Motorcycling great Biaggi retires

Updated 08 November 2012
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Motorcycling great Biaggi retires

MILAN: Italian motorcycling great Max Biaggi announced his retirement from the sport yesterday.
Biaggi, a former world champion in the 250cc category, went on to finish runner-up in both the 500c and MotoGp categories before turning his talents to the world Superbike series.
The Italian posted a message on his Twitter account earlier yesterday which read: “Today is going to be a new day for me... things will never be the same.”
He later told reporters: “I have officially retired.”
Biaggi, 41, competed in motorcycling’s most illustrious category, GP, for the last time in 2005 when he finished fifth in the series for his then team Honda.
His career best finish in GP was a second place behind unstoppable compatriot Valentino Rossi, in 2002.
After 2005 Biaggi lost his ride to that year’s 250cc world champion Dani Pedrosa. The Italian negotiated with Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki but to no avail.
He walked away from MotoGP to focus his attention on the Superbike series, finishing third in his maiden season with Suzuki in 2007 before winning the championship for the first time with Aprilia in 2010.
Biaggi topped the Superbike standings for a second time at Magny-Cours in France last month where he claimed the title thanks to a half-point lead over Britain’s Tom Sykes.
The Italian said he wanted to go out on a high.
“It’s the most difficult decision I’ve had to make,” he told reporters. “But I want the fans to remember me as a champion.”
Biaggi, who began racing at the relatively late age of 17, added: “Personally I’m very satisfied with what I have achieved in my career. I’ve had ups and downs but my passion for this sport has never waned.
“I always gave it my all.”


Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool passion rather than problems against Roma

Updated 4 min 9 sec ago
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Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool passion rather than problems against Roma

  • Manchester City’s team bus smashed by thrown cans and bottles ahead of their Champions League quarterfinal at Anfield.
  • Klopp keen to see Reds fans respect Roma side for semifinal showdown.

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned the club’s fans not to repeat the scenes that saw windows of Manchester City’s team bus smashed by thrown cans and bottles ahead of their Champions League semifinal, first leg against Roma at Anfield on Tuesday.
City became just the latest victims of a famous European night at Anfield on the pitch three weeks ago as Liverpool raced into a 3-0 first leg lead that laid the foundations for their 5-1 aggregate victory over the English champions in the quarterfinals.
However, Klopp wants to retain the passion inside the stadium without the ugly scenes outside which are the subject of a UEFA investigation.
“In the stadium do it again and better. Outside the stadium, please show the respect we have to show,” Klopp said.
“This is such an outstanding football club, an outstanding football family, known for fantastic atmospheres all over the world, so we don’t need to throw whatever at the bus of the opposing team.
The Italians will be greeted by at least one familiar face in Mohamed Salah, but it is the Egyptian who poses the biggest threat to their dream of returning to the final for the first time since they lost to Liverpool on home soil in 1984.
Salah made the move from the Italian capital to Anfield just 10 months ago, and has surpassed all expectations since with an incredible 41 goals in 46 Liverpool appearances to already net more times than he did in two years for Roma.
The 25-year-old was rewarded for his brilliant campaign by winning the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year award on Sunday evening, beating off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne to the prize.
“I’m really happy for him, really proud of that, it is a fantastic achievement. I think if all the other players vote for you it means most to all players,” added Klopp.
“In a season like this, when Kevin de Bruyne played a season like he did, it made it even more special.”
Despite their rich heritage in the competition as five-time winners, Liverpool have not been in the last four of the Champions League for a decade.
And captain Jordan Henderson believes this season’s run to the semis can be the start of something special under Klopp.
“Hopefully this is the start of something special with this squad,” said the England international.
“The manager has been brilliant since he has come to the club. We’ve improved every season and done brilliant this season to get this stage.”
However, even Klopp’s men’s 5-1 thrashing of Premier League champions Manchester City over two legs in the last eight was upstaged by Roma coming from 4-1 down in the first leg of their quarterfinal with Barcelona to progress on away goals thanks to a famous 3-0 second-leg win.
Klopp admitted he thought it was a joke when he was first informed of Roma’s result against Barca, but insists both sides should believe they can be European champions despite the presence of powerhouses Bayern Munich and 12-time winners Real Madrid in the other semifinal.
“I do understand many people would have thought this semifinal would be City v Barcelona, but it’s not, because it is football and Roma made it possible, as we did too,” added the German.
“If anyone thinks we two are the underdogs, who cares? We are in the semifinal and can go to the final.”