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CSKA Moscow
Bayern Munich
0
1
FT
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Manchester City
AS Roma
1
1
FT
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Apoel Nicosia
Ajax Amsterdam
1
1
FT
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Paris Saint-Germain
Barcelona
3
2
FT
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Schalke 04
NK Maribor
1
1
FT
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Sporting Lisbon
Chelsea
0
1
FT
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BATE Borisov
Athletic Bilbao
2
1
FT
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Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Porto
2
2
FT
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Brighton & Hove Albion
Cardiff City
1
1
FT
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Derby County
AFC Bournemouth
2
0
FT
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Middlesbrough
Blackpool
1
1
FT
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Millwall
Birmingham City
1
3
FT
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Norwich City
Charlton Athletic
0
1
FT
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Rotherham United
Blackburn Rovers
2
0
FT
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Sheffield Wednesday
Ipswich Town
1
1
FT
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Watford
Brentford
2
1
FT
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Wigan Athletic
Nottingham Forest
0
0
FT
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Crewe Alexandra
Notts County
0
3
FT
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AFC Telford United
Chester City
1
2
FT
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Alfreton Town
Halifax
0
2
FT
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Altrincham
Macclesfield Town
1
0
FT
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Braintree Town
Barnet
1
1
FT
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Dover
Aldershot Town
3
0
FT
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Eastleigh
Bristol Rovers
1
1
FT
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Forest Green Rovers
Torquay United
2
1
FT
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Grimsby Town
Southport
0
1
FT
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Lincoln City
Gateshead
1
1
FT
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Welling
Dartford
2
2
FT
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Woking
Nuneaton Town
1
0
FT
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Wrexham
Kidderminster Harriers
1
0
FT
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Aberdeen
St Mirren
2
2
FT
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León
Monterrey
1:06 AM GMT
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Atlas
Queretaro
1:30 AM GMT
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U.A.N.L
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
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São Paulo
Huachipato
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
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Icasa
Luverdense
0
0
LIVE HT
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Sampaio Correa-MA
Portuguesa de Desportos
0
0
LIVE HT
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Vila Nova-GO
Ceará
0
1
LIVE HT
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AA Ponte Preta
Paraná Clube
0
0
LIVE 0'
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Al-Ain
Al Hilal
2
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 4
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Herediano
Universidad De Costa Rica
Postp
Postponed - now being played Wed, Oct 1
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Next
Dec 23, 2007

Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng

CHICAGO -- Luol Deng was kicking around a soccer ball long before he ever picked up a basketball. Although he eventually gave up soccer in order to pursue his hoop dreams, he tells ESPNsoccernet that he remains a die-hard fan of the beautiful game.

ESPNsoccernet: How did you first become interested in soccer?

LD: When you're African or European, you get into it. I was born in Sudan, and grew up in Egypt and then England. We would play with balls made of socks or put a towel over a balloon and wrap duct tape around it. We used a tennis ball a lot too. Only in big games did we use a soccer ball.

ESPNsoccernet: Did you ever dream about becoming a professional soccer player?

LD: I always wanted to be a soccer player. That was my first love. I played midfielder and striker. I used to tell people how I was going to celebrate after I scored goals. I was going to take off my shirt and pose or I was going to run to the corner and do a little dance or slide. We would watch players celebrate goals in a game and do the celebration the next day at school.

ESPNsoccernet: When did basketball come into the picture?

LD: I would play basketball now and then and my brother and his friends would say, "You're really good." Soccer was what I wanted to do, but I had this growth spurt where I became taller than everyone. It just made more sense.

ESPNsoccernet: Is it true you were invited to try out for England's U-15 soccer team?

LD: Yeah, I was 14 and was having an amazing year for my school team. Being called up was a great honor, but around that time I also got called up for England's basketball team. It had to be one or the other. I decided if I'm going to do basketball, I have to stop with soccer.

ESPNsoccernet: Was it a difficult decision?

LD: It was a really tough decision. I wanted to keep playing. Every now and then I'll stay after practice and play soccer. I'll kick the ball around sometimes with [Bulls' guard] Thabo [Sefolosha] -- sometimes with [forward] Andres [Nocioni]. It's in me. I still love it.

ESPNsoccernet: Who were your favorite soccer players growing up?

LD: Ronaldo. He was unbelievable. I had a Ronaldo poster. One of the reasons I fell in love with the No. 9 [Deng's jersey number] was because of Ronaldo. He's still my favorite player of all time. I was also a fan of Ian Wright and Patrick Vieira.

ESPNsoccernet: You've said in past interviews that you're an Arsenal fan -- why the Gunners?

LD: I grew up in London and they were the team my father liked. I liked their style. I watched a lot of their games on TV while growing up but I never went to any. The last couple of years I've gone to a few games. I was at the opening of Emirates [Stadium]. To be there for the opening of your club's new stadium was unbelievable. I had a lot of fun.

ESPNsoccernet: Are you disappointed Thierry Henry left for Barcelona?

LD: I was at the time, but he had to do what's best for him. Being a professional athlete, I understand. A lot of people were mad he left but he has to do what's best for him and his family. I think Arsenal will be fine and I wish him all the best. He's a great guy.

ESPNsoccernet: Are you friends with any soccer players?

LD: I'm really close with Philippe Senderos from Switzerland. I'm friends with a lot of the Arsenal guys. A few of them have connections to Africa so we have that to talk about. Kolo Toure is a big basketball fan. He knows everything about what's going on in the [NBA] season.

ESPNsoccernet: Which soccer players do you think would have made good basketball players?

LD: Paulo Wanchope. He was a very good basketball player. Henry says he's pretty good. I haven't seen him. Senderos played a little. His brother played for Switzerland's national team so he knows basketball.

ESPNsoccernet: Which basketball players would have made good soccer players?

LD: I know Steve Nash plays. His brother played in England -- I remember that. He would have been a great one. You have to look at the guards.

ESPNsoccernet: Do any of your American teammates on the Bulls follow soccer?

LD: They don't know much about it. Every now and then we kick a ball around and juggle and they like what they see.

ESPNsoccernet: What's your record for juggling?

I used to do 200, maybe 200 and something. Right now I think I could get 130 -- maybe more.

ESPNsoccernet: Do you follow Major League Soccer?

LD: A little bit. I was really rooting for the Fire this year. I'm good friends with Diego [Gutierrez]. I watched a few of their games. The league is doing well and is developing. I think in the future it will be a really good league. A lot of players will come here. We just saw David Beckham do that -- other players will follow.

Luis Arroyave is a writer for the Chicago Tribune and also writes a blog The Red Card. He can be reached at: larroyave@tribune.com.