duminică, 29 iunie 2014

Louis Van Gaal a big fan of Miguel Herrera

As Holland prepared for their last-sixteen clash with Mexico at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza on Sunday, Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal revealed he was a big admirer of Mexico coach Miguel Herrera.

Miguel Herrera


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Police prevent protestors reaching Maracana

Hundreds of anti-World Cup protesters tried to march to the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday as Colombia knocked Uruguay out of the tournament.

Police prevent protestors reaching MaracanaRIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 15: Military Police block anti-World Cup protestors attempting to march to Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Today is the fourth day...

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Reaction in Bogota and Montevideo to Colombia-Uruguay

Fans in Bogota and Montevideo share their thoughts after Colombia beat Uruguay 2-0 in the last 16 of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. As you can imagine there were some mixed emotions on display.



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World Cup Day 18

Ten-man Costa Rica beat Greece on penalties

Last-gasp Holland reach quarters after breaking Mexico hearts

Louis Van Gaal an admirer of Miguel Herrera

Police prevent protestors reaching Maracana

Michel Platini a convert to goal-line technology?

James Rodriguez and the goal of the tournament

World Cup Day 18Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas makes the crucial...

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A star is born: James Rodriguez with the goal of the World Cup

It is one of those goals you will never get tired of seeing. Jamez Rodriguez's stunning volley against Uruguay was not only the goal of the tournament, so far, but it also marked the arrival of football's next global superstar.

...James Rodriguez goal against Uruguay

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Michel Platini a convert to goal-line technology

Sepp Blatter believes the World Cup finals in Brazil have converted Michel Platini to the cause of goal-line technology.

Goalline-technologyHonduras' goalkeeper Noel Valladares bundles a shot from France's Karim Benzema over the line.

Platini, French president of European federation UEFA, has always been resolutely opposed to any form of technical assistance; FIFA...

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sâmbătă, 28 iunie 2014

Van Persie impressed by Mexico

Robin van Persie

Netherlands captain Robin van Persie talked up Mexico's defensive abilities ahead of their FIFA World Cup last-16 clash on Sunday.

Louis van Gaal's men go into the clash in Fortaleza as favourites after winning their three Group B games.

Mexico's approach in Group A was a complete contrast to the Dutch, who have scored 10 goals, as Miguel Herrera's side conceded just once, while only needing four goals to claim two wins and a draw.

Van Persie, who returns from suspension for the encounter, said Mexico had shown themselves to be a quality side, particularly in a 0-0 draw against Brazil.

"It's now a knockout. They played really well and remained unbeaten in their group. Even the hosts could not score against them. That speaks volumes about their abilities," the Manchester United star told The Times of India.

"Moreover, they will be playing in familiar conditions. We have to be more alert and best-prepared to face all sorts of situations.

"There is absolutely no scope for errors. We have to minimise our errors and try our best to capitalise on the errors of our opponents.

"We are not thinking far at this point of time. Just want to concentrate on the match at hand and give our best."

The winner of the clash faces either Costa Rica or Greece in the quarter-finals.

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vineri, 27 iunie 2014

Fred: Suarez ban ´too severe´

Frederico Chaves

Uruguay star Luis Suarez's nine-game, four-month ban for biting was "too severe", according to Brazil striker Fred.

FIFA handed Suarez a nine-match international suspension and handed him a four-month ban from "any kind of football-related activity" after his bite on Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Fred, whose Brazil side face Chile in the last 16 at the FIFA World Cup, said Suarez made a mistake, but feels the punishment was heavy handed.

"You can't deny that he made a mistake, but myself as a player, as a human being, I understand that inside, players get goosebumps. There's tension, a fight for space," he said.

"I think that his punishment is a bit too severe, from my point of view. I debated this with a few people, and most people think that it was fair.

"In my point of view it can end an athlete's career, four months, nine games and everyone all over it, and criticising the mistake he made.

"I do think he needs to be punished, but I would really like to see Suarez playing at this World Cup here in Brazil."

Meanwhile, Luiz Felipe Scolari appears set to use Fernandinho ahead of Paulinho in midfield for the clash against Chile on Saturday.

Fernandinho came on at half-time against Cameroon, scoring once and setting up another in a 4-1 win.

Fred believes it would make little difference to his team's approach.

"They are all high-quality players, which have more or less the same characteristics because they are players that play well going forward. And for me this is the most important thing," he said.

"Someone that can get the ball up front to me and pass it to me. So I just don't think that the tactical play of the game is going to move that much."

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joi, 26 iunie 2014

There is no cure for a recidivist like Luis Suarez

There is no chance of rehabilitation for Luis Suarez. He is what he is and no punishment will change him. In the wake of Suarez's 4-month ban for biting, Brian Glanville discusses the latest controversy.

Luis SuarezAn image of Uruguay's Luis Suarez is shown on an advertising board in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Demonising Luis Suarez is ultimately irrelevant...

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Bruce Springsteen on Luis Suarez biting incident

A slightly bemused looking Bruce Springsteen has passed judgment on Luis Suarez. ...

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Shaqiri scores first goal of hat-trick against Honduras

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri scored the second hat-trick of the 2014 World Cup, and his first goal was the pick of the bunch.

Shaqiri scores first goal of hat-trick against HondurasFootball - Honduras v Switzerland - FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 - Group E - Arena Amazonia, Manaus, Brazil - 25/6/14 Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri (R) scores their first goal....

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Images of the World Cup – Day 15

More stunning images from yesterday at the World Cup

Images of the World Cup – Day 15Switzerland's Valon Behrami (L) and Xherdan Shaqiri fight for the ball with Marvin Chavez of Honduras during their 2014 World Cup Group E soccer match at the Amazonia arena....

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miercuri, 25 iunie 2014

Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1 Iran

Bosnia stroll to a comfortable 3-1 win over Iran in Salvador - a result which means that both teams are eliminated.

Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1 Iran

Date: June 25, 2014

Result: Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1 Iran



  • Edin Dzeko 23

  • Miralem Pjanic 56

  • Avdija Vrsajevic 80


  • Reza Ghoochannejhad 79

Venue: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador

Attendance: 48,011

Match overview: The...

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Nigeria 2-3 Argentina

Messi on song again as Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 in Porto Alegre

Nigeria 2-3 Argentina

Date: June 25, 2014

Result: Nigeria 2-3 Argentina



  • Ahmed Musa 4, 47


  • Lionel Messi 3, 45, Rojo 50

Venue: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre

Attendance: 43,285

Match overview: Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 in Porto Alegre but both teams still went through to the knockout...

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Reaction in Uruguay to Luis Suarez’s bite

Uruguayan fans were mixed in their reaction to Luis Suarez's bite in the country's 1-0 win over Italy at the World Cup. To some he can do no wrong, but others had actually seen the incident.

Reaction in Uruguay to Luis Suarez’s biteItaly's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez.


