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Star wars: Messi to take on Ronaldo

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will finally meet in an international when Argentina faces Portugal today. Longtime club rivals in the Champions League and Spain, the gifted forwards have never come up against each other on national team duty because the friendly in neutral Switzerland is their countries' first meeting in almost 40 years.

sports Updated: Feb 09, 2011 00:36 IST

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will finally meet in an international when Argentina faces Portugal on Wednesday. Longtime club rivals in the Champions League and Spain, the gifted forwards have never come up against each other on national team duty because the friendly in neutral Switzerland is their countries' first meeting in almost 40 years.

The historic clash arrives with Barcelona's Messi and Real Madrid's Ronaldo locked at the top of the Spanish scoringchart with 24 league goals each.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento downplayed talk of a personal duel between the two most recent winners of FIFA's world player award. Bento says "it's not about individual rivalry. I doubt whether Ronaldo or Messi see it that way, either.

Inter striker Milito out for six weeks
Rome: Inter Milan's Argentinian striker Diego Milito will be out of action for six weeks after straining a hamstring, his fifth injury-enforced absence of the season, the Italian club announced. Milito sustained the injury in his side's 5-3 Serie A win over AS Roma on the weekend, when he was replaced in the 70th minute.

Inter now face the prospect of a Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich on March 15 with only two available strikers, Samuel Eto'o and Goran Pandev, as newly-signed forward Giampaolo Pazzini is not eligible.

No room for nostalgia
Paris: France's friendly with Brazil on Wednesday inevitably rekindles memories of the 1998 World Cup, but there will be no time for reflection as the two teams bid to move on from recent disappointments.

Having limped out of last year's World Cup in underwhelming fashion, both sides will be seeking to sustain the precious momentum that they have managed to generate in the months since.

France have undergone a rapid transformation under Laurent Blanc and ended 2010 with an assured 2-1 win over England at Wembley, which would have been unthinkable amid the trauma of their group-phase exit in South Africa.

Beckham extends stint with Tottenham
London: David Beckham has extended his training stint with Tottenham by another two weeks. The former England captain had been set to return to the United States this week but the Premier League side said he would stick around until Feb 22.

Tottenham's attempt to sign Beckham on loan last month faltered but manager Harry Redknapp still wants him and has said he could try again when his contract with the Galaxy expires in November.