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From the back pages, February 13: Wayne Rooney is a ‘freckled demon’ and a ‘hooligan’ according to Spanish newspaper

England's Wayne Rooney smiles as he sprints to the finish line during the training session at London Colney, Hertfordshire.

England's Wayne Rooney smiles as he sprints to the finish line during the training session at London Colney, Hertfordshire.

Spanish daily newspaper Marca has described Wayne Rooney as a “freckled demon” ahead of Manchester United’s visit to the Bernabeu. The current Premier League leaders take on Real Madrid in a last-16 Champions League tie, and it is United’s England centre-forward who has been singled out by the Spanish press. (The Independent)

Crisis? What crisis? Jose Mourinho was at his grandstanding best a day ahead of facing Manchester United in the biggest game of his three-year reign at the Bernabeu. He prepares for the Champions League knock-out clash with Real beset by leaks of rifts and divisions within the squad that have dominated the front pages for months. (The Sun)

Paul Scholes has not travelled with the Manchester United squad for the Champions League tie with Real Madrid tomorrow. The veteran midfielder trained this morning but is still struggling with a knee injury he picked up in the FA Cup win over Fulham at the end of January, and has not travelled with the 22-man squad. (The Mirror)

Manchester City and Chelsea look set to suffer disappointment in their bid to land Edinson Cavani in the summer. (The Express)

Celtic face a near impossible task to make the quarter-finals of the Champions League after Juventus scored in both halves to take the advantage at Parkhead. Neil Lennon’s side got off to the worse possible start as they went behind inside the first five minutes. (Daily Mail)

The World Anti-Doping Agency has called on football to do more to combat the threat to the sport, questioning whether Premier League players in England are tested enough for EPO and other blood-boosting drugs. (The Guardian)

Lions coach Warren Gatland has said that he is wary of picking too many Englishmen for the Lions tour to Australia in June. (The Telegraph)

New Zealanders refer to a slump in fortunes as a trip from penthouse to outhouse, but England managed to fall even farther today. What threatened to be their heaviest defeat in Twenty20 cricket left them closer to the gutter with a performance far removed from their clinical display in Auckland three days earlier. (The Times)

 

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