Real failed to get Messi on 3 occasions
MADRID • Real Madrid tried three times in the last five years to sign Barcelona's Lionel Messi, according to a report in Spain.
The Cadena COPE radio station has claimed that Real's representatives approached the Argentinian in 2011, 2013 and last year, but were rebuffed on each occasion.
Aussie NRL star loses captaincy, suspended
SYDNEY • Australian National Rugby League star Mitchell Pearce was stripped of his captaincy and stood down by his club Sydney Roosters, after video emerged of him harassing a woman and simulating sex with a dog while intoxicated on Australia Day.
The 26-year-old Australian, who was also accused of urinating on a couch, faces a lengthy suspension, fine or even sacking.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA
Ka-ching sound fails, announcer criticised
WELLINGTON • New Zealand Cricket has apologised to the touring Pakistan team, after a ground announcer taunted paceman Mohammad Amir by playing a cash register sound during a Twenty20 match last Friday.
The announcer has been censured and told it was "inappropriate and disrespectful" to goad the fast bowler on his return to international cricket after serving a five-year ban and a jail term for spot-fixing.
1 in 180 chance to win Euro 2016 trip
The winner of The Straits Times-Komoco Motors contest will be announced on Feb 8.
The top prize of the contest is a trip to France from June 27 to July 3 to watch three Euro 2016 matches. One Singaporean football fan will be chosen as the winner from 180 entrants.
Guarin, Ramires latest big-money China moves
SHANGHAI • Inter Milan'sColombian international Fredy Guarin has signed for Chinese football club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, the latest in a stream of European-based players to head east.
The fee was not disclosed but Italian football news site calciomercato.com said he will earn €11 million (S$17.1 million) plus bonuses.
On Wednesday, Brazilian midfielder Ramires moved from Chelsea to Jiangsu Suning for €28 million, making him the biggest-ever signing by a Chinese club.