International Round-Up: Pedro praises Spanish versatility; Lahm wary of Ibrahimovic; Balotelli back from illness

 

Pedro praises Spanish versatility

Pedro believes his hat-trick in Friday's World Cup qualifying victory for Spain in Belarus displayed the versatility of the defending champions ahead of tomorrow's visit of France. The Barcelona striker's performance reduced record scorer David Villa to a 15-minute cameo off the bench, while Fernando Torres was unused.

"We are lucky to have many players who can adapt," said Pedro. "We are very clear about our philosophy and ideas, anyone can step in and do well, and it doesn't affect the national team's way of playing."

Andres Iniesta is expected to return for Vicente del Bosque's side who are on a run of 24 straight qualifying wins. France prepared for the match with a 1-0 friendly defeat at home to Japan.

Lahm wary of Ibrahimovic

Captain Philipp Lahm has insisted that Germany will take nothing for granted against Sweden tomorrow despite his side's impressive performance in Friday's 6-1 victory over Republic of Ireland.

"It will be a tough job against opponents who are organised, tactically clever and have an outstanding striker in [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic," said Lahm. "He is the complete striker, the complete package."

Sweden, like their hosts, boast a 100 per cent record in Group C. The Bayern Munich defender added: "Sweden are our toughest rivals in the group. We have to be able to withstand pressure, break forward very quickly. If we allow few chances then we will win."

 

 

Balotelli back from illness

Mario Balotelli is expected to return to the Italy squad for tomorrow's visit of Denmark after the forward missed Friday's win in Armenia with flu.

"Balotelli has responded well to tests," team doctor Enrico Castellacci said yesterday.

The Manchester City striker, 22, pulled out of the Azzurri squad for their two opening World Cup qualifiers, against Bulgaria and Malta last month, after undergoing laser surgery on his eyes.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there