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Porto Alegre braces itself for invasion of 80,000 Argentina fans

Authorities in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre are preparing for the arrival of 80,000 Argentine fans for Wednesday's match against Nigeria.

Argentina fansArgentina fans, one of whom is wearing a Lione Messi mask, look forward to their opening World Cup match.


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FIFA clarifies position after Alvaro Fereira concussion

FIFA medical bosses are keeping an open mind on amendments to the laws of football and match regulations to cope with the increasingly contentious issue of concussion.

Uruguay's Alvaro PereiraUruguay's Alvaro Pereira lies concussed on the field during the match with England.

What they are not prepared to do, however, is to claim the power to overrule the team doctor who...

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Images of the World Cup – Day 14

Luis Suarez's bite marks implanted in Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder leads our images of the World Cup on day 14.

Images of the World Cup – Day 14Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez....

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Once bitten…Luis Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini have previous

While the football world is still reeling from the sight of Uruguay's Luis Suarez appearing to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, we have unearthed an image which might provide a bit of context to yesterday's extraordinary events.

Luis Suarez and Giorgio ChielliniLuis Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini clash during last year's Confederations Cup

The photo was taken during...

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World Cup Day 14

Bosnia-Herzegovina defeat Iran 3-1 in Salvador

Messi scores twice as Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 to top the group

80,000 Argentina fans travel to Porto Alegre for Nigeria game

Four more group matches to be played today

FIFA to investigate Suarez biting incident

World Cup Day 14

22:11 BST


This is better from Honduras and they come agonisingly close to...

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Ecuador vs France: FIFA World Cup

Ecuador vs France

France need just one point against Ecuador to settle their place in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup and finish top of Group E.

The 1998 champions have enjoyed an excellent campaign so far, cruising past 10-man Honduras 3-0 before crushing Switzerland 5-2 last Friday.

Those victories have left France in command of their group and avoiding defeat on Wednesday will likely see Didier Deschamps' side avoid a potential clash with two-time winners Argentina, who head Group F.

However, France should meet a strong challenge from an Ecuador side desperate for three points to ensure their progression into the knockout stages.

Reinaldo Rueda's team kept hopes alive by coming from behind to beat Honduras 2-1 in their previous game, but could still need a favour from the group's bottom side in order to qualify.

Anything other than a win for Ecuador will see them relying on Honduras, who still harbour slim hopes of qualification, preventing Switzerland from taking maximum points in their final group-stage fixture.

Even a win may not be enough for Ecuador if Switzerland also claim victory and make up a goal-difference deficit of two.

"Honduras are a team with character, experienced players, and I'm sure they will make it an intense match," Rueda said.

"Let's hope they can take points against the Swiss, since that would be important for us as long as we get a good result against France."

France's scintillating attacking performances in Brazil have led some pundits to suggest that Deschamps' men could return to the Maracana - the scene for their meeting with Ecuador - for the World Cup final on July 13.

However, playmaker Mathieu Valbuena is eager to maintain focus on the challenge posed by Ecuador.

"We're not quite through yet," he said.

"Ecuador are a hard-working side and will be playing for their place in the next round. That said, we're our own number one enemy.

"We want to finish top of the group. It would be nice to avoid Argentina.

"We all want to play in this match, myself more than anyone. There's a lot riding on this game."

Although France could theoretically exit the tournament should Ecuador and Switzerland triumph by healthy margins, it would not be a surprise if Deschamps opted to rest several players.

Olivier Giroud may lead the line again after impressing against Switzerland, but midfielder Yohan Cabaye is suspended.

Patrice Evra and Paul Pogba head into the clash with a booking to their name, while Juan Paredes, Jefferson Montero, Antonio Valencia and Enner Valencia are all on a yellow card for Ecuador.

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marți, 24 iunie 2014

Suarez ready to attack Switzerland

Luis Fernando Suarez

Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez plans to attack Switzerland on Wednesday, but is wary of exposing his defence.

Bottom of Group E and without a point at the FIFA World Cup, Honduras can still reach the last 16.

Suarez's men (0 points, -4 goal difference) need a big win over Switzerland (three, -2) and for France (six, +6) to beat Ecuador (three, 0).

Knowing his team need a win and to improve their goal difference significantly, Suarez said they would attack in Manaus.

"We cannot win 1-0, it has to be 3-0, so we will be different than against France and Ecuador," he told reporters.

"If you put it in a spreadsheet it is easy, but to put it into practice is difficult. We will be aggressive but we have to defend.

"We have to attack a lot, defend and have a three-goal difference, so we have to be very intelligent, very dedicated, have all our senses fully invested."

Suarez believes playing in high humidity at the Arena de Amazonia will be an advantage for his team, but he said it would make no difference to the result.

"It would be an advantage because we are used to the high humidity," he said.

"People complain too much. The coaches and squads complain about everything. Bolivia play in La Paz 3,600 metres high, we do this in San Pedro Sul, or we could complain because we played a match in low temperatures in Curitiba. There is always someone complaining.

"This is used as an excuse, you do not win or lose because of weather, a pro has to be prepared for all conditions, for heat, for good or bad pitches, hostile fans, positive fans, we have to be ready for that.

"If you are not ready you are not a true pro. These factors sometimes make a difference but they do not justify a win or a loss."

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Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast

Last minute Samaras penalty send Greece through in dramatic circumstances.

Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast

Date: June 24, 2014

Result: Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast



  • Andreas Samaris 42

  • Giorgos Samaras 90+3 pen

Ivory Coast:

  • Wilfried Bony 74

Venue: Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza

Attendance: 59,095

Match overview: Greece have failed to score in seven of their eight World Cup games while...

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Japan 1-4 Colombia

Majestic Colombia top Group C after 4-1 win over Japan

Japan 1-4 Colombia

Date: June 25, 2014

Result: Japan 1-4 Colombia


Japan: Okazaki 45

Colombia: Cuadrado pen 17, Martinez 55, 82, Rodriguez 90

Venue: Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba

Attendance: 40,430

]Match overview: Colombia qualified for the second round as winners of Group C after an emphatic second-half performance...

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Portugal vs. Ghana - FIFA World Cup 2014 Preview


Portugal vs. Ghana

Match Date: 26 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Estádio Nacional de Brasília (Brasília, Distrito Federal)

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USA vs. Germany - FIFA World Cup 2014 Preview


USA vs. Germany

Match Date: 26 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Itaipava Arena Pernambuco (Recife, Pernambuco)

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Honduras vs. Switzerland - World Cup 2014 Preview


Honduras vs. Switzerland

Match Date: 25 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Arena Amazônia (Manaus, Amazonas)

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Ecuador vs. France - World Cup 2014 Preview


Ecuador vs. France

Match Date: 25 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Estadio Jornalista Mário Filho (Maracanã) (Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro)

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Nigeria vs. Argentina - World Cup 2014 Preview


Nigeria vs. Argentina

Match Date: 25 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Estádio José Pinheiro Borba (Beira-Rio) (Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul)

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England World Cup exit requires perspective

Played two, lost two, but how how bad were Roy Hodgson's England and is he the right man for the job? Brian Glanville carries out his post-mortem on Brazil 2014.

