Argentina coach Diego Maradona, already reeling after a shaky World Cup qualifying campaign that could yet end in failure, suffered more irritation when a Peruvian fan hacked into his website. The fan derided Maradona as ”the biggest cry baby of all time” underneath a picture of the former star caught during a tearful moment in his playing days. ”For the biggest cry baby of all time. We didn’t win at the football – but we did on the web,” said the hacker, dubbing himself ”Elite-Peruvian”. He put the message up after Argentina beat Peru 2-1 in Buenos Aires at the weekend. Argentina, who won the game with a last-minute goal, still have to win away to Uruguay on Wednesday to ensure a direct berth in next summer’s finals. They have not missed a World Cup since 1970. WIFE SAVES FRED England’s Ashes hero Andrew Flintoff has revealed the true toll of the injuries that forced him to limp away from Test cricket this year – he was so sore that he couldn’t even dress himself in the morning. In an interview in the Guardian , Flintoff said his wife, Rachael, had to put on his socks and shoes in recent years. ”The incentive to play for England is so high you’d do anything,” Flintoff said. ”Some mornings the missus had to get me out of bed and put my shoes and socks on for me. You then get the anti-inflammatories inside you, and a painkiller, and off you go. That’s why I think differently when people look at my Test career and say: if not for injury, I could have done X, Y or Z. For me, a big achievement was just actually getting out on a cricket field. I don’t think, ‘I missed this amount of Test cricket for England’. I just look back and I’m thankful I played that many Tests [79] in the end. I’ve had six operations in 4½ years – and 2½ of those years were in rehab. I’ve been injured since I was 13. I had back problems all the way through. So it’s some achievement.” NO MORE PIES Larger-than-life Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer has promised to cut back on the pastries after being rushed to hospital on Saturday. The billionaire minerals mogul collapsed and was taken to hospital after watching his team beat Brisbane 1-0 but was discharged from hospital after receiving the all-clear from doctors. ”Unfortunately I was too enthusiastic in eating pies at half-time. I had bit of reflux or something like that,” Palmer said of his health scare. Tests showed the 55-year-old did not have a heart problem, but Palmer said he was determined to live a healthier lifestyle and lose some weight. RUNNING SCARED A retired farmer who walked 1200 kilometres from Queensland town Gympie to compete at Sydney’s World Masters Games is set for a dressing-down from his wife when he gets home. Carl Hebbel, 70 next week, battled strong wind to complete the 8km cross country course at Parramatta Park. ”My wife Jean is not very impressed, I was supposed to retire from running four years ago,” he said. ”I had to pack my swag on the sly, just to get here … she wants to know when I’m coming home.” As he crossed the finish line, in his well worn red and green tracksuit, Hebbel still had enough puff at the end to talk up his next big running adventure. ”This event is for the pretty people who care about medals,” he said. ”Most of them will go home in pain, I’ll be going for a jog tonight after dinner. Super marathon runners don’t feel pain. I’m going for a world record 500 marathons in 500 days, through 23 countries until I get to Europe … running four hours a day.” AN INGLIS TOURIST Greg Inglis returns to court on assault charges in Melbourne today with the Australian Rugby League fully expecting him to be free to tour England and France for the Four Nations tournament. Inglis’s legal troubles stem from an incident with his girlfriend, Sally Robinson, on August 9. He’s expected to plead not guilty to unlawfully assaulting and recklessly causing injury. Despite the court case hanging over his head, Inglis was instrumental in the Storm’s premiership triumph. ARL CEO Geoff Carr says Inglis was chosen for the tour after the player’s legal team painted an optimistic picture of the outcome of the trial. Inglis has said he was only trying to protect Robinson from harming herself. Carr said Inglis might have dramas with British Immigration if he were going to England to play permanently – remember Greg Bird’s troubles with Bradford – but because Inglis is touring for four weeks, without taking up full-time employment, he’s free to enter the country. ”There is nothing to prevent him touring,” Carr said. AFP, Guardian News and Media, AAP, Will Swanton
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