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Friday, February 1, 2008

Nani Video Clip


Manchester United Mid Season Review Video Clip


Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Manchester United Match Preview

Tottenham have completed the signing of Gilberto from Hertha Berlin on a busy deadline day when Jermain Defoe agreed to join Portsmouth. Gilberto, the Brazil left-back who can operate in midfield, was at Spurs' training ground to complete the transfer and joins Jonathan Woodgate, Alan Hutton and Chris Gunter as Juande Ramos' transfer-window recruits.

The player was out of contract at the end of the season and Hertha had released a statement insisting he would be staying in the Bundesliga, with some reports suggesting complications with his medical. Spurs, however, have announced the deal going through, with the 31-year-old providing cover at left-back following long-term injuries to Gareth Bale and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Spurs have also agreed to sell Defoe to Portsmouth, though the deal has yet to be officially completed. The 25-year-old striker was out of contract at Spurs at the end of next season and has been linked with a move while negotiations have been unresolved. He also struggled for regular opportunities under head coach Ramos, with the Spaniard preferring Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov in attack for important matches.

Ramos and Defoe fell out after a training ground incident at the start of the month but then patched up their relationship, and the striker had talked about signing a new deal. However, his lack of action has alerted other Barclays Premier League clubs. Pompey boss Harry Redknapp, who worked with Defoe at West Ham, was monitoring the striker's situation in the summer but no deal was agreed.

With Defoe starting just three Premier League matches this season, Redknapp made his move and a fee was agreed earlier on deadline day. ``I can't wait to be honest, I just want to get my boots on,'' said Defoe on Sky Sports News. ``At the end of the day I haven't been playing football, hopefully I can play football here. I just want to score goals.'' Redknapp added: ``He will be a great signing for us.

``He wants to play and he needs to play.'' Ramos has allowed Defoe and fringe players such as Hossam Ghaly and Wayne Routledge to leave White Hart Lane in his first January transfer window as head coach at Spurs. Paul Stalteri and Anthony Gardner have also gone out on loan, to Fulham and Everton respectively. Gunter has been given first-team chances already, and Woodgate made his debut on Wednesday. He was also called up for Fabio Capello's first England squad.

``He has had a great year for Middlesbrough and he had a great debut for Tottenham,'' said Spurs team-mate Tom Huddlestone. ``He has only trained with us once but he has a lot of experience. ``He was constantly talking throughout the game so for me, who does not play centre-back very often, it was very reassuring.'' Hutton, meanwhile, has revealed Ramos' role in signing him from Rangers for £8million.

``What influenced my decision was a lot to do with coming down and meeting the head coach and hearing his plans for the club,'' Hutton said. ``That helped me make up my mind. ``Leaving Rangers was a decision I had to take time to think about and it was hard for me having grown up supporting the club as well as playing for them for many years.

It was a hard decision but I think it's the right one overall. ``The Premier League is one of the best in the world and everybody knows that, so I think you have to take the step down here to show people what you've got. I think I've got good attributes in terms of getting forward and hopefully I can add them to the team.'' Read more...

Ronaldo's freekick secrets

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed the mental and physical regime he follows that has helped the United winger to become the best free-kick taker in the world. The Portuguese star's stunning 30-yard set-piece in United's 2-0 triumph over Portsmouth on Wednesday was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as the finest in Premier League history and one of the best he had ever seen.
Ronaldo refused to reveal the secret trick that enables him to hit the ball at such a ferocious pace, while still ensuring it dips enough to hit the target, but he did explain the meticulous routine that leads up to his showstoppers. The 22-year-old ace, who has now scored 27 goals from 28 matches this season, said: "The secret? I will not reveal it, for I would be giving a trump card to my opponents. I can state only the success or failure at the moment of taking the free-kick is directly related to the position of the body, the way one runs towards the ball and the way one positions one's feet. At that moment, I think only about which side of the net I'm going to aim for. I look at the ball, I look at the net and I say to myself 'take the kick, Ronaldo', then I shoot. Sometimes it ends well, sometimes not so well."
David McDonnell, Daily Mirror

Vidic: We're full of confidence

Nemanja Vidic is glad to be back in United's miserly defence after shaking off a virus that affected his family and forced him to miss the cup win over Spurs.

The 26 year-old produced yet another performance of Serbian steel on his return against Portsmouth, a match which exhibited both United's defensive solidarity and attacking flair.

"I feel fine now and I am glad to be back," he told MUTV. "It was especially good to return for this game (Portsmouth). I really enjoyed it, in the first half we were very good."

Vidic believes the flair and attacking verve of United's first-half performance against Harry Redknapp's men could be counted among the Reds' best 45 minutes of the season.

