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Buffon backing Italy to overcome Spain

Italy
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By ESPN Staff

Charlton tribute to ''magical'' Robson

Sir Bobby Charlton believes football has lost someone who was ''magical'' following the death of Sir Bobby Robson.

Former England, Ipswich and Newcastle manager Robson lost his battle against cancer on Friday at the age of 76.

Charlton, an England team-mate of Robson during their playing days, told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: ''I am very sad like everyone else in football. Bobby Robson was such a genuine person, he was so kind and generous.

''I can't say enough about him. Even in his last few years when he was so ill, to still consider other people rather than himself is just unbelievable.

''I will think of him as someone who was always gracious, always kind whenever I wanted to speak to him. And he has just been magical for the game itself.

''He was so in love with the game in any shape or form that he will be unbelievably missed.''

Robson made a huge impact as a manager but Charlton added it should not be forgotten that he was also a fine player with West Brom and Fulham as well as an England international.

He said: ''He was a marvellous player, a great player, a really good link man and intelligent passer and goalscorer.''

As a manager, Robson is remembered with affection for guiding England to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup.

One of the players in that squad, Peter Beardsley, said he was an excellent man-manager.

Beardsley said: ''The thing I couldn't believe was how much he protected the players. We didn't always play well but whatever was said in those four walls never left there.

''We had disagreements, everyone did, but no-one ever knew about them. He was a players' man, first and foremost, and trusted us.

''The players thought, as a manager, he was one of the best. I worked with a lot of great managers but he would be right up there.''

Tributes have continued to pour in for Robson and Newcastle's St James' Park will remain open next week for people to pay their respects.

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