The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Valderrama calls it a day

Bogota: Former Colombia captain Carlos Valderrama announced his retirement from the game on Saturday at the age of 41.

The number 10 famous for his deft touches, superb ball control, apparently lazy style and easily distinguished by his mop of hair, decided to call quits after failing to agree terms for a swansong with his hometown club Union Magdalena.

“The time has come to say goodbye and thank everyone who helped me in my sporting career,” said Valderrama, who played for his country at the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups and was voted South American Footballer of the Year in 1987 and 1993.

“The time has come for me to go, to say goodbye and I do so with all the tranquility in the world,” he told Caracol television, adding that he intended to continue in football as a coach.

Valderrama, born in the Caribbean port of Santa Marta and nicknamed El Pibe (The Boy), started out with Magdalena.

South Africa A well placed

Adelaide: Australia’s World Cup winning team member Andrew Symonds scored a cavalier half-century, but South Africa a were well placed at stumps on day one of their three-day match against Australia A at Adelaide Oval Sunday.

When bad light stopped play, South Africa A were 66 without loss in their first innings, with Ahmed Amla on 38 and Adam Bacher on 20, in reply to Australia A’s 263 all out.

Symonds top-scored with a hurricane 78 from 79 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes, both off left-arm orthodox spinner Nicky Boje.Symonds said his mental approach to batting had been helped by his new-found confidence stemming from his world cup performances for australia in africa earlier this year.

“My batting hasn’t changed - it’s still the same sort of thing, the only change is in your head really,” symonds said. His innings was ended by a brilliant running catch in the deep by quinton friend, who ran from long-off to long-on to take the chance off Boje’s bowling.

Boje finished with four for 55.

Sunderland relegated

London: Sunderland became the first side relegated from the English Premier League on Saturday. Their 10th straight League defeat, 2-0 at Birmingham, condemned them to first division football next season after four years in the top flight.

They look set to go down with a record low number of Premier League points and goals and Saturday’s defeat also gave them a club record run of 15 games without a win. Bryan Hughes (43) and Christophe Dugarry (60) struck for Birmingham.

Comeback condition

London: Former WBC champion Frank Bruno says he is ready to come out of retirement if he can take on Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison.

“I want to lay down the gauntlet and challenge Audley to a fight that will bring excitement back into British boxing.

“I know I could beat Audley and he knows that himself,” said Bruno.”

Peter has had enough

London: Manchester City’s veteran Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel is to retire at the end of the season in a month’s time.

In a column in The Sunday Times,he said: “You’re supposed to wake up every morning and look forward to the challenges of the day but now my body is not happy any more.

n Cricket: Dhaka tri-series, South Africa vs Bangladesh live from 1.30pm on STAR Sports n Cricket, WI vs Australia, 1st Test, Day V live from 8pm on ESPN n Golf: Augusta Masters, highlights from 10.30pm on Star Sports

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