performance capped by Demba Ba’s           • Midfielder says Arsène Wenger had to
sublime volleyed winner four minutes into the second half and       listen to offers for him
a staggering save from Petr Cech to deny Javier Hernández an
                                                                    • Nasri rebuffs Roberto Mancini’s
    Their pursuit of a fifth FA Cup in seven years remains on
                                                                    comments about his form
course, even if the loss of Cahill and Cole represents a blow.      Jamie Jackson
The centre-half, who had initially been hopeful of playing for
England in Montenegro last week, has suffered a setback in his
recovery from the knee injury sustained against West Ham.
Cole limped off midway through the first half on Monday after
damaging a hamstring while chasing Danny Welbeck.
    “He’ll be missing for at least two weeks which, for us, means
20 games,” Benítez said. “Cahill will be out for another 15 days
at least, probably two or three weeks, so we’ll have to manage
the players we have. Our squad is not that big but, if we don’t
have more injuries, we’ll be fine [with the pursuit on three
fronts]. We’ll have to approach it all carefully.”
    United, whose centre-half Rio Ferdinand was booed
throughout by the home support, are set to secure the title in
the weeks to come, with the derby against the holders due on
                                                                    Samir Nasri said he was ‘aware that I have not had a good
Monday. Wayne Rooney is expected to be fit to face City, having
                                                                    season’ after the Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini
missed the Cup game with a groin injury picked up on England
                                                                    criticised his performances. Photograph: Jon Super/AP
duty last week.
    Sir Alex Ferguson shook hands with Benítez before and after     Samir Nasri has claimed Arsène Wenger was forced to sell him
the game, despite the fractious relationship the pair have had in   to Manchester City in the summer of 2011 by the club’s owner,
English football over the past nine years.                          Stan Kroenke. The Frenchman, who moved to City in a £24m
    The United manager was left frustrated by his team’s            move, also rejected Roberto Mancini’s suggestion that he has
performance. “To be honest with you, I thought we were too          been training at only “50%” this season.
rushed in that second half,” he said. “We just lacked a bit of          Speaking on beIN Sport, a French TV station, Nasri said: “I
composure to create the proper openings.                            don’t regret leaving Arsenal. I won the league while Arsenal
    “Robin [van Persie] had a couple of headers and another         have difficulty finishing fourth.”
chance he really should have scored but he put it over the bar.         His claim that Wenger had to listen to offers for him due
But it was disappointing because we are better than that.           to pressure from Kroenke directly contradicts the Arsenal
    “We didn’t play as well as we should have done. It was          manager’s repeated stance that he is in sole control of transfers
disappointing but we have to forget all about it and move on to     at the club and that he is not working under any financial
the game against City next Monday. We are in a good position        constraints. “Wenger told me that, if Cesc [Fàbregas] left, I
and I think a positive result for us on Monday will just about      would stay but Kroenke wanted the money. The coach told me
seal the title.                                                     we’ll only take Gervinho, Cesc was already gone, I had only
    “The players are down because they know they can do better      one year left so I decided to leave,” Nasri said. Gervinho joined
– only Antonio Valencia reached the standard we expect of them      the same summer in which Nasri and Fàbregas, who went to
– but we will kick on.”                                             Barcelona, departed.
                                                                        Nasri was an integral member of last season’s title-winning
                                                                    City team. This season the midfielder has been disappointing
                                                                    and after a rare man-of-the-match display in Saturday’s 4-0
                                                                    victory over Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium, Mancini
                                                                    joked about his frustration at the 25-year-old.

                                                                        The Italian said: “I would like to give him a punch, because a
                                                                    player like him should play like this always. I can’t understand
                                                                    [why] sometimes a player with his quality doesn’t play like
                                                                    today every game,” the manager said.