England World Cup exit requires perspectiveEngland fans are left dejected after the final whistle during the Group D match the Estadio do Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

What of the World Cup and of England? First, while we...

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Italy vs. Uruguay - World Cup 2014 Preview


Italy vs. Uruguay

Match Date: 24 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Arena das Dunas (Natal, Rio Grande do Norte)

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Costa Rica vs. England - World Cup 2014 Preview


Costa Rica vs. England

Match Date: 24 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto (Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais)

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luni, 23 iunie 2014

World Cup 2014 Preview - Japan vs. Colombia


Japan vs. Colombia

Match Date: 24 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Arena Pantanal (Cuiabá, Mato Grosso)

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Spain vs. Australia - World Cup 2014


Spain vs. Australia

Match Date: 23 June 2014 (local time)

Match Venue: Estádio Joaquim Américo Guimarães (Curitiba, Paraná)

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duminică, 22 iunie 2014

Algeria 4-2 South Korea

Impressive Algeria hit four past South Korea in Porto Alegre

algeria celebrate

Date: June 22, 2014

Result: Algeria 0-0 South Korea


Algeria: Slimani 26, Halliche 28, Djabou 38, Brahimi 62

South Korea: Son Heung-min 50, Koo Ja-cheol 72

Venue: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre

Attendance: 42,732

Match overview: Algeria put themselves on the brink of the last 16 with a...

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World Cup Day 11

Portugal grab dramatic late equaliser against USA in Manaus

USA-Portugal underway in Manaus

Algeria make history after 4-2 win over South Korea

Algeria-South Korea underway in Porto Alegre

Belgium grab late winner to beat Russia 1-0 at the Maracana

Belgium and Russia meet at the Maracana in the first game of the day

World Cup Day 11

00:54 BST

USA 2-2 Portugal...

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Leckie stunned by Australia´s World Cup showing

Mathew Leckie

Australia forward Mathew Leckie admitted on Saturday that Ange Postecoglou's side have surprised themselves in Brazil.

Despite having lost their opening two games of the FIFA World Cup to Chile and the Netherlands, Australia have impressed many in Brazil with their proactive style and willingness to take on teams ranked much higher than them.

Under Postecoglou, who only took over as coach in October, Australia pushed hard for an equaliser 2-1 down against Chile only to lose 3-1, while they led the Netherlands 2-1 in the second half on Wednesday before succumbing 3-2.

Leckie, the 23-year-old forward based in Germany's second tier, conceded that he and his team-mates had never expected to do so well against two teams in FIFA's top 15.

"The whole team as individuals have all surprised ourselves a little bit," he said.

"For me, I definitely didn't think we would compete this well with the teams we have played.

"There have been times, especially the Holland game, we dominated areas of the game - to lose that game was very harsh.

"The way we have played … no-one expected it.

"I think the whole world expected us to come here and just put 10 men behind the ball and hope to pinch results.

"Although we haven't got the results, the way we have gone about it and the way we have played is something very exciting for the country."

Leckie has been key to Australia's strong performances in their first two matches of Group B, providing plenty of attacking threat and pace on the right wing.

The former Adelaide United winger has carved out a decent niche in the 2. Bundesliga, spending the past two seasons with FSV Frankfurt before signing for another second-tier club Ingolstadt just before the World Cup.

Leckie scored 17 goals and notched 14 assists in 63 appearances in all competitions for FSV.

While there has been speculation that Leckie could have secured a transfer to a bigger club after his performances in Brazil, the Melbourne-born attacker does not regret signing with Ingolstadt.

"I didn't know what was going to come at this World Cup," Leckie said.

"I always say that everything happens for a reason.

"So whether I could have maybe had other offers now after this World Cup if I hadn't signed, I never would have known."

Australia will complete their World Cup campaign against fellow winless side Spain on Monday.

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Hong expects Algeria to attack

Hong Myung Bo

South Korea coach Hong Myung-Bo expects Algeria to attack when the two teams meet at the FIFA World Cup on Sunday.

Algeria scored 16 goals in eight games to qualify for Brazil 2014, while they hit the back of the net seven times in their three friendlies this year before arriving at the World Cup.

But in their opening match of the World Cup against Belgium, Algeria attempted just three shots, taking the lead thanks to Sofiane Feghouli's penalty before eventually losing 2-1.

Algeria had just 32.9 per cent possession against Belgium but Hong warned his team on Saturday to expect a much more proactive performance from Vahid Halilhodzic's men in Porto Alegre.

"The Belgian team was very defensive as was the Algerian team, and I don't think that's how (the Algerians) will play with us," the 45-year-old coach said.

"They have a lot of good attackers and they are very speedy players overall."

Hong added: "The Algerian midfielders are very quick and they put on a lot of pressure. How we're able to overcome that pressure and how we play the spaces will be very important."

South Korea winger Son Heung-min was particularly impressed by Feghouli against Belgium and said he and his team-mates would have to watch the Valencia midfielder closely.

"Feghouli showed great form with Valencia this season and proved to be a threat on the field," the Bayer Leverkusen forward said.

"Knowing that, we have to make sure he doesn't become a threat."

South Korea managed 10 shots in their opening match against Russia, which ended 1-1, and put five on target but needed a huge error from goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to take the lead through Lee Keun-ho.

Akinfeev let Lee's shot slip through his hands and into the net in Cuiaba, as South Korea scored just their fourth goal in seven matches this year.

Hong's side were held scoreless in their two pre-tournament friendlies against Tunisia and Ghana and their troubles in the final third were clear to see at the Arena Pantanal as the likes of Son and Koo Ja-cheol wasted promising opportunities.

"We have to score a goal. Of course that's the most important thing," South Korea's coach said.

"I'm sure there will be opportunities for us to score and so whether we take advantage of those opportunities I think will be the key to winning the match."

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sâmbătă, 21 iunie 2014

Another disaster for the African game

African teams have struggled at this World Cup, both on and off the pitch

Another disaster for the African gameCameroon's Benjamin Moukandjo, left, and Pierre Webo stand in the cente circle during the 4-0 defeat to Croatia.

It looks like being another disappointing World Cup for Africa. One win, one draw and three defeats in their opening matches was worse than four years ago when, in...

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Carlo Costly with a stunning left foot drive

Carlo Costly enjoys a bit of luck with his first touch but he makes the most of it by lashing in an unstoppable shot with his left foot.


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World Cup Day 10

Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina underway in Cuiaba

Klose equals World Cup record to make it 2-2

Ghana hit back immediately through Ayew and go ahead through Gyan

Germany go ahead through Gotze

Germany-Ghana goalless at half-time

Messi saves Argentina with late winner against unlucky Iran

Argentina and Iran are underway in Belo Horizonte


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Final group games under scrutiny over possible matchfixing

The final round of matches in the group stage of the World Cup will come under extra scrutiny to guard against matchfixing.

