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World Cup diary - Maradona blasts Pele and Platini

Published: 17 Jun 2010 - 06:52:46

Diego Maradona lambasted fellow football legends Pele and Michel Platini at a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

"(Pele should) go back to the museum", said the Argentina coach, after Pele provoked himr by claiming Maradona only agreed to coach his country's team because he was in financial difficulties.

Maradona also threw a riposte to Platini, the current president of UEFA, after he had questioned Maradona's ability to coach.

"We all know how the French are, and Platini is French, and he believes he is better than the rest."

The bearded genius also attacked Huh Jung-moo, the coach of Korea DPR who man-marked Maradona for the Korea Republic in 1986: "I remember Huh very well," he said. "In 1986 the Koreans played taekwondo, not football, against us."

SOUR GRAPES FROM SOL

Arsenal veteran Sol Campbell has slammed England coach Fabio Capello's decision not to take the 35-year-old to this summer's FIFA World Cup.

In an obvious dig at the selection of Ledley King and Rio Ferdinand, the ex-Portsmouth star said, "Surely, you pick people in the groove, and I was back in the groove, and I was fit. Instead, Capello picked a couple of half-fit players. It fell right for them. Not for me."

The central defender also had some barbed criticism for the players who did make the national squad: "That I couldn't understand if he wasn't interested in going back to me. Not only that, Capello has gone for one centre-half who didn't have a very good season, and another who just missed out on relegation."

Perhaps Sol could let us know which centre half didn't have a very good season?

WEDNESDAY'S ACTION

- South Africa 0-3 Uruguay

- Spain 0-1 Switzerland

- Honduras 0-1 Chile

CHILE LOOKING HOT

Jean Beausejour's 34th-minute strike gave Chile their first World Cup Finals victory in 48 years. The South Americans dominated the Group H fixture, but found Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares in inspired form. Right winger Alexis Sanchez was the architect of everything positive the Chileans did.

Mauricio Isla combined with Sanchez to set up Beausejour, whose deflected goal was deserved. Ramon Nunez's free-kick was the only effort of note for Honduras, and was easily tipped over the crossbar by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

The second half saw Sanchez and Waldo Ponce fluff good opportunities, as Chile took the points from the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit.

VUVU-TRAINING

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has found a novel way of getting his players used to the atmosphere of World Cup stadia: he invited fans to his team's public training sessions, in the knowledge that the hugely popular vuvuzelas would be brought along and played while the Swiss squad practices.

"It is good for the players to be prepared for what they will hear on the pitch," the German said. The tactic seems to be paying off so far. Vicente del Bosque, take note!"

WINSTON SCORES 'MOST IMPORTANT GOAL OF HIS LIFE'

New Zealand's Winston Reid has declared the soul searching he went through while deciding which country he should represent at football.

Reid, 21, was brought up in Denmark from the age of 10 after being born in New Zealand, but won 10 caps for Denmark's under-21s.

"For a long time I have been torn between the two countries. I was asking myself if I was a Kiwi or a Dane," said the scorer of his country's equaliser on Monday.

"This is the biggest stage in the world for football and that has to be the most important goal of my life."

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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