Form temporary but quality permanent for Rooney – Giggs

(GSM) – Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs is not worried about Wayne Rooney’s current form, insisting that the player has the class to turn his season around.

Rooney has found himself at the center of unwanted attention after lurid allegations about his personal life dominated football headlines around the globe.

As a result, the 24-year-old’s form has suffered, before an ankle injury ruled the England star out for three weeks.

But Giggs believes that Rooney will again go back to his real form through forgetting the allegations and working hard in training.

“In my experience the only way to deal with it is to go on the training pitch and work hard,” said Giggs, at the launch of his new autobiography, Ryan Giggs: My Life, My Story.

Giggs admits that a certain amount of intrusion comes with being a Manchester United player, but the former Wales international has urged his team-mate to focus on his football, insisting that Rooney’s quality will eventually stand out.

Giggs continued: “The rest will eventually come because the quality is there.

“When you are playing at United, you are there to be shot down. All you need is to lose a bit of form or you have a few injuries that mean you are not quite firing.

“Wayne set such high standards last season. He was winning games on his own. We knew it could not carry on. At the moment he is not scoring goals. But that will change quite soon
because he is a world-class player.”

Thu 30 September, 2010
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Germany boss expects ´away´ game at home to Turkey

Germany coach Joachim Loew is concerned next week’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Turkey in Berlin could be an away game for his side given the amount of Turks living in the German capital.

“I can imagine it will be like that,” Loew told Berlin newspaper BZ.

“I was at the Euro 2000 qualifier in 1999 at Munich as a spectator and it was similar.

“Many Turks live in Berlin and it is expected that at least half of the fans will be Turkish, but my team can handle that.”

The game will be held at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium next Friday with both unbeaten sides on maximum six points in Group A after two matches.

But the 74,228-capacity stadium is expected to be a cauldron and Loew is not underestimating Guus Hiddink-coached Turkey.

“They have excellent individual football players, moreover they are motivated because they were not at the 2010 World Cup,” said the 50-year-old Loew.

Loew will announce his squad for the match on Friday.

The team is expected to be captained by Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm with Michael Ballack still recovering from a fractured knee cap.

Thu 30 September, 2010
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Former German World Cup stars to face old rivals

West Germany’s 1990 World Cup-winning side will take on their former East German rivals in a special match to celebrate the 20th anniversary of reunification, it was announced on Thursday.

The German Football Federation (DFB) said it will host a match in Leipzig on Sunday, November 21 between members of the squad that won Italia 1990 and their East German counterparts from that era.

The West German side will be coached by the legendary Franz Beckenbauer, who captained West Germany to the World Cup title in 1974 and then went on to coach the side to success in Italy 16 years later.

The DFB said several stars had already said they will play, without giving names.

“We are delighted that so many former players want to play in this match andgive the game a worthy setting,” said DFB general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach.

The match is to be played at Leipzig’s impressive Central Stadium.

The date is significant as November 21 will be the 20th anniversary of the day West Germany and East German’s football federations combined, 49 days after the country’s reunification on October 3, 1990.

Thu 30 September, 2010
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Ancelotti to face Arsenal despite father´s death

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is set to be pitchside for the Premier League leaders’ match at home to London rivals Arsenal on Sunday despite the death of his father.

Giuseppe Ancelotti died in Italy on Wednesday with his son at his side and the funeral has now been scheduled for Saturday.

“Everyone at Chelsea sends our deepest condolences to Carlo and his family. They are all in our thoughts at this time,” said a statement on the club’s official website, www.chelseafc.com, on Thursday.

Reigning champions Chelsea lead third-placed Arsenal by four points.

Thu 30 September, 2010
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France leave out Toulalan for Euro qualifiers

France coach Laurent Blanc called Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, Dimitri Payet and Yoann Gourcuff into his squad to face Romania in a Euro 2012 qualifier on October 9 and Luxembourg three days later.

But there is no room for Jeremy Toulalan, who served a one-match ban for his role in the World Cup mutiny which followed the sending home of foul-mouthed Nicolas Anelka after his clash with Blanc predecessor Raymond Domenech.

Blanc banned the entire 23-man World Cup squad from his first game in charge, a 2-1 defeat by Norway in a friendly on August 11.

Toulalan’s ban has now expired while Franck Ribery, banned for three games, and skipper Patrice Evra, banned for five, are not yet back in the fold.

Anelka himself is unlikely to feature for France again after he was banned for 18 matches by the French Federation’s disciplinary panel.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who did not make the cut for the World Cup, is in the squad despite Blanc telling Thursday’s France Soir newspaper that the player is “not used to working,” echoing similar criticism from Real coach Jose Mourinho.