World Cup trophy

FIFA security chief Ralf Mutschke said in Rio de Janeiro today that these matches raised particular concerns because some of the competition issues had been resolved before the matches took place.

Holland, Chile and Colombia...

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French firepower lighting up Brazil

karim benzema - olivier giroud

In-form strikers Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud believe France have the firepower to go all the way at the FIFA World Cup.

France smashed Switzerland 5-2 in Group E on Friday to take their World Cup tally to eight goals from two matches.

Giroud opened the scoring for Didier Deschamps' team and also notched an assist, while Benzema scored France's fourth goal and set up two others.

Benzema moved to three goals for the tournament, with the Real Madrid striker having scored seven goals in his past six matches for France, while Giroud - in his maiden World Cup start - struck his fourth goal in five games.

Against Switzerland, Deschamps picked Giroud as France's centre forward, while Benzema was moved to the left wing, forcing Antoine Griezmann to the bench, and the two strikers thrived.

Speaking to L'Equipe after the game, Giroud conceded he had never imagined France would start so strongly in Brazil.

"To be honest, no," the Arsenal striker said.

"We have produced eight goals that's very good. Well, we also conceded two at the end but do not deny our pleasure.

"It's very satisfying, it gives us great confidence for the future. We want to finish first...we must finish the job."

Benzema was named man of the match by FIFA for the second game in a row but claimed an improved team ethic has been key to France's success so far, rather than any individual performances.

France's World Cup campaign four years ago was plagued by infighting and player unrest, as they were eliminated in South Africa, after registering just one point and one goal in three games.

"We all played well, and we got off to a really good start, continuing where we left off against Honduras and playing as a team. And we really are a team," the 26-year-old said.

"There's no sulking; those that start the match and those that come on as subs put in the same level of effort. I feel great but we need to keep it up, as I can only perform well with the help of my team-mates."

Despite their two wins, France still need at least a point in their last group fixture against Ecuador to advance to the round of 16.

France claimed their only World Cup title in 1998 on home soil.

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vineri, 20 iunie 2014

Bradley: We want to peak at right time

Michael Bradley

United States midfielder Michael Bradley is hopeful his team can build on their opening Group G win when they face Portugal on Sunday.

Jurgen Klinsmann's men opened their FIFA World Cup campaign with a narrow 2-1 win over Ghana, while Portugal were routed 4-0 by Germany in game one.

The USA made a blistering start against the African nation, scoring after 39 seconds through Clint Dempsey before substitute defender John Brooks cancelled out Andre Ayew's equaliser with four minutes remaining.

Bradley and his team-mates were admittedly sluggish after hitting the front so early in the match but speaking ahead of Sunday's clash in Manaus, the 26-year-old stressed the importance of not peaking too early at the World Cup.

"We want to feel like, now as the tournament is going on, that we are improving and growing because the teams that are around in the end are always the teams that are able to do that," Bradley said.

"You obviously can't pick and choose but still, you never want to play your best game first.

"You want to feel like as the tournament is moving on, as the tournament is progressing, the team and every guy is continuing to grow and get better and get stronger.

"It's important that we start off with three points, because at the end of the day, that was the most important thing from that first game.

"Now we want to follow that up with another good game and more points."

Bradley experienced one of his least influential games in recent memory, managing just 43 passes throughout the entire 90 minutes against Ghana.

However, the Toronto FC midfielder said the performance showed the team can win in different ways.

"I'm certainly honest enough and hard enough with myself to know that it wasn't my sharpest night, but unfortunately, they're not all going to be (good)," he said.

"On those days it's still about finding every possible way to help your team.

"I think as a team we realized at a certain point that it wasn't going to be a night for making a million passes or necessarily playing the most beautiful soccer.

"It was about run and attack, closing down and making the game hard on Ghana."

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marți, 17 iunie 2014

Australia vs Netherlands: FIFA World Cup

Louis van Gaal

Netherlands are sure to head into Wednesday's FIFA World Cup meeting against Australia full of confidence after their mauling of Spain.

Louis van Gaal's side fired an early warning to their rivals with an emphatic 5-1 thrashing of the world and European champions in Salvador on Friday.

Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, who both scored two goals, were the architects of the victory, while full-back Daley Blind starred down the left as the Netherlands went some way to avenging their 2010 World Cup final defeat to Spain.

The Dutch are looking to go one better than four years ago on this occasion and will be heavy favourites against Australia - a team they have never beaten - in the Group B clash in Porto Alegre.

In the three meetings between the nations, two have ended in draws, while goals from Harry Kewell and Josh Kennedy gave Australia a 2-1 win in Eindhoven in September 2008.

Van Gaal is thought to be considering a change in formation for this clash, with the 5-3-2 system that worked superbly on the break against Spain perhaps not best suited to a match they will, in all likelihood, control.

His more familiar 4-3-3 is expected, and could see Blind, battling a knee complaint, moved into midfield. Defender Ron Vlaar is also likely to overcome a hamstring issue.

But despite the array of talent available to Van Gaal, it is unlikely that Australia - beaten 3-1 by Chile in their opener - will be overawed as they go in search of an upset win.

Defender Matthew Spiranovic told Football Australia's website: "They're a world-class opponent. They showed their quality last game.

"Beating the reigning champions 5-1 - I think that says it all. It's a huge challenge that's ahead for us but one I'm definitely looking forward to.

"We're definitely going out there to win the game (though)."

The Socceroos - the lowest-ranked team at the World Cup - were unlucky to lose by two goals against Chile despite a sloppy first 15 minutes that saw them trailing 2-0.

Ange Postecoglou's men responded superbly, scoring through Tim Cahill before the same player had a second-half header disallowed in a sustained spell of pressure.

That ultimately amounted to nothing, as Jean Beausejour wrapped up the points for Chile in injury time, but Cahill's prowess in the air has alerted the Dutch, with midfielder Nigel de Jong acknowledging that curbing the influence of the former Everton man is crucial.

"He's one of the best (in the air) I know," de Jong is quoted as saying in De Telegraaf.

"Tim is not large, but has a great leaping ability and above all, fantastic timing. I knew he could score (against Chile)."

A hamstring injury to right-back Ivan Franjic will force Postecoglou into a re-shuffle at the back, with Ryan McGowan set to deputise.

And while Australia will be given little chance of claiming a famous win, the brave and adventurous manner of their performance against Chile indicates they will take the game to their more-fancied opponents.

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Spain vs Chile: FIFA World Cup

Vicente del Bosque

Chile must be braced for a Spain backlash after the reigning champions were humiliated by the Netherlands in their FIFA World Cup opener.

Vicente del Bosque's men arrived in Brazil as one of the pre-tournament favourites having triumphed in South Africa four years ago, as well as retained their UEFA European Championship title in 2012.