                                                                        With City 15 points behind Manchester United in a title
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  money on all your household bills.                                    But Nasri said: “I am aware that I have not had a good                                season. There are many reasons. But when Mancini said that
                                                                    I’m training at 50%, this is not true. I felt comfortable against © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page  G24 Sport                                                                        Tuesday April 2 2013            04:16 GMT

Newcastle. It’s been a while since I felt good. I do not have        Reus pops a few grapes into his mouth and sinks the first
regrets, I do not regret joining Manchester City. I want to          of many sachets of fruit juice while talking exuberantly at
play and perform. My departure from Arsenal was purely for           Puma’s offices. Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, or the great old
sporting reasons.”                                                   Westfalenstadion as most fans still call it, glints in the sunshine
    Nasri spent three years at Arsenal and he said Wenger was        of an icy spring day.
the manager with the greatest influence on his career. “Wenger           Looking across at a stadium he loves, Reus believes his
is the best coach I’ve worked with. I only regret not having more    club and national team are on the brink of some enduring
discussions with Arsène Wenger when I left,” Nasri said. “He’s       achievements. He nods at a reminder that Roberto Mancini and
the one who understood me the most and made me the player I          José Mourinho have suggested Dortmund could surprise many
am. I’m thankful.”                                          by winning the Champions League in May.
                                                                     Real Madrid and Manchester City finished adrift of them in the
                                                                     toughest group – and so Reus is optimistic. “Yes, of course we
Marco Reus: ‘We push our boundaries                                  could win it,” he says in German while demolishing another
because we believe in Dortmund’                                      grape. “I believe we can do it because we have done well to
                                                                     come this far. Málaga are next [with Dortmund playing in Spain
                                                                     ] and at this stage of the Champions League you have the ability
The Germany midfielder explains how the                              to win it. Everything feels possible now. But Málaga are a good
Dortmund philosophy has made the club                                side. Small things will decide the outcome but we can definitely
such a threat as they prepare to face Málaga                         go much further.
in the Champions League                                                  “In all our Champions League matches we deserved to win
                                                                     because we forced our opponents to play our game. Obviously
Donald McRae
                                                                     a team like Madrid has many world-class players and so they’re
                                                                     hard to beat. But our pressing style causes a lot of problems for
                                                                     every team – even Real.”
                                                                         Reus cites the compelling way in which Dortmund’s
                                                                     manager, Jürgen Klopp, who has transformed the club since
                                                                     arriving from Mainz in 2008, concentrates on that pressing
                                                                     technique in training. Dortmund have become tenaciously
                                                                     adept at winning back possession soon after conceding it
                                                                     and then attacking with quick passing and movement. Pep
                                                                     Guardiola apparently believes Dortmund have been the most
                                                                     entertaining team to watch this season in Europe – and the
                                                                     former Barcelona manager is clearly paying close attention
                                                                     before taking over at Bayern Munich .
                                                                         Yet Bayern are 20 points clear of Dortmund, who are second
Marco Reus says he would love to play his first game in London       in the Bundesliga, and they and Barcelona are still favoured
in the Champions League final. Photograph:                  to win the Champions League. Reus lets slip a rueful “Yeah!”
                                                                     when asked if he watched Barça’s 4-0 demolition of Milan
Marco Reus ambles into the room with his goofy grin and
                                                            , after they had lost the first leg. “You could see
amiable chit-chat belying his increasingly imposing reputation
                                                                     that Milan really pissed off Barcelona. That’s the truth in plain
in European football. He ruffles his shock of skewed blond hair,
                                                                     football language. They caused a lot of problems for Barça. But
looking like he’s just rolled out of bed at four in the afternoon,
                                                                     then people started saying that Barcelona are in crisis – which
and shrugs shyly when remembering the latest two goals he
                                                                     is ridiculous. Barcelona were at their best in the second leg. Of
scored for Germany in last week’s predictable 4-1 cruise against
                                                                     course they have [Lionel] Messi and he just has to make one
Kazakhstan as they established an eight-point
                                                                     great move and have a huge impact. But it was encouraging for
lead at the head of their World Cup qualifying group. Germany’s
                                                                     us because Milan proved it is possible to frustrate them. It is
two other goals were tucked away by Mario Götze and Ilkay
                                                                     possible to beat Barcelona.”