"Everyone in the first half was at their best," he added. "The movement and passing were both unbelievable. We scored two, but we could have scored more. Everyone in the crowd will have enjoyed that game for the football we played, and all the players enjoyed it on the pitch. I just hope we can keep on playing like this."

But it wasn't all about the chances created going forward, the display was build on solid defensive foundations. Vidic's towering performance helped earn United an impressive 19th clean sheet of the season, a source of much pride to the miserly defence.

"We are proud of the way we have defended this season," he said. "We have been strong at the back this season, but we are more compact than last year. We defend as a team, together and for each other. Of course, we are proud. But we have many games still to play, and we have to repeat what we have achieved in the first half of the season." Read more...

Sir Alex expects open game again

Sir Alex Ferguson anticipates another exhibition of attacking football this weekend when United face Tottenham Hotspur for the second time in six days.

Especially as the venue is White Hart Lane, where Spurs netted five in their last home game (against Arsenal) and the Reds scored four on their last visit, almost a year ago to the day. Add to that five goals in a week for United and the formula looks right.

"The performance level the other night (vs Portsmouth) was unbelievable," said Sir Alex.

"But Tottenham away is a very different game. We saw last Sunday there is a wind of change at Tottenham, no question. The cup tie was terrifically open and for the first time in a few years at our ground there were some goals in the game.

"The games at Old Trafford have generally been one-goal affairs with more goals being reserved for White Hart Lane. So goodness knows what’s going to happen on Saturday. Hopefully we can get the result we want but I’m expecting a very tough but open game."

Sir Alex has the luxury of an almost fully fit squad to select from, with only Louis Saha, Mikael Silvestre and Gary Neville missing the trip through lack of fitness.

"Gary’s been doing okay," replied Sir Alex, when asked for an update on his club captain.

"But we're trying not to exhaust him so he doesn't get any more niggles. Gary puts so much into a training session. He can’t do anything by halves, he always goes flat out." Read more...

King of the continent

Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring spree has not only shot him to the top of the Barclays Premier League's goals chart, he's also leading the way in the continent's top five leagues.

The United number 7's haul of 19 goals in 20 league games is unmatched in England, Italy, France, Spain or Germany. In Italy, the in-form striker is David Trezeguet of Juventus with 15 goals in Serie A, while Karim Benzema of Lyon ­- United's next Champions League opponents ­- is top scorer in France's Ligue 1, also with 15 goals.

Luis Fabiano of Seville and Real Zaragoza's Diego Milito are both in the running for Spain's Pichichi trophy, awarded to La Liga's top goalscorer, both with 14 goals.

In Germany's Bundesliga, four players are locked on nine goals - Bayern Munich's Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose, Diego of Werder Bremen and Rafael van der Vaart of Hamburg.

Ronaldo's main challenger for the European Golden Boot is Ajax's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, top scorer in Holland with 20 goals. However, it's Ronaldo's goal haul that has got everyone talking across the continent. No wonder Sir Alex is convinced the Portuguese winger is about to rewrite the record books.

"His goals invite comparison with George Best who became United's highest-scoring winger when he hit 32 goals in the 1967/68 season on his way to being voted European Footballer of the Year," commented the United boss in his Portsmouth programme notes.

"Considering he is scoring at the rate of almost a goal a game, I certainly won't be betting against him joining Best in the record books!"

Now with 27 goals in all competitions, neither will anyone else. Read more...

Boss explains Manucho exit

United's January transfer window signing Manucho is joining Greek club Panathinaikos for the remainder of the season.

Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed on Friday: "We’ve farmed Manucho out to Panathinaikos for the remainder of the season to get some football.

"The set-up at Panathinaikos is Portuguese, the coach there is Portuguese and Manucho speaks their language so he will feel comfortable there.

"We knew Manucho wasn’t going to come to us (straightaway) because he didn’t have the criteria. But we’ll apply for his work permit in the summer and I’m sure we’ll have a good chance. We gambled on him having a good Africa Nations Cup and he's been terrific."

Manucho marked his debut in the tournament with a superb diving header in Angola's 1-1 draw with South Africa. He netted a double in the 3-1 win over Senegal and was part of the side that earned a 0-0 draw with Tunisia and subsequently booked Angola's place in the knock-out stages of the competition.

Manucho believes he will benefit from his loan spell in Greece.

"After the tournament I will return to Luanda and then head to Athens," he told Angola tv . "I am looking forward to playing in Greece before hopefully being a success at Old Trafford."

Reds' assistant manager Carlos Queiroz was the man behind the striker's arrival at United. And Manucho was quick to make an impression on Sir Alex during a three-week trial.

"He is a tall, agile, quick forward and through contacts that Carlos has was brought to our attention around six months ago," explained the United manager. Read more...