However, Spain's World Cup defence began in a disastrous fashion as Louis van Gaal's side stormed to a shock 5-1 Group B victory in Salvador on Friday.

Xabi Alonso's 27th-minute penalty had appeared to put Spain in a strong position, but Robin van Persie's superb headed equaliser shortly before the break triggered a second-half demolition from the Dutch.

Several Spain stars came in for heavy criticism following the crushing defeat, none more so than Iker Casillas, with some calling for the Real Madrid goalkeeper to be dropped from the starting XI.

Del Bosque may retain faith in his captain, however, as David de Gea is struggling for fitness due to a muscle injury, leaving Pepe Reina as the only alternative.

Central defensive pair Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique as well as Brazil-born striker Diego Costa also faced scrutiny for their performances, but it remains to be seen if Del Bosque will change his line-up or hand an opportunity to the side that failed so spectacularly last week.

Regardless of who gets the nod at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, the result will offer some indication as to whether Spain can mount a challenge to return to the iconic stadium for the final on July 13.

It is the second time in as many World Cups that the teams have faced off, Spain triumphing 2-1 in 2010, although both sides still progressed from Group H.

A repeat victory could re-invigorate Spain - who lost their opener in South Africa before going all the way - and forward Juan Mata believes a strong team bond can help them overcome the poor start.

"We have strong faith in our football, in our ideas and we really believe we can overcome the situation," he said. "This group is like a family since I arrived here.

"I think it's vital this kind of friendship between all of us, this familiar feelings which have made the Spain national team into a successful team."

Chile started their campaign with a 3-1 victory over Australia, but that scoreline somewhat belied the difficulty that Jorge Sampaoli's side faced in Cuiaba.

The South Americans were fluent in attack, with Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez particularly lively, yet goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was required to make a series of saves to deny Australia at least a draw.

Chile have failed to beat Spain in 10 meetings between the teams and even a point could prove crucial in their bid to qualify for the knockout stages.

However, midfielder Arturo Vidal - who managed 60 minutes against Australia as he continues to recover from knee surgery and has declared himself fit to play Spain - insists Chile are only interested in a maximum haul.

"We're going to push forward looking for the three points," he said. "We have our style and we'll keep to it, we'll keep working in the same way and we're not going to change that."

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Cameroon vs Croatia: FIFA World Cup

Volker Finke

After opening-round defeats, Cameroon face Croatia with both teams needing a win to keep their dreams of reaching the last 16 alive.

Volker Finke saw his Cameroon side fall to a 1-0 setback to Mexico last Friday, despite having what appeared to be a valid goal disallowed by offside.

The African nation, who have now lost their last five games at the finals, were left frustrated and know the Croatia clash in Manaus holds the key to their hopes of progressing in Brazil.

With the tournament hosts last up in Group A for Cameroon, Finke has stressed the significance of Wednesday's game, but the 66-year-old will not be panicked into wholesale changes to secure a win.

"When you lose the first match, you have to pick up maximum points in the second to remain in the hunt," he told FIFA.com.

"It's obvious that we need to change something, but in football, the worst thing you can do is call everything into question.

"That doesn't work. In my opinion, you can't succeed like that. Doubts will drive you crazy.

"They lead to other doubts and you can't perform well when you start having doubts.

"That doesn't mean you shouldn't go in for self-criticism, but doubt brings in question the very foundation of football, which is cooperation."

Croatia find themselves bottom of the group after the 3-1 defeat to Brazil in the opening match of the 2014 showpiece, meaning the side ranked 18th in the world will be wary of the need to improve their goal difference.

Coach Niko Kovac watched Italy's 2-1 win over England in Group D on Saturday closely to understand how the conditions at the Arena Amazonia will affect his players.

Kovac wants his side to seize the initiative and is well aware of the importance of a making a quick impact before the humid conditions take a toll.

"We have seen that after 70 minutes (in Manaus) players started to shut down," he said. "That game (England v Italy) was good and showed we cannot keep up the pace from start to finish.

"Who has the ball, dictating the pace (will benefit) and who is chasing the ball will lose energy.

"The first goal will be an advantage, it would be good to go in half (half-time) with a positive result."

Croatia have been buoyed by the news that midfield playmaker Luka Modric is likely to start, despite a knock after the Brazil game.

However, things look bleaker for Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, who is a major doubt with a knee injury.

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vineri, 13 iunie 2014

Hodgson: Italy experience irrelevant

Roy Hodgson

England coach Roy Hodgson said his experience coaching in Italy is irrelevant, ahead of their FIFA World Cup opener.

Hodgson's men open their Group D in Manaus against the Italians, and the 66-year-old is leading his home nation into a World Cup for the first time after a coaching career that began with Swedish club Halmstads BK in 1976.

His first 'big' club that he took the reins of was Inter, where he coached from 1995 to 1997 and had another caretaker stint there in 1999.

Hodgson also coached Udinese in 2001, but he refused to buy into the theory his knowledge of Italian football would help unlock Cesare Prandelli's men in Brazil.

"Not really. I left in … 2001 if you want to be totally precise. So that is 13 years ago," Hodgson said.

"Italian football is not the same.

"There has been enormous change in our own mentality since then, so it would be foolish to base any of our thoughts and plans on me working there 13 years ago."

The first four games of the World Cup have produced 15 goals, and Hodgson said there was no reason why the attacking brand of football would cease for their clash.

"We have seen attacking football; we have seen both teams going at each other searching for the win," he said.

"We've not had a game where one team is interested in winning and the other is only interested in not losing.

"We aim to continue that. I've never seen an England team go out just to get a clean sheet."

Hodgson said he has plenty of respect for the 2006 World Cup winners, and has been researching the Italians since landing in their group.

"We always try to be dominant, but that depends on the opponents," Hodgson said.

"I won't comment on Italy's setup, but I've been looking at them ever since the draw was made (in December) and we think we know a lot about them.

"We have done a lot of work to make sure we don't get caught out by them, but it's a very good Italian team and we know we will have to do everything we do at our best if we are to win."

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Toure, Drogba available for Japan clash

Didier Drogba - Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba will both be available for Ivory Coast's FIFA World Cup opener with Japan, according to coach Sabri Lamouchi.

Lamouchi said Toure (hamstring) and Drogba (groin) were both ready to be selected, although refused to confirm what capacity - if any - the pair would be involved in on Saturday in Recife.

"All my players are ready to play on Sunday, but I can't say they are all 100 per cent," Lamouchi said ahead of their Group C curtain raiser.

"As you know, we have had some little problems with players not being fully fit, but they have recovered well.

"Some of them did not play enough before joining the national team.

"But everybody will be available, however I cannot say that everybody will be at 100 per cent."

Galatasaray forward Drogba, 36, is likely appearing at a World Cup for the final time, and Lamouchi said he has nothing to prove.