Gündogan, Reus’s team-mates at Borussia Dortmund – a fact
                                                                         Klopp suggested at the start of this campaign that, after
overshadowed by Joachim Löw’s decision to choose a formation
                                                                     disappointment last year, Dortmund could win the Champions
without a conventional striker.
                                                                     League. He has since conceded that, as a consequence of this
    Yet the sheer drive, speed and technique of Reus, allied to
                                                                     grander ambition, their domestic form has suffered. Reus,
a sumptuous partnership with Götze, are supplemented by
                                                                     meanwhile, blames a lack of concentration in the Bundesliga.
his knack for scoring regularly from both open play tinyurl.
                                                                     “We’ve been making individual mistakes and they’ve been
com/causnmq and dead-ball situations . It’s
                                                                     punished. But the quality of the Bundesliga is rising and every
obvious why Löw, in his desire to field an enviable trio of Reus,
                                                                     so-called small opponent can be dangerous. Little mistakes are
Götze and Mesut Ozil, is keen to experiment. Reus has emerged
                                                                     happening because we’re not always completely concentrated.
as, arguably, the best player in this extraordinarily talented
                                                                     It’s different in the Champions League. We are really switched
group of young German footballers who may have the ability
                                                                     on. But we’re still a very young team and will improve.”
and belief to win the World Cup next year.
                                                                         English clubs, in contrast, are floundering. Reus shakes
    This week, with Bayern Munich and Dortmund playing
                                                                     his head as he switches to English. “I don’t know why. I’m
in the Champions League quarter-finals, Reus and his
                                                                     surprised.” Then, reverting to German as he considers
counterparts will add more experience to their promise. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page 6 G24 Sport                                                                          Tuesday April 2 2013            04:16 GMT

the expensively assembled English champions, he says:                   some time but now, without looking, we know where the other
“Manchester City won the Premier League and then performed              one is and where we should run to make or receive a pass. But
quite poorly in the Champions League. But the Premier League            there’s still room for improvement and I’m happy to do lots of
is very strong and I’m surprised no English team made it                running for everyone here.”
further.”                                                                   In explaining his dynamic style of play, Reus reveals that:
    It seems less strange when remembering the vibrant                  “My idol was always Tomas Rosicky [who played at Dortmund
health of German football, with fans having such a sense of             for five years before joining Arsenal in
involvement in the Bundesliga, where tickets are cheap and              2006]. He used to be phenomenal. He had such a good eye for
clubs are often part-owned by their supporters .         an opening and knew where his team-mates were, and he was
    There also appears to be a more coherent sense of identity at       so quick. Rosicky had great technique and was so intelligent
a club like Dortmund. Apart from being backed by some of the            and mature even though he was still young at Dortmund. I
most passionate fans in Europe, who fill the Westfalenstadion           copied everything about him – right down to his sweatbands.
with more than 80,000 supporters, they are driven forward by            He was so unlucky he had bad injuries at Arsenal because,
young German players – epitomised by Reus, who is thrilled              otherwise, he would be one of the world’s best players.”
to be playing for his hometown club. Away to City, Dortmund                 Has Reus seen much of Jack Wilshere? The young German
featured seven Germans in their team while Joe Hart was                 nods vigorously and his eyes open wide. “A perfect player,”
the only English player who started for the Premier League              he says. Reus leans forward, across the table, and switches to
champions.                                                              conspiratorial English. “Boy, he’s fucking good,” he says of
    Reus hesitates when asked if this might have been a                 Wilshere. “He’s so quick and skilful with the ball at his feet.”
contributory factor in Dortmund’s success against City.                     A few seconds later, Reus breaks into a whoop. “Hey, hey,”
“They have a strong squad,” he says, “and there are many                he shouts out as Götze arrives. The Dortmund boys embrace
multinational teams. But there’s no doubt the key to success is         and Reus is soon off on a jag about how he loves playing table
team spirit and knowing each other very well. We have that at           tennis, with his only regret being that Götze usually beats him.
