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History man

AC Milan captain Paulo Maldini became the first player to appear in 50 Milan derbies last week having disputed his first 19 years ago in December 1985. Maldini also holds the record for league appearances and European games with 536 and 142 respectively.


The President of the Japanese Football Association, Kawabuchi, has indicated that his country is not willing to travel to North Korea for its World Cup qualifier. Fearing crowd disturbances, the official has proposed Malaysia as a more suitable alternative venue.

‘Away’ game

In an effort to maximise gate receipts, this Saturday’s Super Liga game between Estoril and Benfica has been moved to the Stadium of the Algarve. Estoril hope that the clash will attract 30,000 spectators, setting a new record in terms of revenue.

Port of Call

When Pinto da Costa (Porto’s President) was found to be “personally responsible” for bribing referees with prostitutes, this just added to the misery of champions Porto. The club is experiencing a poor season and at worst could be relegated to the Liga de Honra next season.

FA Cup Final

Blackburn offered stiff resistance to Arsenal’s ambition at Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium, but Robert Pires finally put the Gunners ahead just before the interval. Robin van Persie then made sure of Arsenal’s fourth final appearance in five years with a two-goal burst in the last four minutes of the match. Facing the North Londoners on May 21 will be Manchester United, who played some of their best football of the season to overwhelm a tired-looking Newcastle eleven 4-1.