The Tunisian coach said the former Chelsea man would be ready to take on the Japanese.

"Didier Drogba is doing great. He has fully overcome the injury he suffered playing for Galatasaray," Lamouchi said.

"Our medical staff have done an exceptional job.

"He has had to make enormous sacrifices and effort to make it here, in order to be at his best.

"He does not have prove himself.

"He is a real champion, a great professional and a great competitor.

"His experience and quality will be very useful. He's in great shape."

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joi, 12 iunie 2014

Hajrovic downplays Argentina threat

12 June 2014 18:11

Bosnia-Herzegovina winger Izet Hajrovic has downplayed the threat posed by FIFA World Cup Group F rivals Argentina.

Alejandro Sabella’s Argentina arrive in the tournament among the favourites to go all the way, but some in the Bosnia camp fancy their chances against the South Americans.

The two sides get Group F under way on...

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Toni agrees new Verona contract

12 June 2014 18:06

Luca Toni has committed himself to Verona for another season after an excellent 2013-14 Serie A campaign.

The 37-year-old netted 20 league goals as Verona challenged in the higher echelons of the table and, although a sluggish end to the season saw them finish 10th, the striker is keen to get started again.

His contract was due to


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Ochoa to start in goal for Mexico

12 June 2014 17:47

Guillermo Ochoa has won the battle to start in goal for Mexico in their FIFA World Cup opener against Cameroon on Friday.

The 28-year-old goalkeeper, who will leave relegated French club Ajaccio when his contract expires, edged Jesus Corona and Alfredo Talavera for the spot.

Miguel Herrera’s decision to name Ochoa was the...

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Sagbo receives two-match ban

12 June 2014 17:47

Hull City’s Yannick Sagbo has been banned for two matches for remarks made on social media in relation to the ‘quenelle’ salute.

Sagbo was initially fined £15,000 by an independent regulatory commission in April after showing support for Nicolas Anelka, who celebrated a goal in West Brom’s 3-3 draw at


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Arsenal turned down Fabregas option

12 June 2014 17:40

Cesc Fabregas has revealed Arsenal rejected their option to re-sign the midfielder from Barcelona following his move to Chelsea.

It was announced on Thursday that the Spain international had put pen to paper on a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

The move brings to an end his three-year stint at Camp Nou, whom he joined from


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Coentrao misses Portugal training

12 June 2014 17:33

Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao missed Portugal training with a suspected hip injury on Thursday.

The full-back scored in his country’s final FIFA World Cup warm-up fixture – a 5-1 triumph over the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday – but there will now be fears over his fitness ahead of Portugal’s


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Lugano draws on spirit and history

12 June 2014 17:30

Uruguay defender Diego Lugano has paid tribute the strength of character his team-mates showed in securing a FIFA World Cup berth.

Oscar Tabarez’s experienced side made a storming star to their CONMEBOL qualification campaign but a six-game winless run in the middle of the marathon section meant they needed an


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Fabregas seals Chelsea switch

12 June 2014 17:05

Chelsea have signed Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas on a five-year deal from Barcelona.

Fabregas, currently away with his national side at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, returns to the Premier League after a three-year stay at Camp Nou.

The 27-year-old joined the Catalan giants from Arsenal in 2011, and won La Liga in 2013, as well


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Wilmots keeps plans under wraps

12 June 2014 17:00

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots is keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of Tuesday’s FIFA World Cup opener against Algeria.

Wilmots’ men kick off their campaign against Africa’s top-ranked side, before coming up against Russia and South Korea in Group H.

However, when asked whether he had already settled on his


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Lamouchi hails Ivory Coast experience

12 June 2014 16:57

Sabri Lamouchi believes his Ivory Coast side have the experience to succeed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The African outfit have often been accused of a lack of concentration at the back in some quarters, but coach Lamouchi insists his players’ know-how will help them overcome the problem.

Ivory Coast kick off their campaign


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miercuri, 11 iunie 2014

Ecuador ´strong mentally´ for Swiss date

12 June 2014 03:44

Ecuador midfielder Luis Saritama said the squad is mentally ready to tackle Switzerland in their FIFA World Cup opener on Sunday.

Reinaldo Rueda’s men warmed up for their Group E curtain-raiser with a 2-0 friendly win over local Brazilian side AC Ceramica on Wednesday, with each of Renato Ibarra and Joao Rojas hitting the


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World Cup triumph unrealistic, says Klinsmann

12 June 2014 05:33

Jurgen Klinsmann said it is unrealistic for people to think the United States can win the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The USA have been handed a tough draw at the World Cup, pitted alongside powerhouse nations Germany, Portugal and Ghana in Group G.

In an interview with the New York Times published on June 4, coach Klinsmann said:...

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Karnezis: Falcao-less Colombia still dangerous

12 June 2014 04:31

Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis was wary of upcoming FIFA World Cup opponents Colombia, ahead of their Group C clash on Saturday.

Karnezis will be in goal for Fernando Santos’ men in their tournament opener in Belo Horizonte, and noted Colombian trio James Rodriguez, Carlos Bacca and Teofio Gutierrez as the men for


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Pirlo: Italy ´always´ perform against England

12 June 2014 03:46

Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo said his compatriots have ‘always played great games’ against 2014 World Cup rivals England.

The two nations are set to square off to open their respective Group D campaigns in Brazil on Saturday.

Dead-ball specialist Pirlo said while he is wary of the potential of Roy Hodgson’s men,


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Pirlo targeting more silverware

12 June 2014 05:40

Veteran Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo is hoping to win more Serie A titles after prolonging his stay at the Italian champions.

Pirlo was set to come out of contract at the end of the month but the 35-year-old signed a new two-year deal with Juventus on Wednesday.

The Italy international, who will remain at the club until June


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Pearce: Wilshere won´t play in Brazil

12 June 2014 05:36

England midfielder Jack Wilshere will not kick a ball at the FIFA World Cup, according to the country’s former U21 coach Stuart Pearce.

Wilshere has featured in all three of England’s warm-up games against Peru, Ecuador and Honduras as he attempts to return to full fitness after sustaining a foot injury in


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Martinez: Defeat not the end of the world

12 June 2014 02:47

Javi Martinez said Spain will not be losing sleep if they are beaten by the Netherlands in their FIFA World Cup opener on Friday.

Spain kick off their title defence against the Netherlands in Group B action in Salvador – a rematch of the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.

The Spanish are known to make slow starts at


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Algeria squad ´like a family´, says Soudani

12 June 2014 01:17

Algeria forward El Arabi Hillel Soudani said the African nation’s squad are like a family, ahead of their daunting FIFA World Cup campaign.

Dinamo Zagreb man Soudani, 26, will lead Algeria’s line in their Group H campaign against Russia, South Korea and Belgium in Brazil.

Soudani said coach Vahid Halilhodzic has the...

