MADRID (AFP) – Real Madrid‘s Brazilian superstar Kaka faces old club AC Milan for the first time on Wednesday when the two sides do battle at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League Group C match.
Kaka was an icon at Milan after six successful years helping the club win the 2007 Champions League crown but left for Real this summer in a 65 million-euro move which he insisted was to help Milan with their financial problems.
The Spanish capital hosts a match-up between the two most successful clubs in European history with Real boasting a record nine European Cups to Milan’s seven.
Both sides can point to illustrious histories but at present they are looking to restore their reputations as European superpowers with Real failing to get past the quarter-finals of the competition since 2004 which was the year Milan last won their domestic title.
Milan are under pressure in the group after a shock 1-0 home loss to unfancied FC Zurich while Real are perched comfortably at the top with a maximum six points.
“It is time to see Real Madrid?s true colours against an opponent that has won a lot of European Cups and who we really respect,” said Real defenderSergio Ramos.
Kaka, who has said he will not celebrate if he scores, will undoubtedly take centre stage against his old club particuarly as Real’s other world superstarCristiano Ronaldo, is still out with an ankle injury.
It will also be a special occasion for 33-year-old Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf who won the Champions League in Real colours back in 1998.
“Real Madrid? No-one scares me, there?s no time to be scared,” said Dutchman Seedorf.
A return to the Bernabeu will also be memorable for Brazilian Ronaldinhowho tormented Real in his Barcelona days and famously received a standing ovation from the Bernabeu crowd in the 2005/06 season after scoring a great solo goal for Barca in a 3-0 win in ‘El Clasico’.
Dutch forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar didn’t get many standing ovations in his brief seven months at Real before being let go to Milan and will have a point to prove if given the chance.
Milan may be a shadow of the great side from the 1990s but have outperformed Real in Europe over the last five seasons reaching the final twice, losing the first against Liverpool in 2005 and then defeating the same opposition in 2007.
Real have not reached the final since 2002 but hope that changes this season especially with the showpiece final at their stadium.
Real won 4-2 against Valladolid on Saturday to move a point behind Barcelona in the domestic league where they average three goals a game but questions have been asked about their defence and a vulnerability at set-pieces.
“I don?t see defensive shortcomings,” said coach Manuel Pellegrini. “One of Valladolid?s goals was a free-kick and the other a mis-placed back pass. They had 12 corners and didn?t score from any of them so we don?t have problems in that area.”
Milan beat AS Roma 2-1 in their league match but still lie eighth in the table seven points behind champions and city rivals Inter Milan.
“If we are able to express ourselves to our potential, then Milan can do a lot better,” said coach Leonardo. “Consistency will be the key, as we do have flashes of good form.”
If Milan lose to Real they will be six points behind the Spaniards to virtually end their hopes of finishing top of the group.
Quran Burning Protest 3rd Day in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan protests against the burning of a Quran in Florida entered a third day with a demonstrations in the south and east Sunday, while the Taliban called on people to rise up, blaming government forces for any violence.
The desecration at a small U.S. church has outraged Muslims worldwide, and in Afghanistan many of the demonstrations have turned into deadly riots. Protests in the north and south in recent days have killed 20 people.
In southern Kandahar city on Sunday, hundreds took to the streets for the second day in a row, and hospital officials said 20 people were hurt in skirmishes between police and demonstrators. On Saturday, nine people were killed and 80 injured when a protest turned into a riot.
At least two wounded police officers and 18 civilians had been brought into city hospitals, said Qayum Pokhla the provincial health director.
A morning protest in Jalalabad city was peaceful, with hundreds of people blocking a main highway for three hours, shouting for U.S. troops to leave and burning an effigy of President Barack Obama before dispersing, according to an Associated Press photographer at the scene.
A similar protest in eastern Parwan province blocked a main highway with burning tires for about an hour, with more than 1,000 people protesting against the desecration of the Quran, said provincial police chief Sher Ahmad Maladani. He said there was no violence.
The violence started Friday when demonstrators stormed a U.N. compound in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing 11 people including seven foreign U.N. employees.
The Taliban said in a statement emailed to media outlets that the U.S. and other Western countries have wrongly excused the burning a Quran by the pastor of a Florida church on March 20 as freedom of speech and that Afghans “cannot accept this un-Islamic act.”
NATO officials re-iterated their condemnation of the Quran burning in an apparent attempt to quell the rising anger.
INDIA World Champions 2011 as ICC Wished
Mumbai: Final of World Cup 2011 starts dramatically with twice a time toss , on both tossing Sri-Lanka won. Jayawardane who never scored solid in whole world cup as in the finals and ends up Sri-Lankan innings with more than 100 not out . Sri Lanka gives target of 275 in 50 overs to India.
India loosing first wicket on the 2nd ball of their innings and soon after they lost wicket of Sachin Tendulker . Virat and Gautham gives a solid recovery to India and Dhoni ends with the six . Glory comes to India .
Without any doubt India was not capable to win the World Cup of 2011 , but they won due to amazing captaincy of MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni declared to be the man of the match. Yuvraj Singh declared man of the series and ICC President passed Trophy to Indian captain.
IPL Will Win This World Cup
World Cup 2007 begins and in the very first round India drops from the World Cup . ICC bears the loss of advertisement and assures this that India will be given more favors in future World Cups . Today 2nd April 2011 India is in finals of World Cup 2011 and ICC so called International Cricket Council is more like Indian Cricket Council.
Yes, this is the bitter truth which we have to realize more money is coming from India to ICC and ICC don’t want to disappoint Indians for this . Regardless of caring the sentiments of other nations fighting hard for playing entertaining cricket.
In a TV show on ARY News , when Basit Ali (Former Test Player Pakistan) was asked who will win this Final encounter he said “IPL”. He also hinted this is a signal for wise that IPL will take this cup. Sri Lankans might be given huge amounts so they could also come to IPL after this world cup. , otherwise stage is banned for Sri Lankans.
This is the history of sports since 50 years , many of the closed notches had been settled in wealth and need. As , Brazil comes to settle in 1998 Football World Cup for France might this could be another France.
Hope for the fair game.
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