Dortmund. Everybody is there for each other. We run a lot and               There will be more serious competition as the moneyed
push our own boundaries because we believe in Dortmund.”                clubs of Europe hover over Reus and Götze. Last week there
    As a boy Reus used to stand among the 24,500 ardent                 were suggestions from Götze that he might consider moving to
Dortmund fans who make up the formidable Yellow Wall                    Manchester United while, each month,
of support in their south stand. Reus was then a member of              there are new rumours about Reus. Manchester City and, a few
Dortmund’s youth academy and, he says, “Went to games with              days ago, Chelsea were said to be “preparing bids” of £35m for
Kevin Grosskreutz [a current team-mate]. I was a big fan on the         Reus.
Yellow Wall but Grosskreutz was even more passionate.”                      “Chelsea, too?” Reus says in surprise. “Really? But the press
    He was hurt, however, by Dortmund. Undermined by                    is often wrong so why worry about it?”
suspicions that he was too brittle to succeed at the highest                Would he consider a move to the Premier League? “You
level, Reus made a difficult choice. “It was very painful for me        should never say never. But I have a valid [five-year] contract
to leave‚“ he says, a shadow crossing his face as he remembers          with a team I love. We have plans to win trophies here. I also
his departure from Dortmund at 15. “When you play your                  love the city because everyone is so passionate about football.”
whole youth career at one club you want to make the next step               Reus, with his beloved yellow-and-blacks, has a more
– especially when you support the team. But it didn’t work out          immediate English-based objective. Reminded that the
for me. I wasn’t happy because I didn’t get to play much for the        Champions League final will be held at Wembley, he grins
youth team. So me and my father decided I needed to move [to            helplessly. “I’ve never played in London before. That would
Ahlen in the third division]. It was a tough choice. Do I stay here     not be a bad way to start a game in London – with a Champions
with my beloved Dortmund or do I go elsewhere to play and get           League final.”
practical experience? That’s why I went – and it paid off.”                 Reus pauses and then, switching into English one last time,
    In returning to Dortmund did Reus also make a statement             he says, simply: “I hope … I hope that happens.”
to puncture the usual assumption that Bayern sign all the best              Marco Reus wears Puma PowerCat 1 FG boots
players in Germany ? “Hmmm,” he hums with
a smile. “It’s hard to say if it was a statement. I just felt this is
the best-supported team with players who work well together
under a great coach. Players don’t come and go as often as they

do at Bayern. It’s the same with the manager. I felt there would
be more stability and consistency here. It was the best place for
me, and I was coming home.”
    At 23, Reus is three years older than Götze, who has been
at Dortmund since the age of nine. Götze has long been                    The Guardian digital edition
proclaimed as the greatest young talent in German football.               Read the Guardian on the web exactly the
Reus now stands alongside him and, at Dortmund, they have                 way it was printed.
developed a riveting understanding. Franz Beckenbauer claims
                                                                          With award-winning Guardian
that they are the best midfield partnership in world football .
                                                                          photography accessible from anywhere in
    “It’s strange how me and Mario understand each other so               the world.
instinctively,” Reus says. “At the start of the season we needed © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                               
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday April 2 2013             04:16 GMT

                                                                    for relaxation, though, with his next tournament, the Monte
                                                                    Carlo Masters, beginning on 13 April and Murray keen to start
Andy Murray climbs to world No2 and                                 practising on clay, a surface he admits is his worst even though
has Novak Djokovic in his sights                                    he has reached the semi-final of the French Open in the past.
                                                                         “My focus now is on Monte Carlo. I’ll take probably four days
• Hopefully I can go higher, says Scot after                        off and then start training here [in Miami] on clay,” he added.
Miami Masters                                                       “I did a lot of things well this week but I need to serve better.