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Sneijder still haunted by 2010 final

12 June 2014 01:16

Wesley Sneijder said he is still haunted by the Netherlands’ loss to Spain four years ago ahead of their Group B opener on Friday.

The Netherlands, then coached by Bert van Marwijk, were beaten 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, with Andres Iniesta settling the match four minutes from the end in extra time.


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Reina not ruling out Napoli return

11 June 2014 11:54

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has not ruled out making a return to Napoli next season amid continuing uncertainty over his future.

The Spaniard spent 2013-14 on loan in Naples, and impressed for Rafael Benitez’s side as they won the Coppa Italia and finished third in Serie A.

Reina, currently away with Spain’s FIFA


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Modric wanted Rakitic at Real

11 June 2014 11:28

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric hoped Croatia team-mate Ivan Rakitic would end up at the Bernabeu next season – not Barcelona.

Rakitic’s future has come under intense speculation after he was instrumental in Sevilla winning the UEFA Europa League and finishing fifth in La Liga last term.

It is widely expected that


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City now an established force – Hart

11 June 2014 11:20

Joe Hart believes Premier League champions Manchester City have now established themselves as one of English football’s superpowers.

City held off the challenge of Liverpool and Chelsea to land their second title in three seasons last term, scoring an incredible 102 goals in the process.

The Etihad Stadium club won their


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Suarez doing ´triple shifts´ to prove fitness – Rodriguez

11 June 2014 12:26

Uruguay star Luis Suarez is putting in extra training in an attempt to win his race to be fit for the FIFA World Cup.

That is according to team-mate Cristian Rodriguez, who has revealed Suarez is doing everything in his power to play a part in his country’s campaign in Brazil.

Suarez underwent surgery to repair meniscus


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Blatter hits back at calls to step down

11 June 2014 12:09

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has hit back at calls for him to step down next year, and called for focus on the upcoming World Cup instead.

Several UEFA officials have publicly stated their belief that the 78-year-old should not stand for re-election as head of football’s global governing body due to the ongoing controversy


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Mancini leaves Galatasaray

11 June 2014 13:14

Galatasaray have announced that they have parted company with manager Roberto Mancini by mutual consent.

The 49-year-old only moved to the Super Lig outfit in September last year after being sacked by Manchester City.

The move is at odds with Mancini’s public comments earlier this week, in which he claimed he was to stay in


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Messi dreaming of Brazil final

11 June 2014 12:56

Argentina captain Lionel Messi is dreaming of leading his country to FIFA World Cup glory by finally shining on the biggest stage of all.

Messi has seen Argentina get eliminated in the quarter-finals of both his previous World Cups, with the four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner scoring just once in eight appearances at the


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Blackpool appoint Riga

11 June 2014 12:46

Championship outfit Blackpool have announced Jose Riga as their new manager as they look to recover from a disastrous season.

Blackpool led the league in September after a fast start but plummeted down the table in a campaign that saw manager Paul Ince sacked in January.

Barry Ferguson’s short-lived tenure as caretaker boss


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Cillessen hoping to emulate heroes

11 June 2014 10:19

Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is excited to be emulating his heroes as he prepares to make his FIFA World Cup debut.

The Ajax stopper started all three of his country’s pre-tournament friendlies, and cannot wait to follow in the footsteps of his idols – compatriot Edwin van der Sar and legendary German keeper


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Pirlo pens new Juve contract

11 June 2014 10:11

Andrea Pirlo has put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension at Juventus.

The playmaker’s previous deal had been due to expire at the end of the month, but he has now committed his future to the Italian champions until June 2016.

Pirlo moved to Juve from Milan in May 2011, and is an integral part of the team who have


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Ayew timing his run for World Cup start

11 June 2014 06:09

Timing can be critical to sporting success and five days before their FIFA World Cup opener, Ghana may have found a new star at the ideal moment.

Jordan Ayew struck his maiden international hat-trick for Ghana on Monday, taking advantage of an early injury to Abdul Majeed Waris to push his claims to coach Kwesi Appiah for a...

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Bradley: Friendlies mean little

11 June 2014 06:05

United States midfielder Michael Bradley is not paying too much attention to Ghana’s result in their final pre-FIFA World Cup match.

Ghana wrapped up preparations for the World Cup in Brazil with a 4-0 rout of South Korea on Saturday, with Marseille forward Jordan Ayew’s hat-trick inspiring the demolition in Miami.


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Foot injury rules out Costa Rica´s Mora

11 June 2014 06:35

Costa Rica defender Heiner Mora has suffered a World Cup-ending injury, after sustaining a stress fracture in his right heel.

The Deportivo Saprissa wing-back, 29, started in their 1-1 friendly draw with the Republic of Ireland on Friday, however, he felt a ‘sharp pain’ during training on Tuesday.

Team physician


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Kolo Toure: I feel great

11 June 2014 06:19

Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure said he has overcome his malaria scare, as his side prepares for their FIFA World Cup clash with Japan.

The Ivorians begin their 2014 Brazil finals tournament on Saturday in Recife, and the Toure brothers have been at the helm of the headlines – with Kolo suffering a bout of malaria, while...

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Kerzhakov not focused on scoring record

11 June 2014 07:40

Striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov has insisted he is not focused on becoming Russia’s all-time leading goalscorer ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

The 31-year-old needs just two goals in Brazil to surpass Vladimir Beschastnykh’s record of 26 goals and should get an opportunity having played a role in all three of Russia’s...

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Besic will try to stop Messi

11 June 2014 07:04

Muhamed Besic will try his best to stop Lionel Messi when Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina go head-to-head at the FIFA World Cup.

World Cup debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina kick off their campaign against Group F rivals and one of the pre-tournament favourites Argentina in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

Argentina captain Messi is expected...

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Arias challenges Colombia to ´make history´

11 June 2014 04:02

Colombia full-back Santiago Arias has challenged his team to reach their maiden FIFA World Cup quarter-final in Brazil.

The South American nation have never gotten past the round of 16 in their four previous World Cup appearances and Arias wants Jose Pekerman’s Colombia side to ‘make history’ this year.


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Croatia lose Mocinic to ankle injury

11 June 2014 04:00

Croatia have been forced into a squad change two days out from their FIFA World Cup opener against Brazil, with Ivan Mocinic injured.

Midfielder Mocinic, 21, is set to be replaced in their 23-man squad by Hamburg midfielder Milan Badelj, despite the latter originally ruled out of the squad due to injury also.

The switch is still


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International Friendly: Republic of Ireland 1 Portugal 5

11 June 2014 03:55

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the field to inspire Portugal to a 5-1 win over the Republic of Ireland at MetLife Stadium on Tuesday.

Ronaldo had missed Portugal’s past two friendlies due to a knee injury but made a comeback and played 65 minutes as his country wrapped up preparations for the FIFA World Cup with a...

