Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 3rd 2014 Contents A57
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
BERLIN---Germany and Argentina clash
again 52 days after contesting the World
Cup final, albeit with less at stake when
the sides meet for a friendly in Duessel-
It may seem incongruous to celebrate win-
ning the World Cup with the defeated side
in attendance, but today s game was organised
last March, well before Mario Goetze scored
in injury time on July 13 to give Germany its
fourth title with a 1-0 win.
Some 40,000 fans turned up to celebrate
Joachim Loew s side during Monday s open
training session and Argentina will be keen
to dampen their mood, particularly after
German players poked fun at the beaten
finalists on their return from Brazil with their
"Gaucho dance" in Berlin.
Other friendlies are also taking place today
and tomorrow, with fewer scores to settle,
but with important preparations to be made
as qualification for the 2016 European Cham-
pionships begins at the weekend. Here are
some of the main games to look out for:
GERMANY-ARGENTINA: Both sides are
beginning new eras as they meet for the sec-
ond time in two months. Argentina have a
new coach, Gerardo Martino, appointed to
continue the work of predecessor Alejandro
Sabella, who stepped down following the
World Cup final after almost three years in
Germany has had to contend with several
high-profile retirements. Record scorer
Miroslav Klose, experienced defender Per
Mertesacker and captain Philipp Lahm all
hung up their boots after success in Brazil,
the latter despite being 30 years old and
arguably at his peak. Bastian Schweinsteiger
was named Germany captain yesterday,
replacing the retired Philipp Lahm.
Argentina star Lionel Messi will miss the
match with a right leg injury. Defender Eze-
quiel Garay, midfielder Maxi Rodriguez and
forward Rodrigo Palacio are also ruled out.
Apart from the retirees, who will all be
honoured before kickoff, Germany will be
without midfielder Mesut Ozil due to an
ankle injury, while Schweinsteiger and Shko-
dran Mustafi are also out.
FRANCE-SPAIN: While host France is
building toward Euro 2016 with the nucleus
of its World Cup squad intact, Spain needs
a makeover after the retirement of several
key players following its humiliating expe-
rience in Brazil.
Vicente del Bosque is still coach, despite
Spain s exit at the group stage, but midfielders
Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso have both
retired, as has all-time leading scorer David
Tomorrow s match at Stade de France pro-
vides the opportunity to test players like
Atletico Madrid midfielder Raul Garcia and
Valencia striker Pablo Alcacer against what
will likely be a competitive France side.
ENGLAND-NORWAY: A new captain. An
inexperienced squad lacking star names. An
expected less-than-half-full stadium.
England coach Roy Hodgson refused to
call it a new era for the national team but
it certainly feels that way heading into today s
friendly against Norway at Wembley Stadi-
With Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard
both retiring from international football and
a slew of injuries to contend with, Hodgson s
squad for the game isn t strong and illustrates
the shallow pool of talent available to him
from the internationally flavored Premier
It will be Wayne Rooney s first game as
captain for England.
CZECH REPUBLIC-UNITED STATES:
The Czech Republic has qualified for every
European Championship since it began com-
peting as an independent nation 20 years
ago. The Czechs are realistically fighting for
second place in a group contested by the
Netherlands, Turkey and Latvia, and will
welcome a highly motivated American side
for today s friendly in Prague.
US coach Jurgen Klinsmann is bringing
ten players from the squad that went out in
the second round of the World Cup after
losing 2-1 in extra time to Belgium. Clint
Dempsey and Michael Bradley have been
overlooked by Klinsmann while Tim Howard
has taken a break from international duty.
ITALY-NETHERLANDS: Two new inter-
national coaches go head to head in Bari
tomorrow, faced with different challenges
following their sides contrasting World Cup
Guus Hiddink, in his second stint in charge,
is building on the work of Louis van Gaal,
who steered the Netherlands to third place
in Brazil. Former Juventus coach Antonio
Conte has a tougher task reinvigorating his
troops following Italy s disappointing group
stage exit, which prompted the immediate
resignation of Cesare Prandelli.