                                                                    I served poorly. It’s easier to return on clay so it’s even more
• Murray now focusing on Monte Carlo and
                                                                    important to serve well.”
clay-court season                                                        Simply achieving the world No2 ranking, though, has given
Staff and agencies                                                  him a bit of breathing space, with the possibility, if the rankings
                                                                    remain as they are, that he could be drawn in the opposite half
                                                                    of the draw to Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the French
                                                                         “It was nice to get there so I can go into the clay-court season
                                                                    just focused on improving and going forward and not worrying
                                                                    about rankings or seedings or anything like that,” Murray told
                                                                    the BBC. “I can play some decent tennis on it but I need to work
                                                                    extremely hard on the clay because I haven’t played on it in 10-
                                                                    and-a-half months now, so it always takes me a bit of time to get
                                                                    used to,” Murray added. “It’s the most challenging surface for
                                                                    me and with Rafa coming back it’s going to be very tough, but
                                                                    I’ll give it my best shot.
                                                                         “I didn’t want to overplay too much at the beginning of
                                                                    the year – a lot of guys this week have been complaining
Andy Murray takes to the beach after his victory in the Sony
                                                                    they’re tired and we saw quite a few guys pulling out. I think
Miami Masters lifted him to No2 in the world. Photograph:
                                                                    being fresh helped me and hopefully I can keep managing my
Virginie Bouyer/Panoramic/Photoshot
                                                                    schedule well throughout the year.”
Andy Murray is hopeful he can eventually overhaul Novak
Djokovic at the top of the rankings after rising to world No2
after defeating David Ferrer at the Miami Masters.
    The 25-year-old climbed above Roger Federer with the 2-6, 6-
4, 7-6 victory in the final in Miami and although
his points tally of 8,750 is a long way off Djokovic’s 12,370,
Murray is confident he is on the right path.
    When asked about his return to the world’s top two, Murray
told “For me it doesn’t change a huge

amount, but the fact that I’m moving up the rankings is a good
sign. I have been winning a lot of matches. My consistency has
been better over the last few months. The rankings obviously
reflect that, so I will try and keep working hard during the clay
[season] and hopefully I can go higher.”
    Murray was far from his best for long periods on Sunday,
losing the first set and seeing his own serve frequently broken       Eat right
by his Spanish opponent. But the Scot clung on for more than          Join the Guardian’s health and
two hours and 45 minutes, staving off a match point late in the
third set, to claim the Miami title for the second time in his
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    “I don’t think either of us played our best tennis. There was
a lot of breaks and ups and downs, and quite a lot of mistakes
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from both of us. But what I did do was fight hard, showed good        £2.99 a week. Membership
mental strength to get through that match, because it easily
could have slipped away from me.”
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of years ago I probably would have lost … I was up a break
three or four times in the third set and kept letting him back in
                                                                      support to help you achieve
through some loose shots.                                             your health and fitness goals.
    “I tried to keep fighting, chased down every ball, made it as
hard for him as possible. There was a lot riding on the match
and I was glad to get through in the end.”
    After the match, Murray headed to the beach for a cool
off and to pose with the trophy. There will not be much time © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                              
Page  G24 Sport                                                                      Tuesday April 2 2013            04:16 GMT

Australia request secrecy over ICC                                  Magnus Carlsen sets up chess
squad list                                                          showdown

• Cricket board asks for names not to be                            The world number one will play Indian
made public                                                         world champion Viswanathan Anand for
• Names must be submitted 60 days before                            the 2013 title in November
6 June                                                              Stephen Moss
Andy Wilson

                                                                    Magnus Carlsen, left, plays Alexander Grischuk in the
Ricky Ponting captained Australia to victory in the 2009 ICC        Candidates Tournament at the Institute of Engineering and
Champions Trophy, but their squad for this year’s tournament        Technology in London. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
remains unknown. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty                Magnus Carlsen, the favourite to win the epic Candidates
Images                                                              tournament that has captivated chess aficionados over the past
Australia have made an unusual request for secrecy over the         three weeks, got there in the end, and will now face the Indian
squad of 30 probables for June’s ICC Champions Trophy in            world champion Viswanathan Anand for the title in November.
