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Italian coach given an offer he couldn't refuse; EURO 2008 DIARY.

ROBERTO DONADONI is about to get the sack and it probably won't cost the Italian FA a euro.

Donadoni is unlikely to survive Italy's pathetic quarterfinal exit against Spain but - and here's something the English FA should learn from - he declined to put a compensation clause in his contract.

In theory a tasty lump sum of around pounds 1m could have been his reward for failure, but proud and dignified patriot that he is, Donadoni won't take a cent that he feels he doesn't deserve.

Unlike Sven-Goran Eriksson or Steve McClaren, in contrast, who took the FA to the cleaners for their respective flops in charge of the England national team. Those two flushed a combined pounds 7.5m in compensation out of the morons at Soho Square.

When Fabio Capello has finally had enough of collecting the insanely large cheques the FA give him on a monthly basis and walks out on one of the most thankless jobs in football, maybe Donadoni should be the next England gaffer to help recoup some finanaces.

Ballack full of running

Playing in the Premier League helped make Michael Ballack a better player according to Germany boss Joachim Low.

While the English top flight took plenty of stick when the Three Lions failed to qualify, Low said Ballack's fitness had noticeably improved since he joined Chelsea.

Ballack has been one of the players who has covered the most ground in the tournament.

"Michael Ballack has really run a great deal and in the last two years he has played in the Premier League and he's had excellent progress physically - we noticed that when he joined us in Germany," said Low.

"Physically speaking he developed nicely playing in the Premier League because they play fast-paced football at a high intensity."


Live Euro 2008 gigs you would never have stomached

1 Conceited Deutsch-rockers Sportfreunde Stiller wowing 8,000 fans in Innsbruck with a set featuring their ode to German World Cup dominance 54, 70, 90 and 2006. Smug tossers.

2 Former tennis player Yannick Noah, now a singing former tennis player, wowing 15,000 fans in rain-soaked Geneva with a set featuring his smash hit, er...

3 Vienna getting real to the hip beat of uber-emo angst maniacs the Vienna Boys Choir with special guests the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Altogether now There's no one quite like Grandma...

4 Smokie, or the legendary Smokie as the blurb put it, actually topping the bill in Innsbruck, proof that ironic seventies revivalism is way over the head of your average Austrian.

5 Kid Chocolat transfixing Geneva with his "rich, incredible and explosive cocktail of electronic pop, fused with warm samples, loops, dreamy emotional landscapes, magical ambiences" etc, etc. Leave it out Kid, not even Kraftwerk were that good.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2008
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