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Maradona takes a dig at Pele again

Some confusion afoot in South America as Diego Maradona appears to have re-opened his always entertaining war of words with Pelé.

sports Updated: Jun 27, 2011 00:04 IST

Some confusion afoot in South America as Diego Maradona appears to have re-opened his always entertaining war of words with Pelé.

Maradona, now ensconced as coach of UAE club Al Wasl, was quoted as having told a television station that Neymar was 'ill-mannered, just like Pelé', but was then more flattering of his own heir apparent, Lionel Messi, who he allegedly described as "an exceptional player."

Maradona later strongly denied the legitimacy of the quotes.

"Never in my life have I spoken about Neymar. I can't talk about Neymar, because I don't know him. I swear on my grandson life," he said.

Song fined for refusing handshake
Arsenal midfielder Alexander Song has been fined for refusing a reconciliatory handshake from Samuel Eto'o, reflecting continuing divisions in the Cameroon soccer team.

Song was fined one million CFA Francs ($2,159) after a disciplinary hearing of the Cameroon Football Federation, state radio reported at the weekend.

Barca-Real Rivalry bad for country
Madrid

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque says the intense rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona has left "wounds" on the national team which won the 2010 World Cup that need to be healed.

The two clubs -- which supplied the bulk of Spain's line-up at the tournament in South Africa last year -- were involved in a series of spiky exchanges before their series of four matches in the space of 18 days in April and May.

Real coach Jose Mourinho was handed a five-game ban by UEFA after he made allegations of favouritism towards Barcelona following Real's 2-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.

"We will have to heal the wounds as soon as possible," Del Bosque said.