Fabio Cannavaro, Italy's World Cup winning captain, will retire from international football after next month's World Cup finals. "Already now people say I'm too old," said Cannavaro "Imagine it in August."
The Juventus defender has amassed 132 caps and led the Azzurri to the Cup in 2006. He has struggled for form recently – he was embarrassed by Bobby Zamora in the Europa League – but coach Marcello Lippi has continued to select him for the national side.
Joachim Low has turned to Bayern goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt after injury ruled Rene Adler out of Germany's squad. Butt, who is also an adept penalty-taker, has not played for his country since 2003 but has enjoyed a good season for his club as they chase the treble.
Slovakia have been boosted by news that Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is to return to full training. The 25-year-old has not featured since February, but could well be fit for the Slovaks' opening game against New Zealand on 15 June.
Algeria coach Rabah Saadane has been reduced to studying video footage to scout his World Cup rivals, as he has been unable to attend all of the warm-up games of his side's opponents. The Desert Foxes are England's second opponents, facing Capello's men in Cape Town on Friday, 18 June.
Boro betters Beeb
The "Anyone but England" campaign took a hit yesterday when Gordon Strachan revealed he won't be joining the BBC team at the World Cup. The Middlesbrough boss has patriotically joined in the national side's boycott of the finals to focus on his work on Teesside. A bit like the Boro squad then.
Who you gonna call?
He may look more like Brains from Thunderbirds, but the England coach Fabio Capello says he wants to be a Ghostbuster. "When I first got here we had this Croatian ghost," the Italian said. "I hope the same thing happens with the ghost of '66. I like the Ghostbusters idea." Can you get rid of the ghost of penalties, Fabio?
Tipped to be the first host side not to make the knockout phase, the South African team will be paid a million rand for every goal they score. Sadly for opening opponents Mexico it doesn't work both ways.