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SFA considering leaving Hampden Park

11 June 2014 02:46

The Scotland Football Association (SFA) revealed on Tuesday they are considering moving away from Hampden Park after 2020.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan confirmed at the FIFA Congress in Brazil that the governing body will ‘proactively explore’ every option regarding Hampden Park as the home of Scottish football.


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marți, 10 iunie 2014

Adams rubbishes Hooper exit talk

10 June 2014 19:39

Norwich City boss Neil Adams has dismissed speculation that Gary Hooper has handed in a transfer request.

Hooper arrived at Carrow Road from Celtic at the start of the 2013-14 campaign, but failed to replicate his prolific form shown in Scotland, scoring just six goals in 32 Premier League appearances as Norwich were relegated.



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Chile focused on Australia clash, says Pinilla

10 June 2014 19:34

Chile are focused solely on their FIFA World Cup opener against Australia on Friday, according to experienced forward Mauricio Pinilla.

The Group A opponents meet in Cuiaba on the second day of the competition but both face an uphill task to qualify due to the presence of Spain and the Netherlands.

Realistically, Friday’s


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Chavez calls for fast start

10 June 2014 19:06

Honduras midfielder Marvin Chavez has targeted a fast start as his side prepare to open the FIFA World Cup against France on Sunday.

Luis Suarez’s side have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions but had their hopes boosted by a gritty 0-0 friendly draw against England on Saturday.

And Chavez – who


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Suarez on the mend after knee injury

10 June 2014 20:15

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez says his knee is “getting better” ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The Liverpool man suffered an injury in training during the build-up to the World Cup and had initially been a doubt for the competition.

However, he was included in Oscar Tabarez’s squad with both coach and player


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Maniatis backs Greece to cause a stir

10 June 2014 20:09

Versatile midfielder Giannis Maniatis has backed Greece to spring a surprise or two at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The experienced Olympiacos man is preparing to feature in his first World Cup after helping Greece through a play-off against Romania in November last year.

Despite not being among the favourites for the competition,


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Mikel eyes Nigeria World Cup lift

10 June 2014 19:43

Nigeria set off for the FIFA World Cup in a bullish mood with midfielder John Obi Mikel confident of qualification from Group F.

In one of the less eye-catching groups, Argentina are heavy favourites with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria expected to be locked in a battle for second.

Mikel, though, insists the African side have


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Minda elated at late inclusion

10 June 2014 20:32

Ecuador midfielder Oswaldo Minda was delighted to be called up to his nation’s FIFA World Cup squad on the verge of the tournament.

The Chivas USA man was the beneficiary of Segundo Castillo’s exclusion, with the latter failing to recover from a knee injury suffered against Mexico last month.

Minda was initially


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Blatter blasted by UEFA chiefs

10 June 2014 20:21

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been told not to stand for re-election by high-ranking UEFA officials at a meeting in Brazil.

Blatter, who took over as the world governing body’s chief in 1998, became embroiled in controversy over the weekend when he suggested that criticism of FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World...

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Boyce: FIFA not to blame for problems in Brazil

10 June 2014 21:26

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce says the organisation are not to blame for the political issues in Brazil surrounding the World Cup.

Before the opening game of the tournament on Thursday, there have been scenes of protest from some Brazilians about the decision to stage the finals.

Some feel the money spent on the event would have


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We have evolved – Shaqiri

10 June 2014 21:15

Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri feels his side have improved immensely since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Bayern Munich man made just one appearance in South Africa four years ago, coming on as a late substitute in a goalless draw against Honduras in the group stages.

Four years on, the 22-year-old is one of the main men in


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Makoun: Cameroon have learned from 2010

10 June 2014 12:31

Jean Makoun is confident Cameroon have learned from the 2010 FIFA World Cup as they plot a path to the knockout stages in Brazil.

Four years ago the midfielder was part of a squad that failed to collect a single point from their group matches.

Makoun, who featured in all three games in South Africa, is convinced there is a better


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Cole completes Villa medical

10 June 2014 11:51

Joe Cole appears set to sign for Aston Villa on a free transfer after the club confirmed he had passed a medical on Tuesday.

Former England midfielder Cole is a free agent after his contract at West Ham expired.

Villa had been strongly linked with the 32-year-old and a deal now seems close to completion.

The Midlands outfit posted a


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Stekelenburg blames himself for World Cup snub

10 June 2014 11:35

Maarten Stekelenburg blames himself for missing out on the FIFA World Cup with Netherlands after a disappointing club season with Fulham.

The 31-year-old was first-choice for the Netherlands at the 2012 European Championship and also started the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.

However, he has since dropped down the pecking


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Alonso backs Illarramendi to shine

10 June 2014 13:53

Asier Illarramendi is the future of Real Madrid according to Xabi Alonso, who is convinced his team-mate will be a huge success.

The 24-year-old midfielder arrived at Santiago Bernabeu at the start of last season, having impressed for Real Sociedad, and went on to make 29 appearances in La Liga.

Alonso has seen enough to believe


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Villa complete Cole signing

10 June 2014 13:52

Aston Villa have completed the signing of free agent Joe Cole, who has agreed a two-year deal.

The former England midfielder underwent a medical at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground on Tuesday, having been released by West Ham at the end of last season.

Villa subsequently announced the 32-year-old’s arrival via a


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South Korea boss promises better defending at World Cup

10 June 2014 13:12

Head coach Hong Myung-bo has vowed to improve South Korea’s defending ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

The Group H hopefuls were beaten 4-0 by Ghana on Monday in their final warm-up friendly before taking taking on Russia next week.

Even Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah was critical of Hong’s side – advising them to be more


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Slimani wants no World Cup regrets

10 June 2014 14:01

Islam Slimani has pledged that Algeria will give their all at the FIFA World Cup, insisting the team “do not want any regrets”.

After enjoying his debut season in European football with Sporting Lisbon, striker Slimani is confident that he and his fellow countrymen have what it takes to make their mark in Brazil.



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Deschamps: No regrets over Nasri snub

10 June 2014 13:56

France coach Didier Deschamps insists he has no regrets over his decision to leave Samir Nasri out of his FIFA World Cup squad.

The Manchester City midfielder was among the more high-profile players to be left out of the French party, although his omission was not altogether unexpected.

Nasri, handed a three-match ban by the French


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Kagawa keen to prove a point

10 June 2014 14:05

Shinji Kagawa has urged his Japan team-mates to show their quality at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The Manchester United playmaker is set to feature in his first World Cup over the next few weeks, with Japan grouped alongside Colombia, Greece and Ivory Coast.

Together with the likes of Keisuke Honda, Shinji Okazaki and...

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Silva willing to adapt

10 June 2014 03:07

Spain attacker David Silva said he would happily adapt to other roles to be in the reigning world champions’ starting XI.

The Manchester City star started Spain’s two pre-FIFA World Cup friendlies on the bench as Vicente del Bosque learned more about his team ahead of Brazil 2014.

Silva said he would ideally play behind...

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