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A masseur, a wind-up and a sad farewell

Published: Friday 7 February 2014, 8.52CET
'Billy the masseur' goes beyond his job description, Zlatan Ibrahimović massages his own ego and FC Bayern München lose out on sex appeal – the week that was.
A masseur, a wind-up and a sad farewell
Russia's Eder Lima celebrates his late equaliser against Portugal ©Sportsfile

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Published: Friday 7 February 2014, 8.52CET

A masseur, a wind-up and a sad farewell

'Billy the masseur' goes beyond his job description, Zlatan Ibrahimović massages his own ego and FC Bayern München lose out on sex appeal – the week that was.

Team: Chelsea FC
José Mourinho was expected to instruct the Chelsea bus driver to park his vehicle in front of the visitors' goal upon their arrival at Manchester City FC on Monday. The west London club, however, produced a vibrant 1-0 win that was inspired by a pre-match team talk from another member of the Portuguese manager's staff.

"The last time I spoke to them was at lunchtime," said Mourinho. "It was Billy the masseur who spoke to them. He was screaming so much in his Scottish accent, going 'grrr, grrr, grrr', that I didn't understand, but the players were clapping so they must have got it!" Indeed they must – third-placed Chelsea's impressive victory ended City's record of scoring in 61 consecutive home league games, dating back to November 2010, and threw the Premier League title race wide open.

Player: Gabriel Lima (Italy)
Having lost in the UEFA Futsal EURO semi-finals two years ago and been dumped out of the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup at the same stage, Italy could have been forgiven for thinking a repeat was on the cards when they trailed Portugal 2-1 in Belgium on Thursday. However, Sergio Romano equalised then captain Gabriel Lima notched his second of the evening to give the Azzurri the edge.

After Lima's leadership and goals had eventually inspired his side into Saturday's final with a 4-3 defeat of the Portuguese, the 26-year-old was reluctant to take the plaudits. "We have a great squad, and if you ask me who is our man of the tournament I could name 14 different players," he said. "Today my congratulations go to Massimo [De Luca] who came in without having played a single minute in the tournament and I think he was one of the best players on the pitch."

Goal: Eder Lima (Russia)
For a man who had never played a competitive international before UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 in Antwerp this past fortnight, Eder Lima has enjoyed a week to remember. His seven goals have all but assured him of the adidas Golden Boot – and represent a total bettered by just one man in the final tournament's history, Russia great Konstantin Eremenko.

The pick of the 29-year-old's strikes was also the most timely, the equaliser less than five minutes from time against Portugal which earned Russia a 4-4 draw and top spot in Group B. Robinho lofted in an inviting cross and the forward swivelled to produce a perfect bicycle kick. The modest pivot said: "I was very pleased to have scored such a goal, though it would have been even better if it was a winner." Watch the goal in our round-up of group stage highlights.

Quote: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Paris Saint-Germain)
"Happy birthday @Cristiano. I have sent your new favourite outfit in the post #DareToZlatan."
The ever-modest Sweden forward marks Cristiano Ronaldo's 29th birthday by sending him one of his very own branded T-shirts. The Portuguese international responded in kind: "Thank you for the birthday present @Ibra_official. It will look better on me than you though."

©Getty Images

Aragonés after winning UEFA EURO 2008

Number: 44
Luis Aragonés, widely accepted as the man who kick-started Spain's recent footballing hegemony, passed away aged 75 on Saturday. A Club Atlético de Madrid stalwart as both player and coach, Aragonés will forever be remembered for masterminding La Roja's UEFA EURO 2008 triumph, their first major title in 44 years. "In the dictionary, the word 'football' should be accompanied by a photograph of Luis," said Xavi Hernández in an open letter published by Spanish newspaper El País. "Luis is the personification of football. So long, boss, and thanks for everything."

Transfer: Roberto (Olympiacos FC)
On loan from Atlético since the summer, goalkeeper Roberto's permanent move to Piraeus was confirmed this week in unusual circumstances – via the loudspeakers during Olympiacos's Greek Super League victory over Panionios GSS on Wednesday. "They caught me by surprise," said the 27-year-old Spaniard. "I didn't expect it but I loved having the announcement in the stadium with the fans chanting my name. I am very happy to extend my stay at Olympiacos."

Noisy neighbours: TSV 1860 München
FC Bayern München may be European title holders but apparently they lag behind 2. Bundesliga neighbours 1860 München in terms of sex appeal. That is according to 1860's new managing director Markus Rejek who told reporters his club were sexier than Bayern (literally 'has more sex'). Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge responded: "More girls and women come to watch Bayern. That should prove we are the sexier club."

However, Rejek was not finished, declaring 1860 – Bundesliga founder members but exiled since 2004 – "one of Germany's most traditional clubs, with a family identity and passionate supporters who do not measure their love for the team with trophies". The squabbling may stop when Friedhelm Funkel's side resume their promotion push against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Monday ... And to think these two share a stadium.

Farewell: Juninho Pernambucano
A seven-time Ligue 1 champion with Olympique Lyonnais in the 2000s, the 39-year-old Juninho called time on his career in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. Playmaker 'Juni' left Europe in 2009 and has since plied his trade with Qatari club al-Gharafa SC, New York Red Bulls and CR Vasco da Gama in his native Brazil. The 40-cap international is so revered in east-central France that a stadium has been named in his honour at AS Monchat in Lyon.

Last updated: 07/02/14 14.30CET

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