England that they are required to submit to the tournament          But his success was achieved in the unlikeliest of manners
organisers this month.                                              on a day that stretched the nerves of exhausted players and
    A spokesperson from the International Cricket Council has       spectators alike.
confirmed that Cricket Australia have asked that their list of         Carlsen was tied for the lead with former world champion
names is not made public, which reinforces the impression           Vladimir Kramnik of Russia at the beginning of the final round,
of an organisation, or at least a selection panel, in a state of    with both seeking a win that would secure the tournament. But
confusion, paranoia or both. Pakistan had no such concerns          the tension seemed to affect them more than their opponents,
in becoming the first country to submit, and then name, their       and both lost their final games, leaving a relieved Carlsen as the
30-man squad over the weekend, from which the veteran               victor because of a greater number of wins overall – five against
batsman Younus Khan is the most notable omission. England,          the Russian’s four.
who play Australia in the first of their three group games in the      The young Norwegian was in the press room analysing
tournament at Edgbaston on 8 June, are expected to announce         his defeat at the hands of another Russian, Peter Svidler,
their squad on Wednesday or Thursday. The long lists must be        when news of Kramnik’s resignation against the brilliant but
submitted 60 days before the start of the tournament – on 6         erratic Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk came through. Carlsen’s
June — and then trimmed to 15-man squads in early May.              disappointment at losing to Svidler instantly dissolved, and he
    Australia’s management, and especially the chief selector       was mobbed by a large Norwegian contingent, who believe the
John Inverarity, have regularly been at the centre of controversy   22-year-old is now within touching distance of becoming world
in recent months, initially for their policy of rotation — which    champion.
they insisted on calling “informed player management” — and            “A lot of things went wrong for me today,” said Carlsen. “I
then for disciplining four players including the vice captain       lost control at some point.” He got into terrible time trouble,
Shane Watson for failing to follow orders during their disastrous   and was so flustered that he knocked over a piece as he made
tour of India. That would be one obvious explanation for their      his 38th move, costing him more time. In the scramble, his
current coyness, which is such a contrast with the brash self-      position disintegrated, and he resigned soon after.
confidence of the past.                                                That left his destiny in the hands of Ivanchuk, the eccentric
    Australia’s captain Michael Clarke, who was forced to miss      44-year-old considered one of the greatest players never to
the last Test in India last month with a recurrence of back and     have become world champion. Kramnik was unsure whether to
hamstring problems which raised questions over his fitness for      play for a win or a draw, and the Ukrainian ruthlessly exploited
the Champions Trophy, has been in hospital again, although          his uncertainty, avoiding the time trouble that has bedevilled
this time for gastroentiritis.                                      him throughout the tournament. Kramnik took defeat with
                                                                    his customary dignity, but was desperately disappointed to be
                                                                    denied the chance to regain the world title – a rare achievement © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page  G24 Sport                                                                       Tuesday April 2 2013          04:16 GMT

in chess.
    Carlsen said he was unhappy with his play towards the end
of the tournament – he lost two of his last three games – but felt
                                                                     Laura Trott goes on the attack in road
that in the first 11 rounds he had played with great accuracy.       debut for Wiggle Honda
“At the end everyone got tired, the quality got lower, and then
anything can happen,” he said, “but overall I think I did pretty     • Trott finishes fourth in the Grand Prix de
well.”                                                               Dottignies
    The auditorium at the Institute of Engineering and
                                                                     • Double Olympic champion stays with
Technology in central London was packed for the final day’s
play, and the tension in the hall was unbearable, with the
                                                                     breakaway group
players pacing round like expectant fathers while waiting for        Guardian Sports staff
their opponents to make their move.
