World Cup Countdown: 07/06/2010

3 days to go


Dutch willing to risk Robben

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk is willing to gamble on the fitness of winger Arjen Robben by keeping him in the squad despite a hamstring strain that could rule him out of the tournament. "I'm willing to take the risk of keeping Robben in my squad," van Marwijk said. "In the past such an injury would take four to six weeks [to recover from] but nowadays the methods have developed."

* The Australia goalkeeper Brad Jones has withdrawn from the squad after his son was diagnosed with cancer. The 28-year-old has returned to Australia to be with his family. Socceroos coach Tim Verbeek said: "It's very sad news. We have decided he needs to be with his family." Adelaide United's Eugen Galekovic will replace the Middlesbrough goalkeeper if Fifa grant special dispensation.

* Park Ji-Sung has fully recovered from a back injury and will be fit for South Korea's opening game against Greece on Saturday.

* Mexico's versatile defender Rafael Marquez trained with the squad yesterday for the first time since they arrived at the World Cup.

Marquez, who has recovered from a right leg injury, trained without difficulties as they prepared for the opening match against hosts South Africa on Friday.

Quote of the day

"Brazil are a very strong team and so are Portugal, so North Korea need to be at their absolute best to be able to get through the group." Brazilian legend Zico on the uphill task facing the North Koreans, who are priced at 1/100 not to qualify from the "Group of Death."



Understatement of the day

"I have not been good. I cannot be satisfied with what I have done. I would like to do more, do better." - France striker Sidney Govou on his poor form for Les Bleus. The 30-year-old's scoreless streak for the national team stretches back to September 2008, and he has scored only 10 goals in 58 appearances.

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