Benzema netted the opening goal in France’s recent 2-0 win at Bosnia-Hercegovina in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

France squad

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux)

Defenders: Bakary Sagna (Arsenal/ENG), Adil Rami (Lille), Philippe Mexes (Roma/ITA), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint Germain), Gael Clichy (Arsenal/ENG), Benoit Tremoulinas (Bordeaux)

Midfielders: Abou Diaby (Arsenal/ENG), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid/ESP), Yann Mvila (Rennes), Florent Malouda (Chelsea/ENG), Yoann Gourcuff (Lyon), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Blaise Matuidi (Saint-Etienne), Samir Nasri (Arsenal/ENG)

Strikers: Kevin Gameiro (Lorient), Guillaume Hoarau (PSG), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Loic Remy (Marseille), Dimitri Payet (Saint-Etienne)

Thu 30 September, 2010
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Chelsea without Ancelotti as they prepare for Arsenal clash

(GSM) – Chelsea will have to do without manager Carlo Ancelotti as they prepare for Sunday’s big clash against London rivals Arsenal.

Ancelotti has traveled back to Italy earlier in the week to be with his father, who passed away at the age of 87 on Wednesday night.

The Blues’ boss will be with his family in Italy for the funeral on Saturday but will be back to take his place in the dugout at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea issued a statement on the club’s official website that read: “Carlo Ancelotti’s father Giuseppe passed away in Italy last night aged 87 with his son at his side.

“Everyone at Chelsea Football Club sends our deepest condolences to Carlo and his family. They are all in our thoughts at this time.

“The funeral will take place in Italy on Saturday. Carlo will return to London for Sunday’s match versus Arsenal.”

Thu 30 September, 2010
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Japan need not fear Argentina, says new coach Zac

Former AC Milan boss Alberto Zaccheroni told the Blue Samurai on Thursday to be brave when they clash with Lionel Messi-led powerhouse Argentina next week in his debut match as Japan coach.

“We should not be afraid of Argentina,” the Italian said as he named a 25-strong squad, featuring nine Europe-based players including CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda, to host the South Americans in Saitama on October 8.

“It is wrong to go out there with an all-defensive frame of mind,” he told reporters. “I aim to build a team skilled in both offensive and defensive. I want to improve their technical aspects and have them play better than ever.”

The squad will also travel to Seoul to play Asian rivals South Korea four days later for Japan’s last match before they head to Qatar for the Asian Cup in January, hoping to regain the title they lost in 2007.

In an apparent move to boost Japan’s feeble firepower, Zaccheroni listed in the forward line-up three midfielders — Honda, new Tom Tomsk signing Daisuke Matsui and Borussia Dortmund’s rookie and goal-scoring machine Shinji Kagawa.

They may join Catania striker Takayuki Morimoto and Shimizu S-Pulse forward Shinji Okazaki up front.

Also included in the squad are two newcomers but key centre-back Yuji Nakazawa of Yokohama Marinos is absent because of a right calf injury.

But another defensive lynchpin, Brazilian-born centre back Marcus Tulio Tanaka, is in.

It is the first time Zaccheroni — who has coached six Serie-A clubs and won the 1998-1999 scudetto with AC Milan — has coached a national side or an overseas club.

With Honda scoring two goals as a lone frontman, Japan reached the knockout stage in South Africa in June for their best ever World Cup. But they lost to Paraguay on penalties in the last-16.

After a two-month search following the World Cup, Japan signed Zaccheroni, 57, on a two-year contract last month with an option of two more years.

“I must cultivate Japanese talent on a long-term basis. I will build a team with sights set on the (2014) World Cup in Brazil,” he said.

The Argentina Football Association has promised to bring Barcelona superstar Messi, despite his recent injury, to the Japan friendly before a sold-out crowd at the 64,000-seat Saitama Stadium in Tokyo’s northern suburbs.

The Japanese Football Association is reportedly due to pay 200,000 dollars more if the Argentina squad included the diminutive player.

The South American team, coached by Sergio Batista, will also feature Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain and Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Lierse SK/BEL), Shusaku Nishikawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)

Defenders: Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Nagoya Grampus), Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama Marinos), Masahiko Inoha (Kashima Antlers), Yuto Nagatomo (Cesena/ITA), Tomoaki Makino (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke/GER)

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Yuki Abe (Leicester City/ENG), Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg/GER), Takuya Honda (Shimizu S-Pulse), Hajime Hosogai (Urawa Red Diamonds)

Forwards:

Daisuke Matsui (FK Tom Tomsk/RUS), Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata), Kunimitsu Sekiguchi (Vegalta Sendai), Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu S-Pulse), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Takayuki Morimoto (Catania/ITA), Mu Kanazaki (Nagoya Grampus), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund/GER)

Thu 30 September, 2010
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No Xavi for Spanish qualifiers

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque on Thursday unveiled a 20-man squad which did not include Barcelona playmaker Xavi for the world champions’ Euro 2012 qualifiers against Lithuania and Scotland on October 8 and 12.

