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    Joey Barton claims QPR were the ‘least favourite’ of his ex-clubs and he left Newcastle because he was a ‘mercenary’

    JOEY BARTON has admitted QPR were the ‘least favourite’ of his old clubs and claims he only joined them as he was a ‘mercenary’ and took the highest wage on offer.The 40-year-old is currently managing Bristol Rovers after leaving Fleetwood Town in 2021.
    Joey Barton has revealed QPR are the ‘least favourite’ of his old clubsCredit: Getty
    The one-capped England international appeared on Robbie Fowler’s podcast to discuss his rollercoaster career, including his infamous training ground bust-up with former City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
    And in an open and frank interview with the Liverpool legend, the controversial ex-midfielder held nothing back as he discussed his time at QPR.
    And he openly admits the 2011 switch from Newcastle to the capital was purely “a financial decision” rather than a playing one.
    Barton said: “QPR is probably my least favourite (of my ex-clubs). I didn’t really enjoy it, I shouldn’t have gone in hindsight.
    “I left Newcastle and I fell out with Mike Ashley and I was looking for a new home and I was about to start a new family and it became, ‘Who is the highest bidder’.
    “I knew I was a mercenary at that point in terms of I wasn’t moving to push on and push up the table, I knew I was moving as a financial decision.
    He added: “So QPR was tough, the fans didn’t particularly like me and I’ve still got 80 per cent of the fanbase who don’t like me because I earned a lot of money even though I turned it around in the end and captained them to promotion.
    “Probably for me Newcastle is the closest connection to the fans I had.”
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    Barton left QPR to join Marseille on loan in 2012 but returned to the club and helped them win promotion to the Premier League in 2014.
    He made 99 appearances for them in total before leaving permanently to join Burnley in 2015.
    Barton had a brief spell at Rangers in 2016 before heading back to Turf Moor to finish his playing career under Sean Dyche. More

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    Manager legend Harry Redknapp claims Chelsea winning Champions League cost him Eden Hazard’s transfer at Spurs

    HARRY REDKNAPP has revealed Tottenham came close to signing ex-Chelsea star Eden Hazard in 2012.The Belgian wizard joined the Blues from French side Lille in 2012 but then-Spurs boss Redknapp claims they were pipped to the post by their London rivals.
    Ex-Tottenham manager Redknapp revealed he came close to signing Eden Hazard during his time at the clubCredit: Darren Fletcher – The Sun
    The Belgian would go on to torment Spurs for seven years between 2012 and 2019Credit: Reuters
    Redknapp explained to Sky Sports how Chelsea’s Champions League triumph that year meant Spurs missed out on the now Real Madrid man – and instead watched him enjoy seven largely successful years in blue.
    He said: “I lost Eden Hazard, he wanted to come to Tottenham but he said he would only come if we got Champions League football.
    “We finished fourth that year, Chelsea finished sixth, they won the Champions League and we didn’t make it.
    “He ended up going to Chelsea.”
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    Spurs occupied third place for much of the 2011-12 season but a poor run of form saw them slip to fourth, causing them to miss out on Champions League football when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties to lift the trophy that year.
    Redknapp had hoped to team Hazard with Gareth Bale, who was starring for Spurs at the time during his first spell at the club, in a bid to end the north London outfit’s long wait for a league title.
    Bale would eventually return to Tottenham for a second stint in the 2020-21 season, before leaving Real Madrid for LAFC earlier this year.
    Redknapp, meanwhile, was sacked by Spurs following Chelsea’s Champions League win.
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    The 76-year-old was replaced by former Blue Andre Villas-Boas, with the Portuguese lasting 18 months at White Hart Lane.
    Redknapp went on to take charge of QPR for three years, before a brief stint managing the Jordan national team.
    His final job in management came at Birmingham City in 2017. More

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    Harry Kane, Antoine Griezmann and Newcastle stars snubbed by Kieran Trippier, who names his best-ever team-mate

