Football around the world

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The Independent Online
Ukraine

One of Europe's most legendary and formidable coaches gave a rare interview this week in which he poured scorn on the reputations of both Ronaldo and Shearer.

The 58-year-old former Soviet Union coach, who has taken Dynamo Kiev to the quarter-finals of the European Cup, is not a fan of the star system. "Stars block development in football. They cost a lot but lack a motivation. They've got everything and need nothing," he said.

"Look at Ronaldo," he said of Internazionale's Brazilian. "He's not developing. I watched him once. In the first half he simply stood and waited. Five minutes before the break he scored a goal. But if he hadn't scored, what then? What's the point in having such a star, who doesn't put in any work?"

Lobanovsky was no kinder about Shearer. "What is Shearer? I'm not sure I'd have him in the Dynamo squad," he declared. "We made a video of him playing. He touched the ball 10 times, nine of them standing with his back to goal. He didn't get a shot in. He was hopeless - but he is a star."

Spain

The Spanish First Division club Racing Santander have taken out an unusual insurance policy - against relegation to the Second Division.

In the event of dropping out of the top flight, Racing would be paid about pounds 6m to compensate for the loss of lucrative television royalties. The policy, thought to be the first of its kind, will cost the club pounds 1m over two seasons. Racing, currently in their fifth successive season in the First Division after six years in the Second and Third, are currently drifting in mid-table.

Brazil

The temperamental striker Edmundo, banished from the national team for indiscipline last year, was forgiven and recalled this week by Brazil's coach, Mario Zagallo, for next month's Concacaf Gold Cup in the United States.

Edmundo has not played for his country since the final of the Copa America in June. Then, he elbowed a Bolivian opponent in an off-the-ball incident and was substituted by a livid Zagallo.

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