    Ivanchuk, who bears a resemblance to the late Frankie
Howerd and wears a permanently quizzical expression, sat
slumped in his chair; the tall and dignified Kramnik looked as
unruffled as ever, despite a dodgy mauve shirt, though even
he began to look a little agitated as the game slipped away
from him; meanwhile, Carlsen, the weight of the chess world’s
expectations on his young shoulders, sat hunched over the
board looking uncharacteristically tense.
    An estimated half a million enthusiasts were following the
games on a variety of websites carrying the moves in real time,
and as Carlsen’s position against Svidler fell apart, Norway’s
biggest news sites collapsed in sympathy.
    The three-week event has been a feast of fighting chess. “It’s
                                                                     Britain’s Olympic champion Laura Trott made an impressive
been the most amazing tournament ever seen in Britain,” said
                                                                     debut on the road for Wiggle Honda in Belgium. Photograph:
John Saunders, the associate editor of Chess magazine, “and
                                                                     Antonio Zazueta Olmos for the Guardian
will go down among the top half-dozen tournaments of all time.
Chess is now ready for a generational shift, and potentially we      Laura Trott made an aggressive race debut for Wiggle Honda
are looking at the first champion who learned his chess in the       Pro Cycling as she sprinted to fourth place in the Grand Prix de
21st century. A page has turned in the history of the game.”         Dottignies in Belgium.
    Carlsen will play Anand for the world title in a match over at       The 20-year-old joined the 13-rider breakaway who escaped
least 12 games. Anand’s native India has long been mooted as         in the first of four 28.4km laps. The two-times Olympic
the probable location, but officials from tournament organisers      champion managed to stay in the group as they were reduced to
Agon said New York was also a possibility.                           eight in the final 20km.
    A confrontation between Anand and Carlsen is a saleable              Vera Koedooder (Sengers Ladies) escaped in the closing
commodity, and Agon realises it’s now or never to get chess          kilometres to take a solo victory, with Iris Slappendel
back on the map. The game might not yet command Madison              (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) second and her team-mate Sanne van
Square Garden, but after a long period in the doldrums, it seems     Paassen third.
at least to have escaped the Siberian wilderness.

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Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                    Tuesday April 2 2013            04:16 GMT

                                                                       Dwyer will be able to ride in the meantime, which counts as
Michael O’Leary donates €200,000 to                                good news for him since the ban had been scheduled to begin
JT McNamara fund at Fairyhouse                                     this weekend, but declared himself “fed up” by the lack of a
                                                                   final resolution. “I had hoped it would be done and dusted
• Ryanair chief makes gift during Irish                            today but I’ve got to take the positives from it,” he told the
Grand National day                                                 Press Association from India, having made a second journey
                                                                   there from England in connection with the matter.
• O’Leary donation for fund being set up for
                                                                       “It confirms what I have been saying and what I thought.
paralysed rider                                                    They reached a unanimous decision and have sent it back
Chris Cook                                                         for another inquiry to see what happens. It’s now up to the
                                                                   stipendiary stewards to hold another inquiry.”
                                                                       Dwyer said he had “no idea” when that inquiry might be
                                                                   completed and a new hearing arranged but said he had been
                                                                   told it would probably take at least a month, with the imminent
                                                                   end of the Indian season likely to cause further delay. “I’ve
                                                                   flown halfway across the world again and it was only for a
                                                                   matter of 10 minutes,” he added.
                                                                       The Irish Grand National once more proved a good friend
                                                                   to the bookmaking profession when returning a 50-1 winner in
                                                                   Liberty Counsel. The previous nine runnings of the Fairyhouse
                                                                   race featured four winners at 33-1 and others at 25-1 and 20-1.
                                                                       Liberty Counsel is trained by the Mullingar-based Dot Love,
                                                                   who had never sent out more than three winners in a season
                                                                   before this one, in which she has now had seven. The first-place
Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, runs his racehorse-
                                                                   prize money of E141,000 is more than twice what her runners
owning operation from Gigginstown Stud in Co Westmeath.
                                                                   earned in the whole of last term.
Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images
                                                                       “I’m over the moon,” Love said. “She’s a super mare and
A fund being raised for JT McNamara, the jockey paralysed by       a very good jumper.” in his appeal against a 56-day ban given
a fall at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, received a major       to him by Indian stewards for his ride on Ice Age at a Mumbai
boost on Monday when Michael O’Leary, the chief executive          racecourse in February. The Liverpool-born jockey had initially
of Ryanair and a major owner of jumps racehorses, donated          been declared guilty of not riding the horse on its merits but the
€200,000 (£168,000). O’Leary announced the gift at Fairyhouse      appeal board decided they were not satisfied with that verdict
races on Irish Grand National day.                                 and ordered further investigation.
    He had intended to offer the sum to the owner of whichever         Dwyer will be able to ride in the meantime, which counts as
horse won the race before the Irish National, a contest which      good news for him, since the ban had been scheduled to begin
usually features a number of young and promising animals.          this weekend, but declared himself “fed up” by the lack of a
O’Leary has made a habit of offering to buy the winner of that     final resolution. “
race in recent years but, in the event, managed to win it with         I had hoped it would be done and dusted today, but I’ve got
a horse he already owned and decided to put his money to an        to take the positives from it,” he told the Press Association from
extremely popular alternative use.                                 India, having made a second journey there from England in
    “It’s fantastic,” said Lisa Hancock, the chief executive of    connection with the matter.
the British-based Injured Jockeys Fund, who has been issuing           “It confirms what I have been saying and what I thought.
regular updates on McNamara’s condition. “I know that it will      They reached a unanimous decision and have sent it back
mean a huge amount to JT’s wife, Caroline, and the family, just    for another inquiry to see what happens. It’s now up to the
to know that the whole industry is rooting for them.               stipendiary stewards to hold another inquiry.”
    “It’s a dreadful injury and clearly it’s going to be a long        Dwyer said he had “no idea” when that inquiry might be
haul from here but this is a magnificent gesture, the kind of      completed and a new hearing arranged but said he had been
thing that makes you proud to be involved in racing.” Hancock      told it would probably take at least a month, with the imminent
added that there was no fresh news of McNamara’s condition         end of the Indian season likely to cause further delay. “I’ve
after he was confirmed as paralysed on Friday, a fortnight after   flown halfway across the world again and it was only for a
fracturing two vertebrae in the fall from Galaxy Rock.             matter of 10 minutes,” he added.
    Dr Adrian McGoldrick, the chief medical officer of the             The jockey told The Guardian last week of his gratification
Irish Turf Club, confirmed that a fund had not yet been set        about the very high level of support from British racing
up for McNamara but that the club’s senior steward would           professionals for his position. “Nobody believes I’ve done it,”
immediately begin arrangements for its creation.                   he said, adding that he would not have been surprised by a ban
    Martin Dwyer enjoyed a partial success on Monday in his        of a few days for the much lesser offence of careless riding.
appeal against a 56-day ban given to him by Indian stewards            Footage of the race posted online shows Ice Age appearing
for his ride on Ice Age at a Mumbai racecourse in February. The    to bring about her own defeat by hanging dramatically across
Liverpool-born jockey had initially been declared guilty of not    the track. Dwyer says she bled so badly during the race that his
riding the horse on its merits but the appeal board decided        breeches were liberally spattered with blood as he crossed the
they were not satisfied with that verdict and ordered a further © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                           
Page 11 G24 Sport                                                  Tuesday April 2 2013   04:16 GMT

    The Irish Grand National once more proved a good friend
to the bookmaking profession when returning a 50-1 winner in
Liberty Counsel yesterday. The previous nine runnings of the
Fairyhouse race featured four winners at 33-1 and others at 25-1
and 20-1.
    Liberty Counsel is trained by the Mullingar-based Dot Love,
who had never sent out more than three winners in a season
before this one, in which she has now had seven. The first-place
prize money of E141,000 is more than twice what her runners
earned in the whole of last term.
    “I’m over the moon,” Love said. “She’s a super mare and a
very good jumper.” © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                             

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