Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 17th 2014 Contents A66
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Portugal's Pepe, left, puts his head on Germany's Thomas Mueller during the group G World Cup soccer
match between Germany and Portugal at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, yesterday. Pepe was
red carded after this, leaving his team with only ten men. Portugal lost 4-0. AP PHOTO
HEAD TO HEAD
Benzema credits Deschamps
for ending his bad spell
RIBEIRAO PRETO --- Karim Benzema credits coach Didier Deschamps with helping
him get through the worst spell of his international career, and now feels brash
enough to predict France can "can do something extraordinary" at the World Cup
after starting with a 3-0 win against Honduras.
Benzema scored twice against Honduras in Sunday's Group E match, taking his tally
to eight goals in the past seven international games, and he played a decisive role in
the other goal --- the first at a World Cup to be validated by goal-line technology.
The 26-year-old Benzema was left out of the last World Cup squad, and his goals
were his first in a major tournament. He flopped at the European Championship two
years ago and drew a blank as a raw striker at Euro 2008.
"It's a new team, a new era, a team full of talent that can do something extraordi-
nary at this World Cup," Benzema said yesterday. "I think I can still improve. I'm feel-
ing full of confidence, I'm injury free and you have to make the most of it."
Zico praises Messi goal
RIO DE JANEIRO --- The man who made Maracana Stadium his own paid tribute
on yesterday to the sparkling World Cup goal by Lionel Messi that graced the iconic
A day after the Argentine scored in the cathedral of Brazilian football, Zico ap-
plauded the strike on the 64th anniversary of the first match at Maracana.
"Maracana did deserve a goal like he scored," Zico said of the stadium built for the
1950 World Cup.
A statue of the former Brazil and Flamengo great stands in Maracana to mark his
333 goals there. Zico recalled the original Maracana holding 177,000 fans including
him when Flamengo played city rival Fluminense in 1963.
Suarez fully recovered
SETE LAGOAS --- Luis Suarez says he's fully recovered from his knee operation
and will put his insider knowledge of English football to use against Roy Hodgson's
Having sat out Uruguay's 3-1 loss on Saturday to Group D underdog Costa Rica,
Suarez said he has been medically cleared to play.
He said: "I'm 100 per cent" ready and has "great desire to help my teammates."
He added: "I didn't miss one day of my rehab."
The Liverpool striker also noted that he knows all 23 members of Hodgson's squad,
"either because they're my teammates or because I've faced them," and said "they
have some defensive flaws we can exploit."
Brazil striker Hulk to miss training
FORTALEZA --- Brazil striker Hulk missed training again and remains doubtful for
the team's World Cup match against Mexico today.
The Brazilian football federation said no serious injury was detected in an MRI scan
yesterday, but the player did not join the rest of the squad for training at the Arena
Castelao, where Brazil plays its second World Cup match.
The federation said a decision on whether Hulk can play will only be made today
after doctors re-evaluate his condition.
"We will look at how the whole situation develops and then we can make an evalu-
ation before the match," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said.
De Rossi, Barzagli on Italy injury list
MANGARATIBA --- Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi sat out training yesterday due
to neck pain, adding to the Azzurri's injury problems at the World Cup.
Also, centre back Andrea Barzagli worked out individually to rest the various aches
and pains he has struggled with for months.
Captain Gianluigi Buffon and fullback Mattia De Sciglio also remained out. Buffon
hurt his left ankle and knee a day before Italy's 2-1 win over England. De Sciglio
missed the Azzurri's opener with a pulled muscle.
Salvatore Sirigu, who performed well in goal in Buffon's absence against England,
was also treated for a problem at the end of Monday's training session under a torrid
sun at the Portobello resort. Suffering from the heat, Sirigu had ice applied to his
Oxdale-Chamberlain training again
RIO DE JANEIRO --- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has stepped up his recovery from a
knee injury ahead of England's second match at the World Cup.
The Arsenal midfielder was seen back in training yesterday, with strapping on his
right knee as he kicked the ball and did drills at England's Rio de Janeiro base for the
first time in front of the media since injuring medial ligaments almost two weeks ago
in a warm-up match.
The 20-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain earlier said was he "hopeful" of featuring
against Uruguay in Sao Paulo on Thursday. England lost 2-1 to Italy in its opening
match in Group D.
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