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Peru's Vargas Llosa to take secret of Garcia Marquez spat to grave

By Diego Ore CARACAS (Reuters) - Peruvian author and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa vowed on Thursday to honor until death a pact with his late Colombian counterpart Gabriel Garcia Marquez not to reveal the mystery of their famous decades-old enmity. The two Latin American literary greats were once friends, but stopped speaking to each other in 1976 when Vargas Llosa gave Garcia Marquez a black eye in a dispute - depending on who one believes - over politics or the Peruvian's wife.

Spain beats Italy 1-0 in friendly

Madrid, Mar 5 (EFE).- Pedro Rodriguez's goal in the 63rd minute gave Spain a 1-0 victory over Italy here Wednesday in an international friendly. The start of play was preceded by a tribute to the coach credited with turning La Roja into an international powerhouse, Luis Aragones, who died Feb. 1. The match was played at Vicente Calderon stadium, where Aragones spent much of his career as player and later coach of Atletico Madrid.

Vargas Llosa awarded Spanish freedom prize

Cadiz, Spain, Dec 7 (EFE).- The jury for Spain's Cadiz Cortes Ibero-American Freedom Prize has unanimously selected Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa as the recipient of this year's award. The jury hailed the writer and intellectual for his "untarnished defense of liberty, both of the press and in politics, and his efforts to maintain the perfection of the Spanish language through his literature," the municipal government of the southern city of Cadiz said in a statement Saturday.

Spain coach Del Bosque, cautious after World Cup draw

Spain coach Del Bosque, cautious after World Cup draw MADRID, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Spain coach Vicente del Bosque reacted diplomatically after the draw for the 2014 World Cup finals. The reigning World Champions will face the Netherlands, who they defeated in the 2010 World Cup final, along with an always combative Chile and Australia and will kick off the defense of their trophy against the Dutch.

Former Spain coach Aragones retires

MADRID, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Euro 2008-winning coach Luis Aragones announced to put his 35-year coaching career to an end. The 75-year-old led his country to victory at the European Championships in 2008, their first major trophy since 1964. Aragones stepped down ahead of the 2010 World Cup as Vicente del Bosque took over to guide Spain to their first World Cup in South Africa before retaining their European title two years later. "Age has retired me and it wasn't a difficult decision to make," he said in an interview with Spanish website Vozpopuli.com.

Football: Euro-winning Spain coach Aragones retires

Spanish football coach Luis Aragones, who led his country to victory at the European Championships in 2008, has announced his retirement at the age of 75. As well as the Spanish national side, Aragones trained ten different clubs during a 35-year coaching career. He is most fondly remembered at Atletico Madrid with whom he won La Liga in the 1976/77 season and three Copa del Rey titles across three spells in charge.

Football: Del Bosque signs Spain contract extension until 2016

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque said Friday he has signed a two-year extension to his contract which was set to run out at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The new deal means Del Bosque will be in charge for Spain's qualifying campaign for the 2016 European Championships in France. "I can confirm that I have renewed until 2016," he told reporters in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, ahead of Spain's friendly match against the the west African nation on Saturday. Sports daily Marca had earlier reported that he had extended his contract.

Football: Spain to return to South Africa for friendly

Spain will return to the stadium where they lifted the World Cup in 2010 when they face South Africa in a friendly on November 19, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Thursday. The match will take place at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. "The RFEF wants in this way to thank the magnificent treatment on behalf of the sporting authorities and South African fans who received the Spanish team during the 2010 World Cup, in which the Spanish national team was proclaimed world champions for the first time," said a statement on the RFEF website.

Football: Spain's top scorer Villa sidelined by arthritic ankle

David Villa, who is Spain's all-time leading international scorer, has been ruled out of the World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia next week due to arthritis in his left ankle. The Atletico Madrid striker was forced off just before the hour mark of his side's 2-1 win over Celta Vigo on Sunday. "The Asturian player is suffering from arthritis in his left ankle, the medical services of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have been informed, which will make his presence in the squad managed by Vicente del Bosque impossible," the RFEF said in a statement.

Vargas Llosa says latest novel is his "most optimistic"

Segovia, Spain, Sep 29 (EFE).- Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa said his latest novel, "El heroe discreto," reflects on the growth and consolidation of democracy in Peru, making the work his "most optimistic" so far. The Peruvian writer, who also holds Spanish citizenship, discussed his latest work during an appearance Saturday at the Juan Bravo Theater in Segovia.
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