DE-FENCE! DE-FENCE! DE-FENCE! City players love that there Superbowl
Manchester CityÃ¢ÂÂs players took time away from their preparations for Saturdays match with Fulham to indulge in what the Americans call Ã¢ÂÂfootball.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ahead of SundayÃ¢ÂÂs Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, two members of CityÃ¢ÂÂs de-fence Ã¢ÂÂ NFL fans Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards - kitted themselves out at the clubÃ¢ÂÂs Carrington training ground, to show their support for the teams who will do battle this weekend in Indianapolis.
Lescott is a Patriots supporter while Richards favours the Giants, so to make sure things didnÃ¢ÂÂt get too heated between the City team-mates, the ever-disciplined Nigel De Jong stepped in as referee.
England defender Lescott will be a keen viewer on Sunday night; "I got into NFL from a really young age, a good friend of mine was into it in a big way because his dad was from America and a Miami Dolphins fan."
Richards said "I got into it through a mate because I was more into basketball," before adding "ItÃ¢ÂÂs a lot more physical than our game and a genuine contact sport, but it looks like quite a cool sport and itÃ¢ÂÂs something I can see myself really getting into in the future."
Tough-tackling midfielder De Jong is no doubt a fan of the robust nature of the game; "IÃ¢ÂÂve been into NFL for about five years now. We have mutual friends out in the States who follow the sport and IÃ¢ÂÂve been watching it on TV for a few years now and IÃ¢ÂÂve really got into it."
Lescott says he might play Gridiron in the future; "The NFL guys are very agile and quick and they put a lot of hard work into their game. IÃ¢ÂÂd definitely like to give it a go when my playing career ends Ã¢ÂÂ whether IÃ¢ÂÂm any good or not remains to be seen!"
WeÃ¢ÂÂre not yet sure if Lescott, Richards and De Jong will douse Ã¢ÂÂCoach ManciniÃ¢ÂÂ in Gatorade, should they win the Premier League title, though...
By Steven Toplis