    KIERAN TRIPPIER has named the best team-mate he has ever played alongside… and it may surprise a few people.The full-back has linked up with a host of superstar talent during his career.
    Trippier has surprised some with his pick for best ever team-mateCredit: Getty
    At Tottenham, he featured alongside the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min.
    He then moved to Atletico Madrid and won the LaLiga title in a squad which included Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Joao Felix.
    And now he has returned to England with Newcastle where the likes of Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron are all featuring in the team.
    But Trippier does not consider any of those to be the best player he has played alongside.
    Dembele is incredibly well-respected among those he played alongsideCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Instead, the England full-back has stated that former Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembele is at the top of that list.
    Speaking to fans on social media, he said: “The best player I’ve ever played with has got to be Mousa Dembele when I was at Tottenham.
    “The guy was an absolute magician with the ball. I haven’t seen anyone like him before, so I’ve got to say him.”
    Dembele spent seven years at Tottenham between 2012 and 2019.
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    Trippier then joined the club in 2015 and enjoyed three-and-a-half seasons alongside the ex-Fulham midfielder.
    And Trippier is not the first person to praise Dembele for being a world class talent.
    The Belgian, who retired from football last year was once compared to Ronaldinho and Diego Maradona by former Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino.
    Speaking in 2017, Poch said: “He has started to work very hard, we are very happy with him.
    “I always say, ‘Mousa, when I write my book I will say you are one of the genius players I have been lucky to meet’.
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    “They are Maradona, Ronaldinho, Jay-Jay Okocha, Ivan de la Pena and and Mousa Dembele.
    “We’ve always told him that if we had taken him at 18 or 19 years old, he would have become one of the best players in the world.” More

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    KSI has a ‘HARDER’ punch than YouTube boxing rival Jake Paul, reveals sparring partner who has boxed BOTH

    PROFESSIONAL boxer Muhsin Cason has claimed that KSI boasts heavier hands than his rival Jake Paul.The 29-year-old – brother of former heavyweight world champion Hasim Rahman – knows firsthand the duo’s power having sparred with both men.

    Jake Paul recently suffered defeat to Tommy FuryCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Muhsin Cason (right) has claimed that KSI hits harder than Jake PaulCredit: Instagram @themuslimboxer
    Cason sparred with KSI, who is fighting Joe Fournier this weekend, in 2019 before the Brit’s points win over Logan Paul.
    And he then traded punches with the Problem Child prior to the American’s knockout victory in his rematch with Tyron Woodley in December 2021.
    Speaking ahead of KSI’s TWO victories against Swarmz and Luis Pineda back in August, Cason lauded his punching power.
    Appearing on a Twitter space with Happy Punch Promotions via the Mirror, Cason – who has won all ten of his fights inside the ring – said: “That boy KSI hits hard.
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    “Regardless of how easy I took it on him and how it was training, I got to give to KSI.
    “How about this, KSI hits harder than Jake.
    “He got that African strength, I got to give it to him.”
    Cason, whose nephew Hasim Rahman Jr saw his fight with Jake fall through, then stated how he believes Paul would knock KSI out should they ever come to blows.
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    He bases his opinion on Jake being more experienced inside the ring.
    The cruiserweight remarked: “I’m a keep it honest, I got Jake. KSI is strong as hell, he has a hell of a right hand.
    “So does Jake, but I think Jake has better boxing because he’s been in it longer and has taken it more seriously.
    “I’d go with Jake Paul to beat him by knockout, unless KSI shows some better skills I think that Jake has just surpassed him right now.
    “I’ve seen Jake take a punch where I’m like ‘oh that would have knocked KSI out’ because I have hurt KSI with a punch. I don’t that KSI has a chin like that.
    “Jake’s got heart, KSI has heart too and I’m not taking anything anyway from him. Both of them have come into the sport and been on a stage bigger than a lot of us [professionals].” More

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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s car collection includes a fleet of Ferraris like his new £1.7m Daytona and Porsche worth £650k

