The Sport Matrix: Thursday 15 January 2015


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Ronaldo son revealed as a fan of ... Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo may be an arch-rival to Lionel Messi – the pair are vying for La Liga honours as well as refusing to vote for each other in the Ballon D’Or – but the Portuguese player’s son Cris Jnr’s favourite player is none other than the Barcelona star.

After Ronaldo was named 2014 Ballon D’Or winner, the two players had a friendly exchange in the lobby of Zurich’s Kongresshaus when Cris, aged four, pointed at Messi and then stood up to greet him.

Real Madrid’s Portugal captain Ronaldo told his rival Messi: “He watches a video on the internet of all of us and he talks about you,” prompting a coy reaction from his son.

Liverpool expect boost from stand

The opening of Liverpool’s expanded Main Stand next  year will enable them to compete with Chelsea, according to  Ian Ayre, the chief executive. The rebuild, which will add  8,500 seats, will bring in an extra £25m per season, which should allow a greater spend in the transfer market without irking Uefa, which is investigating the club for Financial Fair Play breaches.

Radcliffe set for marathon goodbye

Paula Radcliffe, three times a winner of the London Marathon, will make her final appearance over the distance in this year’s race. Radcliffe, who still holds the record for the women’s marathon but ran her last in 2011, has yet to decide whether to compete in the elite race.

Bell turns biffer as England heat up

Ian Bell belied his usually circumspect nature to  smash a record 187 from 145 balls as England warmed up for their first tri-series one-day international against Australia tomorrow with a comfortable win over the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra yesterday. Moeen  Ali again showed his form, blasting 71 from 49 balls as the tourists eased home by 60 runs

Foden hoping for England hurrah

The Northampton full-back Ben Foden last played for England over a year ago but admits he would cherish a recall for this year’s World Cup on home soil. An ankle injury at the end of 2012 led to Foden being replaced by Alex Goode, but his form this year has caught the eye of the England management. “The first goal is the Six Nations, with the World Cup just around the corner,” he says.