World Cup briefs - Platini writes off French challenge
Published: 27 Apr 2010 - 07:00:09
France's World Cup campaign was already shrouded in controversy, but it took a further hit when UEFA President Michel Platini discarded his country's chances of winning the World Cup last week.
For most, the French shouldn't even be contemplating a summer in South Africa after their controversial play-off win against the Republic of Ireland.
Their efforts were cast under a darker cloud in recent weeks when details of allegations made against Franck Ribiery, Karim Benzema and Sidney Govou hit the headlines - read more about that here.
Now Platini, one of his nation's true greats, has castigated national coach Raymond Domenech.
"There's the Raymond problem. A problem of personality, not as a coach. He was hopeless." (referring to his marriage proposal to his wife on French national television after their woeful EURO 2008 performance).
Platini also poured scorn on the capabilities of the French side both as a collective and the talents within.
"Let's be clear, there are no great individuals. I don't see them winning - I see them passing the first round."
Despite his apparent distaste for the Premier League, Platini was quick to praise England's chances.
"For me there are three teams who are there to win it: Spain, England and Brazil. They have the best teams, the best players and it is them who play best."
A bad weekend to be a goalkeeper in the Premier League. Chris Kirkland needed nine stitches after being on the wrong end of Carlton Cole's right boot but worst of all, Thomas Sorensen, has his World cup dreams in the balance after dislocating his elbow following a two-footed challenge from Salomon Kalou that incredibly went unpunished.
Reports suggest he will not require surgery which may see him make the plane to South Africa.
A player certain to miss out on this summer's finals is Serbia's Ivica Dragutinovic, who tore his Achilles tendon in a training session with Sevilla. Dragutinovic, who had been in fine form this season, will be a big loss to the Serbs who come up against Germany, Ghana and Australia in Group D and are potential second round opponents for England.
Ronaldinho Calls the Shots
"I will go to the World Cup and I will win it. I can not imagine a World Cup without Ronaldinho on the field. It seems impossible to me to think of not playing."
Confident words from the former World Player of the Year who had been enjoying a resurgence in form at the San Siro with AC Milan until a recent drop in form.
The Brazilian hasn't scored in his last 12 appearances for Milan, who have fallen dramatically off the pace in Serie A when a title charge seemed on the cards.
"Recently I've had problems with the national team but its not been my fault," he said.
Having a sly dig at the coach should do the trick. Oh, and he hasn't played competitively for Brazil since a 0-0 draw against Bolivia in September 2008 so don't storm to the shops to join the stampede of people getting his name on the back of the Brazil World Cup shirt just yet.
READ BISH'S WORLD CUP BRIEFS EVERY TUESDAY AT FOOTBALL.CO.UK
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:andy bishop
- Having worked in radio, newspapers, magazines, internet and television I hope to now bring my passion for the game to your computer screens with analysis, comment and tongue-in-cheek humour on all things global in the world of football - from Barcelona to Boca and from Blatter to Berlusconi...enjoy!
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