    AT 41, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s football career shows no sign of slowing down.The Sweden legend is planning to plan on next season with Monza, after reportedly agreeing a deal to join the club from AC Milan.
    Zlatan Ibrahimovic boasts an amazing car collection, including a £1.7m Ferrari Daytona SP3Credit: Splash
    Sweden legend Ibrahimovic also has a stunning Ferrari Monza worth over £1m
    Ibrahimovic has been driving a £160k Lamborghini Urus to training with AC MilanCredit: Getty
    And when it comes to his motors, he still loves them fast and incredibly expensive.
    Zlatan boasts an amazing car collection that’ll be the envy of all dressing rooms around Europe.
    From an impressive fleet of Ferraris, including the recent £1.7million Daytona SP3 he added to his garage to an astonishing £650,000 Porsche – the centre forward is a true petrol head.
    But, he remained true to his roots when he became an ambassador for car makers Volvo, even driving their modest £40,000 XC40 to training at a former club.
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    The new addition
    This week, Zlatan really treated himself.
    For his 40th birthday, he bought himself a £400,000 Ferrari Sf90 Stradale.
    He shared an image of his new addition on Instagram, captioning the snap: “Happy Birthday to Zlatan”.
    It’s Ferrari’s first foray into electric cars and can reach a top speed up to 211 mph.
    But, he wasn’t totally convinced by it. Instead, he traded it for a Daytona SP3 with a price tag of £1.7million.
    The mid-engine V12 sportscar can hit 62mph in a staggering 2.86 seconds.
    Reports claim there is only 599 models of the car in the world.
    To treat himself for his 40th birthday, Zlatan splashed £400k on a Ferrari Sf90 Stradale – but he soon traded it in
    Ibrahimovic swapped his Sf90 Stradale for an amazing Daytona SP3Credit: Splash News
    Going vintage
    Zlatan clearly has a thing for Italian fast cars, and splashing out on a new set of wheels on his special day.
    In 2019, for his 38th, he bought a rare Ferrari Monza SP2 for a staggering £1.4million.
    He is only one of 499 people in the world that own the supercar.
    The superfast car can hit 0-60 mph in around 2.9 seconds.
    The Ferrari Monza is the most expensive in Zlatan’s car collection
    Capable of reaching 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, the Monza is worth around £1.4m
    Current ride
    However, standing at 6ft 5in Zlatan needs a car that offers him plenty of leg room.
    That’s why, when it comes to training, he prefers an SUV.
    At AC Milan, the centre forward has been spied arriving to training in a £160,000 Lamborghini Urus.
    The Urus is a favourite of footballers at the moment, including former Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo who was once seen driving to Carrington in one.
    Zlatan drives his Lamborghini Urus to training at AC MilanCredit: Getty
    Statement red
    Only 400 Ferrari Enzo cars exist in the world, and Zlatan has one of them.
    Seen as a collector’s item, it’s a motor that can be sold for over a million pounds at auction.
    It was developed in 2002 using Formula One technology, including a a carbon-fibre body and F1-style automated-shift manual transmission.
    Although, we’ve rarely seen Zlatan driving it.
    Zlatan is one of 400 lucky owners who have a rare Ferrari Enzo worth around £1m
    Spider Man
    Between 2005-2009, the Ferrari F430 Spider was a footballers’ favourite.
    Chelsea legend John Terry, who himself is a Ferrari obsessive, was seen driving one around the streets of Surrey.
    When it was released, it carried a price tag of around £120,000.
    Nicknamed their ‘Baby Enzo’, it can hit 0-62 mph in four seconds.
    Over the years, Zlatan has got himself a fleet of Ferraris, including a 430 SpiderCredit: AFP
    When the Ferrari F430 was released in 2005, it carried £120,000 price tagCredit: Getty
    Top of the range Porsche
    Zlatan loves anything limited edition.
    Which is why he bought a £700,000 Porsche Spyder in and around 2014.
    Only 918 models were made of the supercar, which sold out completely in 2015.
    It was only the second plug-in hybrid car Porsche ever produced.
    Only 918 models of the Porsche Spyder exist in the world
    Italian gentleman’s car makers Maserati are renowned for their luxury vehicles.
    So, it goes without saying, Zlatan used his extensive time playing in Italy to research enough about the stylish car manufacturers.
    In about 2011, he bought a GranTurismo MC Stradale worth around £92,000.
    Under the hood, it boasts a 450 hp V8 engine and has a top speed of 187 mph.
    Luxury vehicles, like a £92,000 Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale, have also been part of Ibrahimovic’s fleet in the past
    The GranTurismo MC Stradale boasts a 450 hp V8 engine and has a top speed of 187 mphCredit: Handout
    In 2014, Zlatan became an ambassador for Swedish car manufacturers Volvo, appearing in a series of ads.
    Now, many footballers won’t often be seen driving the cars they’re sponsored for.
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    However, when Ibrahimovic was playing for Manchester United he was a happy with their XC90 model costing around £52,000.
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    Often, he would drive it to training and park it amongst a fleet of Lamborghinis and Range Rovers.
    And you can bet no one would’ve been brave enough to give him any stick for it.
    Volvo made Zlatan an ambassador and he appeared in ads for the Swedish car brand
    Zlatan happily drove a Volvo XC90 costing around £52,000 into CarringtonCredit: iCelebTV More

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    Football manager legend Harry Redknapp reveals his two worst transfer signings with both bought for West Ham

    HARRY REDKNAPP once told a reporter to “F*** off” after being called a “Wheeler-dealer” in a TV interview – but it’s fair to say the former West Ham and Tottenham manager did have a nose for a bargain.Despite bringing Paolo Di Canio to West Ham, Robbie Keane to Tottenham and Niko Kranjcar to three of the clubs he managed, not all of his signings worked out so well.
    Harry Redknapp made a number of shocking signings as managerCredit: PA:Press Association
    Sun Sport columnist Redknapp, 76, revealed his worst transfers during his time in the hit show I’m a Celebrity in 2018.
    While there are a few names that might spring to mind including Paulo Futre, Bongani Khumalo and Titi Camara, it was two other West Ham signings that Redknapp deemed his worst.
    Redknapp was manager of the Hammers from 1994 to 2001 and signed nearly 50 players during his time in East London.
    Marco Boogers was signed by Redknapp for £800,000 from Sparta Rotterdam in 1995 after the manager was shown a video of him looking “different class.”
    The Dutchman featured only four times for West Ham and did not start a single game. He was sent off early in his Hammers career after a horrific challenge on Gary Neville at Old Trafford before going missing soon after.
    Boogers failed to find the net in claret and blue and based on Redknapp’s comments, that is hardly surprising.
    Redknapp said: “Right from the word go Boogers’ attitude stank. He was among the stragglers at the back whenever we went for a run, he didn’t want to work, he was lazy and the players all took an instant dislike to him.
    Marco Boogers is considered one of Harry Redknapp’s worst signings in footballCredit: Allsport – Getty
    Florin Raducioiu is ranked as one of Harry Redknapp’s worst ever signingsCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    “I suppose you could say he could play a bit, but certainly he was nowhere near as impressive as the video had made him out to be.

    “He was declared ‘psychologically unfit for football’ – which only meant he’d persuaded a doctor to come up with some excuse why he couldn’t return – and disappeared somewhere back home.”
    He added: “We eventually found him hiding out in a caravan in Holland and only got him back by reading him the riot act.
    “But his attitude was no better when he returned and we got shot of him to Groningen in the Dutch league.”
    The other man Redknapp wished he had never signed was Romanian striker Florin Raducioiu, who Redknapp bought from Espanyol for £1.5million in August 1996. He had been impressed by his performances for Romania at Euro 96 where he scored his country’s only goal of the tournament.
    Although initially impressed, it quickly became clear to Redknapp that the Romanian was not going to cut it.
    He said: “I worked for a couple of hours with Raducioiu on the first day in training and I must admit he impressed me. He was a quality finisher and I really thought he’d be a success.
    “But the moment we got into anything physical, he didn’t want to know.
    “He just couldn’t face being tackled in any shape or form. Dicksy was anxious to get stuck in to him to see what he was made of, but Raducioiu made it clear that he wouldn’t be challenging for anything.”
    ‘BIG GIRL’

    He added: “In his first two friendlies, Raducioiu did nothing but moan about the rough treatment he was getting from opposition centre-halves.
    “Don’t ask me to explain how a former world class player can suddenly become a fairy, but something had obviously happened to Raducioiu and he’d completely lost it.
    Julian Dicks was keen to “get stuck in” to Raducioiu according to RedknappCredit: PA:Empics Sport
    “He’d been used to queuing for three hours in Bucharest for a loaf of bread and suddenly he was wearing a £28,000 watch. Perhaps the transition was too much for him.”
    The Romanian only featured 11 times for West Ham and managed to score two goals but Redknapp was not the only one he struggled to convince.
    Paulo Futre, another Redknapp flop, reportedly called him a “big girl” in a training ground confrontation.
    Redknapp’s patience finally ran out when Raducioiu failed to turn up for a League Cup tie at Stockport, which the Hammers went on to lose.
    Harry Redknapp has revealed his worst two signingsCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    He said: “You can imagine my mood the next day when a friend rang me and told me the previous evening he’d spotted Raducioiu out shopping with his wife in the Harvey Nichols store in London.
    “I knew then I had to get rid of him but it wasn’t easy.”
    Raducioiu finally left Upton Park in January 1997, returning to Espanyol. More

