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Lippi keen to manage Real Madrid

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 10:33 PM PDT

Monday, April 18th, 2011 13:30:00

MILAN: Veteran tactician Marcello Lippi is keeping his options open for a return to coaching, but made it clear he would not be interested in taking charge of a Serie A club, hinting at Real Madrid — just days after speaking about Chelsea.

The World Cup winning Lippi is seeking employment after leaving his post as Italy coach following a failed campaign in South Africa last year, which saw Italy finish bottom of their group.

Lippi has been linked with a number of clubs, including Juventus and Roma, but he admits he is unlikely to manage an Italian club as he aims to move abroad.

"There is plenty of will to get back into football, but what is certain is that I won't be leading an Italian side," he told Rai Sport.

"I am waiting for the right offer. Whether it's a club or a national team I will accept. There have been some offers, but I thought they were not right.

"I would be very attracted to the Premier League. As for Real Madrid, who would not go there? I would run there.

"In the past they had offered me the job, but I decided to stay on at Juventus."

Lippi continues to be linked with Chelsea and a number of other clubs around Europe.

And his latest comments come just hours after reports claimed Real manager Jose Mourinho had enrolled his children in a school near Inter Milan's training ground as speculation grows over the Portuguese's future.

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Deadly unit

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 10:30 PM PDT

Stoke striker Walters hails teammates in thrashing of Bolton

Monday, April 18th, 2011 13:01:00

Football

ONE LAST HURDLE, MATE! (From left) Huth, Thomas Sorensen and Ryan Shawcross of Stoke celebrate the final whistle during the FA Cup semifinal against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Stoke wiped out Bolton 5-0

LONDON: Stoke striker Jon Walters paid tribute to his teammates after the resounding 5-0 semifinal win over Bolton at Wembley yesterday.

Stoke will face Manchester City in the final after Walters scored twice, with the other goals coming from Matthew Etherington, Robert Huth and Kenwyne Jones.

"We wanted to achieve something this year. It was a tough game but we did really well from back to front. I'm quite honest," Walters told ESPN.

"It's been very hard over the years but a lot of people have helped me along the way."

Defender Andy Wilkinson, who is from Stoke, said words cannot describe it.

"It's unbelievable. The fans have been great, it's like a home game for us. I'm a bit emotional, I'm going to enjoy it and then focus on the final," he said.

Etherington said Stoke scored some great goals yesterday.

"We get our knockers, people say certain things about us. Today was our day to prove them wrong. We are used to being the underdogs," he said.

"The manager said before the game and we will be the underdogs in the final as well. Bring it on."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis paid tribute to chairman Peter Coates and his family for the way they had turned Stoke into an established club in the Premier League.

"It's fantastic for everybody connected with the football club. The Coates family have taken over a club that was really down in the dumps and they've turned it around," he said.

Pulis also praised his players.

"It was a great performance. To do it on a stage like this is great. We know Bolton and 90 per cent of their goals came off phases of play off Kevin Davies, so we narrowed everyone in and made sure their wide players were covered.

"From that tight position we knew we could cause them problems on the break."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle bemoaned his side's poor defending.

"I certainly don't think anybody envisaged what happened," he said.

"From our point of view we've lost soft goals today. I think we were the architects of our own downfall.

"We were certainly way below what we are capable of. We didn't perform to the levels we have before," said Coyle.

Bolton captain Davies described the demolition by Stoke as "a terrible dream".

"It was a horrible experience, the manner of the defeat. The first goal was like something from five-a-side rather than on an occasion like this," he said.

"To see the goals going in, I don't know what to say. It was just one of those days. We will try and put it right. It is just a terrible dream at the moment.

"We are all devastated and very emotional. It is very difficult and we feel ashamed and embarrassed.

"We feel sorry for the supporters as they paid a lot of money to come down. We've had a lot of plaudits this year and we will take the criticism and stand up as men."

Davies also believes his dream of lifting the FA Cup is over.

A losing semifinalist with Chesterfield in 1998, he said: "It is one of those things, it seems to have got away from me. This was probably my best chance of getting to the final."

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