FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sven-Goran Eriksson awaits the results of Rooney's scan

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Wayne Rooney's injury has been the main issue in England in the last weeks. So, the x-rays results of his medical review are expected by everybody. Rooney underwent a scan in hospital yesterday, although Manchester United have been so protective of the results they have not dangled a single clue before Sven-Goran Eriksson about the real prognosis for the player.

for his strong feelings about the player's recovery, Eriksson might be forgiven for taking offence but the England insisted last night that he was happy for Sir Alex Ferguson and his medical staff at Old Trafford to withhold the results. He expects a call early this morning and anticipates an official announcement will then be made, both from Old Trafford and FA headquarters. "I'm still optimistic and I still think we will able to take him," the coach said.

Rooney's amazing progress has raised hopes that he will be able to fly out with the rest of England players in 10 days' time, although there remain legitimate reservations about the chances that he will play from the quarter-finals. And even though the picture should become much clearer today, it might be premature to expect a definitive answer, with another x-ray possibly scheduled before the FA have to confirm the striker's inclusion with the official list next Tuesday. Even then there will have to be crunch talks involving Ferguson, who has repeatedly stated that Rooney should not be involved if there is the slightest doubt. "At the moment there is nothing new to report," Eriksson said after the 2-1 defeat to Belarus." The scan has been completed but the doctor wanted to look at it in the morning and it's important to wait until he has seen it. I ignore what the result is and I don't even think Wayne actually knows.

"I don't even know what time the scan was but that's ok. I knew right from the start that the scan would take place one day and that the results would not be known until the next one. It's not long, so let's just wait."

Hard work for Ronaldo

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Brazilian striker Ronaldo is having a special training plan for him in order to recover his best form. Carlos Alberto Parreira plans to field him in the world champions' opening game against Croatia on June 13, even though the striker has not played a game since early April.

The Real Madrid player, plagued by minor injuries all season at Real Madrid, trained with the rest of the Brazil team on Thursday without feeling any ill-effects.

"One week will be enough for me to reach the same form as the others," Ronaldo claims. "I feel ok, I'm starting some physical work which is going to be tough but which is fundamental in preparing for the first encounter.

"These training sessions will be tough but it's the moment to suffer and to withstand it."

Ronaldo's last match was on April 8 against Real Sociedad when he scored before limping off with a injury to the back of his right thigh.

"It's always nice to be with Brazil, I know perfectly well what it means to represent Brazil," Ronaldo admits.

"I've been off for almost a month and a half, so this is a pre-season for me".

Monday, May 22, 2006

Argentina squad is complete with Messi

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Lionel Messi arrived at Buenos Aires to join manager Jose Pekerman and the rest of the Argentine squad at the Argentine Football Association (AFA) training ground on Monday. Now the southamerican team is complete.

"I am still not ready to play a full 90 minutes," Messi admitted in front of the reporters in Buenos Aires's Ezeiza airport. Messi tore a muscle in his right leg during the Champions League quarter finals match where Barcelona defeated English league team Chelsea.

"Every player dreams of being in the World Cup and winning the tournament. Let's hope that happens to us," he added.

He also told media that he had felt frustration last week, because he couldn't take part of the Champions League final, even though his team beat English league team Arsenal 2-1 in Paris. He has been out for two months and now is filled with a desire to play.

Speaking about Argentina's World Cup team, he said "I am happy that they called up Oscar Ustari, but I would also have liked to be with Sergio Aguero, because they were my team-mates in the under-20 team," he said. We must remember that Argentina won the under-20 World Cup in Holland in 2005.

Messi expressed his sadness for the exclusion of Geman Lux and Javier Zanetti, but said that all these were decisions of the coach.

Argentina will play a friendly game against the under-20 national team on the River Plate pitch on Wednesday. On Thursday, the squad will head for Germany to begin final preparations for the Cup, which begins on June 9. Argentina is in Group C alongside Holland, Ivory Coast and Serbia and Montenegro.

Walcott will be the youngest player at the Cup

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It's always interesting to see the age of some players at the World Cup. One of the most famous cases for the next edition is England player Theo Walcott. With 17, he will be the youngest player in the tournament and could also become the youngest to score if he finds the net in Germany.

In the other hand, Tunisia goalkeeper Ali Boumnijel, 40, will be the fifth oldest player to participate after Roger Milla of Cameroon, Pat Jennings of Northern Ireland, Peter Shilton of England and Dino Zoff of Italy.

Football's world governing body Fifa yesterday released the official squad lists for all 32 World Cup nations.

Each team registered 23 players for the tournament in Germany, making 736 players eligible to play at soccer's premier event, which kicks off on 9 June in Munich. The squad lists were released on Fifa's World Cup website, with names, positions and shirt numbers for all the players.