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World Cup diary - Heartbreak for Nani

Published: 09 Jun 2010 - 07:14:40

Nani has been ruled out of the World Cup after suffering a shoulder injury during training last week - apparently sustained trying out an overhead kick.

"In light of the report, the Portuguese Football Federation, taking into account the FIFA regulations for the 2010 World Cup, will call-up Ruben Amorim as a replacement," read a statement from the Portuguese Football Federation.

Amorim could pass for Michael Jackson in the video for Thriller, so Portugal fans are unlikely to notice the difference.

BALLS UP?

Just days before the tournament begins, the World Cup ball is still being criticised for its alleged unpredictability. So far, the ball has been condemned by the likes of England's John Terry, David James and Ivorian Didier Drogba.

However, British inventor Andy Harland of Loughborough University claimed the adidas Jabulani is "the most stable and precise football ever made", putting the aspersions down to the unprecedented speed of his creation.

ARGENTINES GET SENT HOME

South African police have toasted their first achievement of the summer, after deporting 10 Argentine hooligans. The group of undesirables was sighted by a team of spotters at Johannesburg airport on Sunday.

One of the group was on bail for murder, and claimed to be "house hunting" in the townships. The men were deported to Angola shortly afterwards, presumably for lessons in "real trouble".

FIVE-STAR BRAZIL

Monday night saw Brazil state their intentions to reclaim the Jules Rimet trophy, hammering Tanzania 5-1. Robinho and Ramirez each scored twice, with Kaka bagging the other goal for the South Americans. Ranked 128th in the world, the Tanzania Football Federation paid $2.5 million to secure the fixture, while exorbitant ticket prices were said to be the key reason for a half-empty stadium.

Heurelho Gomes started in goal as Julio Cesar has a minor injury.

FRIENDLIES ROUND-UP

In Tuesday night's games, Spain hammered Poland 6-0, with Fernando Torres netting on his return from a knee injury. Villa, Silva, Alonso, Fabregas and Pedro were the other Spanish scorers.

Portugal secured an easy 3-0 win over Mozambique, with Hugo Almeida scoring two after Danny had opened the account.

The Ivory Coast drew 1-1 with Swiss second division outfit Lausanne in Nyon, despite creating many chances. Gervinho grabbed a late equaliser for the Elephants.

GERMANS TARGET CAHILL

Germany defender Per Mertesacker has stated that his team will try to stop Tim Cahill of Australia in their opening game of the World Cup. "We will try and nip his attacks in the bud, and even maybe double mark him," he said. Lucky Tim!

GALLAS THROWS A STROP

France defender William Gallas seems to have thrown a hissy fit over God-knows-what, and is refusing to talk in public, off the pitch.

Team spokesman Francois Manardo says "William has decided not to speak to the media for the duration of the World Cup," without elaborating.

Reports that Gallas may stage a sit-down protest in his own penalty area remain unconfirmed.

READ THESE...

- Win a signed England shirt
- The Libero on France
- Xavi backs Lampard and Gerrard

READ TOM LITTLEFIELD'S WORLD CUP DIARY EVERY WEEKDAY DURING THE WORLD CUP

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Tom Littlefield
Seen as the heir apparent to Jan Molby until an underactive thyroid gland curtailed this youngster’s development, Tom Littlefield will now concentrate on making a “big pitch” (pun) during South Africa 2010. As Barnet’s staunchest Gooner, he is well placed to judge good football. So, while the England team provides your compulsory tournament displeasure, Tom will look to rouse your enthusiasm for the beautiful game (and WAGS) in the oasis of oratory that is his World Cup Diary.

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