Will it be Nesta’s night again in his personal duel with Messi?

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MESSI V NESTA

Will it be Nesta’s night again in his personal duel with Messi?

Legendary defender’s performance will determine who progresses

messi-nesta

Much of what is written about tonight’s Carles Puyol-tagged game of the season between Barcelona and AC Milan will be about Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the piece’s true protagonist is Alessandro Nesta.

Yes, the 36-year-old defender who ITV started their first-leg coverage practically mocking, armed with the assumption that old age guaranteed a [...]

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World leader in sackings

How does this man continue to land Europe’s top jobs?

He wasn't great at Chelsea and it's got a whole lot worse since

Ran

It’s hard to be successful all of the time, even we know that. But failing at everything is a rare and special thing, and one that should never go unrecognised. So we’ve spent some time marvelling at the dismal work of Claudio Ranieri and thought we’d share the love.

There are very few men in football [...]

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CA$H£D UP COACH€$

Dalglish paid as much as Sir Alex, Hughes outearns Allegri & Klopp

List of the world’s 30 best-paid managers is a huge eyebrow-raiser

mark-hughes-big-wage

Everyone assumes that the reluctance of UK managers to go abroad relates to the silly belief that British is always best, but a recently published list (yes, we’re a bit late) of the planet’s 30 highest earners reveals the real reason.

Premier League clubs, no matter how mediocre, are willing to spend barmy amounts to [...]

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FREE INSIGHT

Read the world’s best informed sports and betting mag for free!

Close Up magazine is now available on the iTunes news-stand

close-up-image

Plenty of comment scrawlers ask what the Spoiler team get up to when not sporadically showcasing a questionable outlook on the occasionally beautiful game on these pages. Well now there’s a chance to see for yourselves.

The Spoiler’s publishers also produce Close Up magazine, a sports quarterly which is distributed to Ladbrokes’ top 20,000 customers, [...]

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FOREIGN STUFF

Europe’s next top manager: Little Airplane set to scale great heights

Catania boss destined for greatness, if he ignores Inter and Chelsea

montella-next-top-manager

The similarities between catwalk and dugout are vast: the posturing, the ability to silently convey a message interpretable only by the profession’s elite (ie Tyra Banks, John Terry), the bitchiness and above all else the fashion accessories.

When it comes to cutthroat-itude, to invent a term that should exist, though a dugout is an even [...]

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Massive Champions League news

Benfica stand between Chelsea and the right to lose to Barcelona

APOEL's chances of Champions League glory also suffer a blow

RDM

While you’ve been screaming at horses on television, over in Switzerland, that loveable bald bloke has been perfecting the art of time wasting.

In between those eagerly-anticipated video montages, he did manage to oversee the Champions League draw, and miraculously, kept Real Madrid and Barcelona apart. Not just in the quarter-final, but in the semis [...]

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BIG WEEK

Champions League possibilities and Cheltenham Festival free bets

Five for Messi, four for Gomez, three for Torres?

sprinter-sacre

Another dramatic night in the Champions League saw Mario Gomez come within a goal of firing five in a home knockout game and presumably prompting the press to laud him as the best player in the history of football.

Elsewhere, Inter won but lost the pitiful drunken fistfight between surely the two most out-of-form sides [...]

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TACTICAL TWEAK

Revealed: the real reason behind Arsenal’s dramatic recent revival

How announcer learning players’ surnames saved Arsenal’s season

gunnersaurus-arsenal-mascot

There are several theories as to why Arsenal have gone from sailing along in summer holiday mode to sudden favourites for fourth with a decent chance of overhauling Tottenham.

Some will link it to the absence of Aaron Ramsey, as anonymous as Robin van Persie has been brilliant in recent months. Others will point to [...]

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