>What a hilarious story – good man

><– cool haircut too

Brazilian football star Ronaldo has been caught up in a sex scandal with three cross-dressing prostitutes.

Having dropped off his girlfriend at her house in Rio de Janeiro on Monday night, the 2002 World Cup winner picked up three prostitutes.

When they all booked into a motel, the AC Milan striker discovered that the prostitutes were in fact men.

According to Rio police, he alleges that the transvestites then tried to extort money from him.

Local press reports quoted one of the prostitutes, Andreia Albertine – otherwise known as Andre Luiz Ribeiro Albertino – as saying that Ronaldo had threatened to hit him, on discovering that he was a transvestite.

‘Extortion’

Ronaldo “reported that Andreia had taken his car documents and demanded $30,000 [¬£15,000]”, said Rio police superintendent Carlos Augusto Nogueira.

Transvestite André Luis Ribeiro Albertino, also known as Andreia Albertine

Albertino is accused of taking the footballer’s documents

He added: “Ronaldo admits the facts. He said he just wanted to amuse himself, that’s not a crime. To pay to have sexual relations isn’t illegal.

“There’s a strong chance that Ronaldo has been the victim of extortion.”

When the footballer refused to pay the prostitute, the latter claimed that Ronaldo had taken drugs, and had threatened to hurt the three transvestites.

Under Brazilian law, while pimping sex workers and running establishments where sex is sold are illegal, prostitution itself is not.

In a statement Ronaldo is reported to have denied ever using drugs, and reiterated that he was a victim of extortion.

The three-time Fifa world footballer of the year is in Brazil recovering from knee surgery.

He told police he was having some psychological problems linked to his injury.

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>Timequake – Kurt Vonnegut

>By his design, his last book. The story itself isn’t much, mainly focussed on time travelling back 10 years and seeing your life again. But the story isn’t important. Vonnegut re-wrote the chapters here many times and you can understand why. He wanted this to be his last book and he had much to say, to say it once and then be at peace. It’s mainly a book of recollection, nostalgia, jokes and laments over his life, work, friends and family. there are some pertinent remarks here over how society has changed but mostly its the wisdom and turn of phrase that stands out. A melancholic book from a man who saw much.

>Melbourne Victory v Gamba Osaka

>

<!– @page { size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } —The girl who sits next to me at work just came back form skiing in Japan in Hokkaido, the Japanese island I know least but the home of one of my greatest memories. I paid through the nose for this but watching England grind out a tough but deserved win over Argentina in the Sapporo Dome in 2002 was an important moment for me. I had forever wanted to see England achieve something of this magnitude and wanted to be there. And I was, with Shaun my old Uni mate.

It’s been over 5 years since leaving (asked to leave) Japan but I’m getting myself back into the culture again. I’ve been taking trains across the city, munching on the takoyaki, reading up on the news, learning the language again. Not necessarily the aboves but on reflection and from discussions with friends, Japan permeates your own psyche. It’s a touch awkward returning home. The cleanliness, ordered convenience, lack of crime and ease of life casts a shadow over your own society. You don’t make active comparisons. Japan is too different for such. But Japan is not the kind of place you stay forever. The differences are so obvious and consistently reinforced, its near impossible to ever feel fully comfortable there. Yet on returning home, you don’t feel quite right.

Partly for when you return, you’re at a slight loss. Wondering what to do and where. Some know why they are in Japan and therefore what to go back to. My friend Matt needed money to finish his architecture degree and spent 4 years in Kansai and now back in Australia, he is a qualified architect. Others, in fact most of those I know or knew find themselves at a looser end than before. It takes a few years to get the base re-set and ready for later life. I am not there yet; some are but I’m getting closer.

Anyway back to the point of this blog. Here in Melbourne, I’m trying to see as much as possible. Melbourne is Australia’s cultural city, home of the arts, comedy, food and hundreds of nationalities. But above all, sport. You’ll see joggers alongside rowers on the river and cyclists, all geared up, streaming past you. I’ve done my bit, walking throughout the city and using the gym at my house. I feel better.

So I’ve been to the MCG for Melbourne v Western Bulldogs aussie rules game, the Australian Open tennis at the Rod Laver Arena, live kickboxing and finally some football. Of course I’ve been watching the live feeds from the 6 Nations and the English Premier League but it’s on so late, it’s a killer for the weekend. (and one of the reasons, Australia is just too far away)

Melbourne Victory are the football team here and playing in the Asian Champions League. They were playing Gamba Osaka, the second team in Japan. The game was held at the 50,000 Telstra Dome but only sold 24,000 tickets, a decent turn out for the third sport in this city. With little affection for the Melbourne supporters and a curiosity for the Japanese, I got tickets in the Japanese section. The Japanese supporters were very genki and vocal, if predictably so. In true Japanese group style, Gamba had their own tubby, male cheerleaders carrying megaphones and flags and starting 10 repetitive songs.

The game itself was a cracker. Neither team could defend crosses. The score went back and forth, each team answering with yet more simply crafted goals. Both teams worked hard, covering the ground and defending zonally. In the 90th minute, Gamba headed in the winner. The Japanese descended into craziness, hugging and high-fiving all round. They deserved it. Just about.

Well back to the big league. God’s team Newcastle United play Sunderland. We invite the shitesters up to Newcastle and civilisation for Keegan to continue his consistent winning record over Sunderland. It’s howay 5-0 right now for Keegan and I have no doubts it will continue on Sunday night.



Oh me lads, you should’ve seen us gannin

Passing the folks along the road

And all of them were starin’

All the lads and lasses there

They all had smilin’ faces

Gannin along the Scotswood Road

To see the Blaydon races

Howay the Lads.

>Welcome Johnson, Roll over Bacon

>So Martin Johnson, a plain but direct leader of men is coming to take charge of the English national rugby team. Johnson is presumably coming in like Woodward did; in charge of team management and strategy and dealing with the players 1-on-1 while leaving the day to day coaching to others. That’s fine. His lack of experience is worrying though and should he fail, you have to wonder what kind of compensation we are talking. The RFU never seem to learn.

And further to that I would echo Brian Moore’s call that Francis Baron should resign. he wont of course. he thinks he has given the fans want they want but even football doesnt deal as callously as we have dealt with Ashton. And if Robinson and Ashton are considered failures, then who appointed them? Added to that why are the board even involved in all this? Wasn’t Rob Andrew appointed to take care of all this?

The usual committee incompetency of English sport!