Football: FOOTBALL AROUND THE WORLD

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The Independent Online
Netherlands

Dani, the Portuguese forward who played nine games for West Ham last season, is remembered at Upton Park more for his fondness for London's nightclubs than his playing prowess. Yesterday, though, the 20-year-old was the toast of Amsterdam after his spectacular goal helped Ajax reach the European Cup semi-finals.

Dani crashed a superb long-range shot into the top corner of the Atletico Madrid net to give Ajax a 2-1 lead in extra time of the second leg of Wednesday's quarter-final. The Dutch champions won 3-2 to secure a 4- 3 aggregate win, and Amsterdam's Telegraaf newspaper declared: "What a sensation! What a spectacle! Ajax played what was perhaps the most spell- binding game in their history."

Ajax were doubtless pleased to give Jesus Gil y Gil, Atletico's president, a taste of defeat. Before the first leg in the , he had said about Ajax: "You see them warming up, five blacks there, four there, three more on the field - it looked like the Congo to me." His comments led to Ajax board members boycotting a lunch with Atletico officials prior to the second leg.

Russia

Anatoli Davidov, 43, became the oldest player to appear in the Russian Premier League when he turned out in last weekend's season opener for Zenit St Petersburg. On Monday his son Dimitri, 22, came on as a last- minute substitute in their next game - the first time a father and son had played together in Russia's top division.

Spain

Valencia's Brazilian striker, Leandro, has promised to change his goal celebration after protests from opponents. His routine? Going down on all fours and cocking his leg like a dog. "I will change animal," said Leandro, who has also treated fans to an imitation of a bat, the symbol of his club.

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