Early Doors

  • Arsenal's Lukas Podolski set for big screen debut

    German forward Podolski to appear in German comedy film next year

    Lukas Podolski is to star in a comedy film called 'Macho Man'. Yes. Really.

    The film, based on a novel by Moritz Netenjakob, will hand the German forward his acting debut - and boy is it long-awaited.

    "The film will be shot in my hometown Cologne, where I grew up and where my career started," Podolski attempted to explain.

    "My scene takes place in the stadium and it’s really funny, I think. ‘I am curious to see the result when I go to the premiere and see myself on the screen."

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    Are you looking forward to seeing selfie-loving Podolski in a comedy film? Who else from the world of football

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  • Manager's wife takes to Twitter after 'neighbour' delivers hate-mail by hand

    Wife of Swansea boss Garry Monk reacts angrily to fan mail

    Garry Monk, the Swansea managerGarry Monk, the Swansea manager
    Swansea have been something of a revelation under boss Garry Monk.

    Eyebrows were collectively raised when the defensive stalwart was given the Swans job following Michael Laudrup's acrimonious departure but, after a difficult job, the young Englishman has done a tremendous job.

    Indeed, Swansea lie sixth in the Premier League after a fine start to the season, and were on the brink of dumping Liverpool out of the League Cup until the Reds staged a late comeback.

    But one fan remains unimpressed - and by all accounts it's someone living nearby, who elected to hand-deliver a letter outlining his

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  • Alex McLeish is now managing in Belgium, with Genk.

    The former Rangers, Scotland, Birmingham and Aston Villa boss has had a decent start, losing just once in 13 matches as his new team lie second in the Pro League.

    Reason to be cheerful - but fans and players alike were confused when he started celebrating wildly during their match against Lierse after Herve Kage's long-range shot cannoned off the crossbar and bounced safely into the goalkeeper's arms.

    McLeish was so happy because, inexplicably, it was given as a goal, despite the ball clearly bouncing a few yards away from the line.

    Read More »from Why does Alex McLeish celebrate wildly when a shot hits the bar?
  • Player handed big ban for exposing poor referee

    A footballer has found the most ridiculous way to earn an extended ban.

    There are countless very foolish ways to earn yourself an extended playing time ban, but Al Ahly midfielder Walid Soliman may have found the most ridiculous one of them all.

    After being shown a second yellow card for a needless foul, he proceeded to confront the referee over it in very bizarre fashion.

    Instead of the usual footballer petulance, he went further than simply remonstrating with the official in what must be the craziest reaction we have seen.

    The midfielder grabbed the referee's shirt, untucked it from his shorts and lifted it up to expose his belly.

    Understandably, the referee

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  • Neymar goes from boy to man in just over a year

    These pictures show the startling transformation of the Barcelona and Brazil player.

    The before and after shots of Barcelona and Brazil icon Neymar shows off the amount of work he has been doing in the gym.The before and after shots of Barcelona and Brazil icon Neymar shows off the amount of work he has been doing in the gym.

    Neymar has scored nine goals in eight Liga games for Barcelona this season.

    But is he worth his weight in goals?

    As you can see from his startling image when he underwent a medical 15 months ago, the Brazilian has added 4.5kg of muscle since arriving in Spain.

    Following his switch from Santos to Barca for around £68 million in 2013, he has clearly been on quite a significant nutrition and training plan at the Catalan club.

    Standing at 1.75m, Neymar, 22, has enhanced his frame from 64kg to 68.5kg in just over a year.

    He has scored 11 goals in 11 games in all competitions, but his latest strike

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  • Maradona accused of domestic violence after video leak

    Diego Maradona has been accused of hitting his former fiancée after a video was leaked.

    Football legend Diego Maradona has been accused of hitting his former fiancée after a video was leaked to a television station in what is turning into a significant scandal.

    In a video released by Canal 13 TV in Argentina, Maradona – who appears to be intoxicated – berates his former partner for using her mobile phone, before seeming to strike her.

    But Oliva is filming the incident on her mobile and can be heard imploring Maradona to "stop hitting" her.

    We do not recommend that you watch the video, but with prior warning you can do so via the below link...

    [Video: Disturbing footage of the

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  • Balotelli warms up before the match against Swansea (AFP)Balotelli warms up before the match against Swansea (AFP)

    Mario Balotelli did a rare thing on Tuesday - he found the back of the net, a feat which sparked a strange mixture of disbelief, derision and optimism among the online community.

    The Liverpool striker's second goal in his not-so-new club's colours sparked a remarkable late comeback against Swansea to send the Reds through to the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

    [MATCH REPORT: LIVERPOOL 2-1 SWANSEA]

    And apparently the only thing more remarkable than turning around a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory with just four minutes remaining was the identity of the scorer of that crucial first goal.

    Read More »from Overreaction Theatre: Balotelli scores, end of the world is nigh
  • It's difficult to remember that Jose Mourinho is actually a human being.

    Whether raising the ire of rival managers, players and fans with his brash antics, or shooing nosy journalists away for asking the same question over and over again, 'The Special One' rarely lets his warmer side show. To great success, it must be noted: he is one of the best managers of the 21st century so far.

    However, as his league leaders Chelsea prepared for a David v Goliath cup tie at fourth-tier Shrewsbury in the League Cup on Tuesday, something wonderful happened behind the scenes:

    Read More »from Jose Mourinho's touching moment with cancer-stricken prodigy
  • Teams kicked out of league after farcical ‘own-goal’ match

    Indonesia Premier League match ends 3-2 after five deliberate own-goals

    Two Indonesian Premier League teams have been disqualified and could be relegated after they played out a bizarre match in which all five goals were deliberately conceded in a farcical final 10 minutes.

    PSS Sleman beat PSIS Semarang 3-2 on Sunday as both sides effectively refusing to play for most of the match until they realized defeat would help them avoid the feared Pusamania Borneo FC, who allegedly have mafia ties, in the play-offs.

    For the first 80-odd minutes at AAU Stadium in Yogyakarta, both teams refused to attack and stroked the ball around aimlessly in midfield.

    But when news

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  • ‘Bite of luck’: Dog incident helps team to glory

    Canine bites footballer after bizarre pitch invasion in Brazil

    A couple of weeks ago, an Argentine league match between Belgrano and Quilmes was halted when the cutest little doggy invaded the pitch.

    On that occasion the pooch just wanted a belly rub. [CLICK FOR DETAILS]

    Unfortunately the same could not be said of the canine cad that cavorted on to the field when Brazilian lower-league sides Sao Paulo RS and Farroupilha met in a regional cup match at the weekend.

    Sao Paulo RS player Eduardo Mandai (aka ‘Dudu’) took the responsibility of removing the uninvited guest.

    Unlike his Argentine counterpart, poor Dudu got a bite for his troubles.

    So, instead of a

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