Run-up to FIFA 2010: Soccer Gossip

Portugal improves scoring rate, England, Uruguay and South Africa trim their squads to 23 and in club football, surprise in Inter Milan after Fabio Capello commits himself to England for the foreseeable future.

Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz can breathe a sigh of relief after being much criticized for dropping the most experienced goalkeeper, Quim, from the squad (because “he is not part of the future”) then drawing 0-0 with Cape Verde and declaring he was training the defence. Er…..against Cape Verde? However Portugal’s performance against Cameroon today was satisfactory, 3-1.

In this last preparation game, FC Porto midfielder Raul Meireles scored twice on 32’ and 46’ and Nani (Manchester Utd) added the third on 81’. Cameroon had the captain Eto’o sent off after 33’ and got one back on 69’ (Webo).

The squads: Portugal, England, South Africa and Uruguay

Portugal squad: Eduardo (Braga), Beto (Porto), Daniel Fernandes (Iraklis); Duda (Malaga), Bruno Alves (Porto), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Miguel (Valencia), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Rolando (Porto), Fabio Coentrao (Benfica), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Lille); Deco (Chelsea), Tiago (Atletico Madrid), Raul Meireles (Porto), Pedro Mendes (Sporting Lisbon), Miguel Veloso (Sporting Lisbon); Nani (Manchester United), Simao Sabrosa (Atletico Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen), Danny (Zenit St Petersburg), Liedson (Sporting Lisbon)

England squad
Joe Hart, David James, Robert Green.

Defenders: Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock.

Midfielders: Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Forwards: Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney.

South Africa squad
Itumeleng Khune, Moeneeb Josephs, Shu-Aib Walters

Defenders: Siboniso Gaxa, Matthew Booth, Lucas Thwala, Aaron Mokoena, Bongani Khumalo, Siyabonga Sangweni, Tsepo Masilela, Anele Ngcongca, Lucas Thwala

Midfielders: Steven Pienaar, Teko Modise, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thanduyise Khuboni, Kagisho Dikgaco, Macbeth Sibaya, Surprise Moriri

Forwards: Katlego Mphela, Bernard Parker, Siyabonga Nomvete.

Club football

Inter Milan: Gossip says that Rafa Benitez (Liverpool FC) is the target for the non-substitutable José Mourinho. Well not really. All you have to do is study the opposition and tell your players who they are going to face next weekend and what the characteristics of the player are. “This one dribbles to the left, watch him” “This one takes 85% of his penalties to the right”.

Manchester United: Mikel Arteta is the target. Arsenal: Arteta is the target. Let’s see who wins the tug o’war.



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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey