READ all about it - find out what top sport stories are making the headlines in today’s UK national papers, Sunday, June 24, 2012.
THE SUN: Roy Hodgson leads his England stars into battle against Italy tonight stressing: Don’t leave the pitch with any regrets. Also: Mario Balotelli insists he is not mad as he looks to dump England out of Euro 2012.
SUNDAY MIRROR: England cannot afford to wind up Italy hot-head Mario Balotelli - because they are more likely to get themselves sent off. Also: John Terry has been hailed as “top class” by Roy Hodgson and captain Steven Gerrard.
THE MAIL ON SUNDAY: Mario Balotelli told his Manchester City team-mates and England opponents last night that he feared none of them as the two nations prepared for tonight’s Euro 2012 quarter-final here in Kiev. Also: Manchester City’s England winger Adam Johnson has emerged as a late challenger for one of the three over-age spots in the Team GB Olympic squad; Dwain Chambers exploded into a foul-mouthed rant after winning the 100 metres final at the Olympic trials in Birmingham.
SUNDAY EXPRESS: Steven Gerrard has endured enough England hurt to last a lifetime but now intends to re-write history. Also: Manchester City could face a fight to hang on to manager Roberto Mancini if England knock Italy out of Euro 2012 in Kiev.
DAILY STAR SUNDAY: Steven Gerrard insisted last night that England’s time has come to end all the “hurt and pain”. Also: Manchester City want to discuss a new £52million contract with Spanish midfielder David Silva to fight off interest from Real Madrid; New Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has decided he WILL sell £20million-rated centre-back Martin Skrtel because he wants to boost his Kop transfer pot.
THE PEOPLE: Steven Gerrard has vowed to smash his quarter-final jinx and end England’s pain against Italy tonight. Also: Gareth Bale has given Spurs fans a massive lift by deciding to STAY at White Hart Lane for at least another 12 months.
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Steven Gerrard has sought to rally England’s players ahead of their European Championship quarter-final with Italy by insisting they are entitled to dream of glory after years of near misses. Also: England head coach Stuart Lancaster said last night the experience of the summer tour to South Africa will prove invaluable for his young players; Andy Murray is so fed up with being painted as a hypochondriac that yesterday he offered to produce pictures of his recent medical treatment, which involved an eight-inch needle being thrust into his back.
THE SUNDAY TIMES: Mario Balotelli has thrown down the gauntlet before the Euro 2012 quarter-final tonight by declaring he has no fear of England and intends to have “fun” against Roy Hodgson and his players. Also: The European champions march on, not so much the Red Fury, as they are nicknamed, but something more stately; Andy Murray has hit back forcefully at critics who suggested he has been exaggerating the seriousness of his back condition by revealing that he required eight deep-rooted injections in one day before the recent French Open to make him fit to play.
THE OBSERVER: Steven Gerrard has urged his England team-mates to remember their previous disappointments at the quarter-final stage of major tournaments and challenged them to take their game to a higher level against Italy with a Euro 2012 semi-final against Germany at stake. Also: Black Caviar’s first race outside Australia turned into a piece of astonishing drama that thrilled 77,000 people here and millions around the world, leaving only her jockey, Luke Nolen, ashen and full of regret.
THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY: Steven Gerrard said yesterday that he believes tonight’s Euro 2012 quarter-final against Italy could be England’s springboard to ending the “hurt and pain” of previous failures, as they bid to reach the last four of a major tournament for the first time in 16 years. Also: Andy Murray has grown used to the attention, the hype and even the criticism. It goes with the territory when you are Britain’s best male tennis player for three quarters of a century and Wimbledon is just around the corner.