"I will be happy if we make people proud
to be Italian again, I will be happy if we again
become an example for all the country," Conte
Chelsea full-back Cesar Azpilicueta has
been handed a new five-year deal by the
Premier League leaders.
The 25-year-old Spain international signed
from Marseille in August 2012 and is now
firmly established as a first-team regular
for Jose Mourinho s side.
He was named player s player of the sea-
son at Chelsea last term and went to the
recent World Cup in Brazil with the Spanish
A statement on the Chelsea Web site yes-
terday read: "We are pleased to announce
Cesar Azpilicueta has today signed a new
"The defender joined the Blues from Mar-
seille in August 2012 and has so far made
95 appearances for the club, scoring once,
in last season s Capital One Cup victory at
"Azpilicueta, affectionately known as
Dave by supporters, ended his first Chelsea
season by lifting the Europa League trophy
"Last season he was a member of the
Premier League s meanest defence, which
conceded just 27 times in 38 games."
Chelsea has made a fine start to the new
season, winning all three of their Premier
League games, and Azpilicueta has played
every minute so far.
He made his senior international debut
for Spain against Qatar in February last year
and is now away with the squad once more,
with the European qualifiers about to get
BARCELONA---Barcelona says German goal-
keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been cleared
to make his debut for the club after recovering
from a back injury.
Ter Stegen, who arrived from Borussia
Monchengladbach in the offseason, has yet to
play an official match for the Catalan side after
suffering the injuring his back in training last
Barcelona added that Lionel Messi and Andres
Iniesta have trained away from the first team,
with the pair nursing leg injuries.
Messi hurt a right leg muscle during Sunday s
1-0 win at Villarreal while Iniesta missed the win
citing pain in his left knee.
Neither star will play with their respective
national teams this week.
The club adds that back-up goalie Jordi Masip
has fractured a finger and will be sidelined for
four weeks. (AP)
ABIDJAN---The Ivory Coast government decided
late Monday to allow Sierra Leone s team to
enter the country, giving the go-ahead for an
African Cup qualifier after fears over Ebola put
the game and Ivory Coast s place in the tour-
nament in doubt.
The Ivorian government announced the decision
late into the night after a meeting of its National
It said it had been given guarantees by Sierra
Leone s football federation that none of the 20
players and four coaches travelling had been in
Sierra Leone or any other country affected by
Ebola in the last 21 days---the time it takes for
Ebola symptoms to emerge.
Ivory Coast has restrictions on travel from coun-
tries affected by the deadly virus like Sierra Leone
and initially said its squad would not be allowed
in. Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people in
Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria and has
now appeared in a fifth West African country,
Senegal, in the worst outbreak ever recorded.
The Confederation of African Football has tem-
porarily moved games out of Guinea and Sierra
Leone but insisted Saturday s match should go
ahead as planned in the Ivorian capital Abidjan
or Ivory Coast would forfeit its place in the African
Cup of Nations.
The Ivorian government said in a statement
that was read on national television that it was
allowing the game to go ahead after Sierra Leone
picked a squad of foreign-based players and would
allow its party to be screened on arrival in Ivory
Coast, the Ivorian government said.
Ebola is spread through contact with bodily
fluids like blood, sweat and saliva but health experts
say banning travel to or from affected countries
will not help curb the outbreak.
No African Cup qualifiers will take place in
Sierra Leone and Guinea until at least mid-Sep-
tember, when CAF will reassess the situation.
However, CAF ordered other games to go ahead,
including Sierra Leone s visit to Ivory Coast,
Republic of Congo s trip to Nigeria and Cameroon s
away match in Congo, where there is a second,
unrelated Ebola outbreak.
Guinea will play Togo in neutral Morocco in
the first round of matches in the 2015 African
Cup s final qualifiers, which begin on Friday. (AP)
Chelsea's Azpilicueta signs new five-year deal
Ivory Coast to
Leone team in
New goalie Ter
Stegen fit to play
Germany, Argentina to
renew World Cup rivalry
Gemany's head coach Joachim Loew , left, talks to Manuel Neuer, center, and Thomas
Mueller during an open training session ahead of the friendly football match between
Germany and Argentina today in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday. AP PHOTO
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