Saturday 16 December 2017

World Cup in brief: Vidic swansong

Serbia defender Nemanja Vidic has hinted he may be ready retire from international football after Serbia's World Cup campaign in South Africa.

The Manchester United defender said: "This may be my last World Cup. I will be 29 in October and I want to achieve success with Serbia. There have been some bad and some good games, but I think my approach has always been at the highest level."

Benni not bitter

Benni McCarthy has insisted he has no axe to grind with South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira following his surprise omission from the Bafana Bafana squad.

The West Ham forward said: "The final squad is a tough call for any coach to make and I am sure it was not made without heartache.

"No one's place in the final squad is a given and, unfortunately, this time it was not to be."

Sven's six-pack

IVORY COAST manager Sven-Goran Eriksson appears to have learned from bitter experience with England by naming six strikers in his World Cup squad.

Eriksson was criticised for naming just four strikers for Germany 2006 -- including a half-fit Wayne Rooney and 17-year-old Theo Walcott, who had never played for Arsenal -- but the Swede has named a formidable sextet of forwards, led by Didier Drogba, for Ivory Coast's campaign in South Africa. Drogba is joined by fellow forwards Salomon Kalou, Aruna Dindane, Seydou Doumbia, Gervinho and Emmanuel Kone.

Brazil on the ball

It may be four years away, but Brazil 2014 has released its official World Cup logo -- a green and gold image of the World Cup trophy, designed by Hans Donner with contributions from model Gisele Bundchen (above) and writer Paulo Coelho. On the pitch, Lucio has attempted to play down his team's chances: "We won the America's Cup, Confederations Cup and we finished first in the South American qualifiers. But this does not mean we are favourites."

Mexican stand-off

Giovani Dos Santos is considering walking out on Mexico's World Cup campaign following coach Javier Aguirre's decision to omit his brother, Jonathan, from his 23-man squad.

According to the Dos Santos' father Zizinho, Spurs midfielder Giovani called him in tears, insisting he no longer wanted to play in the World Cup.

"Gio is very hurt and he wants to be at home with us," said Zizinho.

"We don't know if he will play at the World Cup or not. We still don't know anything." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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