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    Peter Crouch recalls hilarious moment he met Brazil legend Ronaldo drinking beer in Ibiza and asked him for a photo

    PETER CROUCH has revealed what happened when he spotted Brazil legend Ronaldo on the beach in Ibiza.The two-time World Cup winner was swigging beers alongside a supermodel as he balanced an ashtray on his stomach.
    Peter Crouch and Ronaldo crossed paths on the party island of Ibiza
    Crouch did not want to miss the chance to take a cheeky selfie with the former Real Madrid star.
    The ex-England star even joked that he was shocked that Ronaldo did not recognise him.
    Writing in his Daily Mail column, the 6ft 6in striker recalled: “I met him once, actually. I was on holiday in Ibiza and I saw him on the beach.
    “He was busy getting through bottles of beer and had an ashtray balanced on his stomach.
    “Every time he finished his drink, the supermodel who was with him brought him another.
    “The chance to have a picture with him was too good to turn down, so I went over.
    “I hoped he was going to say, ‘Oh, you’re Crouch!’ but he didn’t have a clue who I was.
    “The picture was taken and off I went with him oblivious to the fact I was a footballer.”
    Even though he did not recognise him, Crouch claimed the former Barcelona man would be his dream team-mate.
    When asked who he would most like to play alongside, he said: “That is so difficult.
    “Dennis Bergkamp was special and it would have been incredible to play alongside him, but my overwhelming choice would be the original Ronaldo.
    “I’m not sure our styles would have matched each other, but 90 minutes with him would have made my life.”
    Ronaldo hung up his boots in 2011 after playing for PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Madrid and AC Milan.
    But the 46-year-old, who scored 62 goals in 98 appearances for Brazil, is clearly enjoying his retirement. He is now a team owner of both Real Valladolid and Cruzeiro. More

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    Chelsea legend John Terry helped Arsenal target Declan Rice become a star with amazing 45-minute phone call

    DECLAN RICE revealed how a phone call from Chelsea legend John Terry during his darkest moment helped turn him into one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.The West Ham star, now 24, is a target for Arsenal and Man Utd following a string of impressive performances for club and country.
    Declan Rice has revealed how John Terry took the time to call him with advice after he was released by ChelseaCredit: PA:Press Association
    But things looked bleak for the England international in 2014 when he was given the boot by the Blues after having trained with them as a schoolboy.
    And in the crestfallen teenager’s moment of need, club legend Terry reached out to the future star who had idolised him as a child.
    Rice told the Times in 2018: “John would speak to the parents and take his time to get to know young players and families. For a club captain to do that is quality.
    “I based my whole game on John when I was younger. When I was released by Chelsea he called for 45 minutes and I remember I was sat in my room next to my dad.
    “It was John Terry – I could not believe it.
    “He handed over all his experience and advice. He said to never stop, always keep working hard and give everything you have.
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    “It stayed in my head, and look where I am now. No dream is far away.
    “I last met John for a two-hour breakfast with my cousin about six months ago. Sometimes I text him, like when he retired and he replied ‘Thanks mate, it is your time now.'”
    Rice finally got his chance after impressing during a trial at West Ham, and is now skipper of David Moyes’ side.
    The former Chelsea academy star’s displays for the east Londoners have seen him become a perennial starter for Gareth Southgate’s England side.
    In just three years, Rice has made 41 appearances for the Three Lions and scored three goals.
    Rice’s dominance in the heart of the Hammers’ midfield has also seen him attack the interest of The Gunners.
    Both Manchester City and Manchester United are understood to be interested in acquiring his services, but any deal would likely cost over £100million.
    Terry spent 45 minutes on the phone to Rice after he was axed by Chelsea as a schoolboyCredit: Reuters More