Del Bosque left out Xavi, who has been struggling with tendinitis, as the reigning world and European champions seek to build on a 4-0 win in Liechtenstein.

They will host Lithuania in Salamanca on October 8 before heading to Scotland four days later.

Goalkeepers:

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Jose Manuel Reina (Liverpool/ENG)

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carlos Marchena (Villarreal), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Ignacio Monreal (Osasuna)

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergi Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Villarreal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

Strikers: Pedro (Barcelona), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), David Villa (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Liverpool/ENG)

Thu 30 September, 2010
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Euro 2012 on track, say Poland and Ukraine

Preparations for Euro 2012 are right on schedule, tournament co-hosts Poland and Ukraine said on Thursday.

“Taking full responsibility, we can say that everything is going according to UEFA’s plans, and that the matches will take place in eight cities, four in Poland and four in Ukraine,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said during a visit by his Ukrainian opposite number Mykola Azarov.

“We can congratulate each other, with a clear conscience,” he told reporters.

The two leaders said that they had approved a road map for the remaining preparations for the European football championships, which are set to kick off in Poland’s brand new national stadium in Warsaw in June 8, 2012

In April 2007, European football’s governing body UEFA caught the pundits napping when it picked Poland and Ukraine over favourites Italy and joint bidders Hungary and Croatia to host the 16-team quadrennial showcase.

It will be the first time either has run a major tournament and marks UEFA’s first serious foray behind the former Iron Curtain.

That means a far greater challenge on the infrastructure front than previous, western European editions of the tournament, last held in 2008 in Alpine-efficient Austria and Switzerland.

Amid concerns about the ability of the hosts, particularly Ukraine, to make the grade in time, UEFA chief Michel Platini cranked up the pressure and issued a string of ultimatums.

But the tone has now changed.

“I think things are progressing in the right direction,” Martin Kallen, UEFA’s Euro watchdog, told AFP last month.

“The decision was made in 2007 to go for Ukraine and Poland, and since then, UEFA has been pushing very hard,” he said. “But this will be a fantastic tournament.”

Thu 30 September, 2010
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Nine ´Eurostars´ in Zac´s Japan against Argentina

Former AC Milan boss Alberto Zaccheroni, set for his debut match as Japan coach against powerhouse Argentina, has called up nine Europe-based players led by CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda.

The 25-strong squad, unveiled on Thursday, features in the forward line-up three midfielders including Honda, new Tom Tomsk signing Daisuke Matsui and rising Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa.

Also included are two newcomers but missing is key centre-back Yuji Nakazawa of Yokohama Marinos, due to a right calf injury.

Japan host the South Americans, starring Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, in Saitama on October 8, before going on to Seoul to battle Asian rivals South Korea four days later.

With Honda scoring two goals as a lone frontman to boost their feeble firepower, Japan reached the last 16 in South Africa in June for their best ever World Cup. But they lost to Paraguay on penalties in the quarter-finals.

Zaccheroni, 57, signed a two-year contract with Japan on August 30 but had to watch from the stands as the Blue Samurai beat Paraguay and Guatemala in two friendlies at home in early September as he had still to obtain a work visa.

The upcoming friendlies are a test ahead of the Asian Cup in Qatar in January, when three-time champions Japan will try to regain the title they lost in 2007.

It is the first time Zaccheroni — who has coached six Serie-A clubs and won the 1998-1999 scudetto with AC Milan — has coached a national side or an overseas club.

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Lierse SK/BEL), Shusaku Nishikawa (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)

Defenders: Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Nagoya Grampus), Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata), Yuzo Kurihara (Yokohama Marinos), Masahiko Inoha (Kashima Antlers), Yuto Nagatomo (Cesena/ITA), Tomoaki Makino (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke/GER)

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale), Yuki Abe (Leicester City/ENG), Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg/GER), Takuya Honda (Shimizu S-Pulse), Hajime Hosogai (Urawa Red Diamonds)

Forwards:

Daisuke Matsui (FK Tom Tomsk/RUS), Ryoichi Maeda (Jubilo Iwata), Kunimitsu Sekiguchi (Vegalta Sendai), Shinji Okazaki (Shimizu S-Pulse), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Takayuki Morimoto (Catania/ITA), Mu Kanazaki (Nagoya Grampus), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund/GER)

Thu 30 September, 2010
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