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Forlan gets the boot, Real Madrid "a disaster"

This was the week in which Michael Turner gave Emmanuel Adebayor a lesson in class, Diego Forlan explained the real reason why he got the boot at Manchester United, Iker Casillas said Real Madrid's defence was a disaster, Chelsea signed a goalkeeper despite their transfer ban and a gay kiss rocked Honduran football.

Leonardo: Berlusconi has never embarrassed me - Friday, September 12

AC Milan coach Leonardo claims that despite Silvio Berlusconi's ongoing tactical tips in the press and his boot polish-black hairdo the club president has never embarrassed him.

The Serie A season maybe only four games old but Rossoneri official Leandro Cantamessa has already had to deny rumours of a rift between the duo and it is not surprising given that Berlusconi can't help offering advice whenever a journalist is in the vicinity.

Following Milan's 4-0 annihilation in the derby, Berlusconi scolded Leonardo in the press when he said: "I have in mind a precise tactical error I had advised was a mistake we should not make." And later offered more tactical advice to Corriere dello Sport: "If I was choosing the formation, I would play Clarence Seedorf in the hole, Pato as the main striker with Ronaldinho as second striker."

When asked about his boss's outspoken nature during Friday's pre-match press conference Leonardo said: "Berlusconi is a character, but he's never embarrassed me. His declarations in the papers only come after he's talked to me. It's very stimulating to confront myself with him."

However, with Milan held to a disappointing 0-0 draw in Livorno just 24 hours later it is doubtful that he will find Berlusconi's almost inevitable comments quite so "stimulating".

Turner gives Adebayor a lesson in class - Saturday, September 13

We saw two footballers at the opposite ends of the moral spectrum on Saturday. One was former Hull City defender Michael Turner, who scored on his debut (well it was later given as a Kamil Zayatte own goal, but it was Turner's header) for his new club Sunderland against his old club and then held up his hand to the Tigers fans as if to say "sorry, but I'm a professional".

The other was Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor who ran the length of the pitch to celebrate his goal against former employers Arsenal in front of the travelling Gunners support, causing missiles to be thrown by the furious fans and allegations of having a "lack of class" to be slung by his ex-colleagues.

Those that have defended Adebayor's actions claim he was caught up in the emotion of the moment, having been jeered by the Arsenal fans for most of the match. However, had the Togo striker not demanded a huge salary increase after one good season in an Arsenal shirt, agitated for a move to AC Milan when the cash wasn't forthcoming and then headed to Eastlands for a bumper pay-day after a half-arsed season at the Emirates then his standing with the fans might not have been so bad.

On the other hand, Turner helped Hull to win promotion to the Premier League, played with commitment as the club remained in the top flight and then quietly moved to Sunderland when the Tigers somewhat surprisingly accepted the Black Cats' bid. As a result, Turner retained the respect of the fans. Presumably he is now standing on the moral high ground shaking his head at the antics of Adebayor.

Eto'o and Ibra locked in battle - Sunday, September 14

Quite why Barcelona swapped Samuel Eto'o - a striker that scored 30 goals in 34 Primera Liga games, not to mention the opening goal in their Champions League final victory last season - plus €40 million for Inter's Zlatan Ibrahimovic will always be a puzzle.

But thank goodness they did, because with Eto'o eager to prove Barca made a mistake and Ibrahimovic equally keen to justify his part in the biggest swap deal in football history the duo are seemingly locked in a tit-for-tat goalscoring battle that could inspire one of them to the European Golden Boot.

Message boards and internet sites are full of debate over who is the best and against this backdrop both strikers maintained their impressive starts at their new clubs at the weekend. Ibrahimovic netted his second goal in his second Primera Liga game as Barcelona beat Getafe 2-0 and on Sunday Eto'o responded with his third goal in four Serie A games to break the deadlock as Inter beat Parma by the same score.

On Wednesday the duo went head to head in the Champions League and given all the super-hyped coverage their clash was given both strikers inevitably drew a blank. So the debate goes on.

Why Forlan got the boot at United - Monday, September 15

European Golden Boot winner Diego Forlan says his Manchester United career came to an abrupt end simply because he wore the wrong boots for a vital game against Chelsea. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson was apparently furious that the Uruguayan did not heed advice to wear boots with larger studs and quickly shipped him out of Old Trafford.

"Ferguson wanted me to play with high studs, the interchangeable ones that suit wet pitches," Forlan explained. "But I feel more comfortable in low ones. I agreed to change boots, but I didn't. Against Chelsea, I slipped in front of goal and wasted a chance. Afterwards, I rushed to the dressing room to change boots. Ferguson caught me. He grabbed the boots and threw them. That was my last game for United."

The fact that the former Independiente player only managed to score 10 goals in 63 games and took 27 games to score his first goal for United may have made Ferguson's decision somewhat easier. Although, in Spain (where the climate is presumably more conducive to the use of the shorter stud) Forlan has enjoyed a brilliant career with Villarreal, and now Atletico Madrid, winning the Pichichi Trophy as La Liga's highest scorer.

Gay kiss rocks Honduran football - Tuesday, September 15

Sometimes goal celebrations can get a little bit too amorous and Honduran football is currently reeling after two players were snapped having a 'gay kiss' in a match between Vida and Deportes Savio.

Such is the homophobia that still exists in football that the players in question, Vida midfielder Orlin Peralta and defender Brayan Beckeles, were urged to go on record to say they never smooched and that the angle of the picture in question simply distorted the real image of the pair actually kissing on the cheek.

It seems like its all bit of an overreaction, especially when you consider some of the things that have passed for celebrations prior to this.

Back in 2001 Sevilla striker Francisco Gallardo was the subject of a Spanish Football Federation investigation when he was caught on camera bending down and biting team-mate Jose Antonio Reyes' penis during a goal celebration.

"I don't think what I did was very noteworthy," Gallardo said.

The Honduran match ended 2-2 by the way... which should have been the important point.

Casillas: Real Madrid "a disaster" - Wednesday, September 16

Okay so the headline is purposefully misleading, but Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas has officially confirmed what we all knew; that his side are useless at defending and are in fact "a disaster at dead-ball situations".

Real Madrid were cruising through their Champions League tie at FC Zurich with a three-goal lead but two quick-fire second-half strikes from set pieces made the score 3-2 and led to a very nervy finale in what should have been an easy game. Los Blancos eventually went on to win the game 5-2 but Casillas admitted he had concerns over the defence.

"If you look at the four goals we have conceded it's true you could say we are a disaster at dead-ball situations," Casillas said at a news conference. "But it is still early days to be reading too much into this."

Real have scored 11 times in their three victories in the La Liga and Champions League so far, conceding one goal from open play, one from the penalty spot, one from a corner and the other at a free kick.

Chelsea sign keeper despite transfer ban - Thursday, September 17

Despite being banned from signing any players for two transfer windows by UEFA Chelsea have apparently found a way to circumnavigate the Kakuta-gate fall-out and have snapped up Croatian goalkeeper Matej Delac.

According to a statement from the player's club, Inter Zapresic, the 17-year-old will remain with them for the next two years, during which period Chelsea will pay his wages.

Zapresic also revealed that Delac, who will travel to London whenever possible to train with the Blues, will then be under contract with the Premier League side for five years.

Sporting director Branko Laljak said: "This deal will save us from bankruptcy. We are proud to have sold one of our players to one of the strongest clubs in the world."


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