World Cup Countdown: 15/05/2010

27 days to go


Vidic sets sights on Rooney reunion


Serbia defender Nemanja Vidic has admitted he is relishing a possible second-round meeting with England, and in particular the prospect of facing his Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney.

The 28-year-old centre-back is confident the Serbs can negotiate past Ghana, Germany and Australia, in Group D to set up a potential meeting with Fabio Capello's side. "One of us would have to lose," Vidic said of a possible reunion. "He's a great player who would be hard to keep quiet. He knows we're doing well and he knows we're not an easy team, though England are a big one."

France midfielder Samir Nasri has demanded an explanation from manager Raymond Domenech after missing out on a World Cup place. The 22-year-old Arsenal player missed out despite a fine season for the Gunners. "It's difficult but there are the choices of [the] coach," he said. "I respect but I also want to know why, because I hear reproach for my behaviour now."

Mexico defeated Angola 1-0 in a warm-up match yesterday, thanks to a long-range strike from Andres Guardado early in the second half. Unsurprisingly for a squad with 11 defenders, Javier Aguirre's side kept a fourth successive clean sheet, and will hope to take that form into the opening match against hosts South Africa on 11 June.

Highlights of the day

Quote of the day

"It doesn't matter how strong your starting XI is, when you get used to going out in the second round or quarter-finals it's very hard to break that cycle, even when you are the superior team."

Spain's Fernando Torres comes over all English

Comeback of the day

"I would start at 10am and get home at 8.30pm. Sometimes I couldn't even drive."

Netherlands forward Robin van Persie on returning from injury, sounding strangely like Tony Adams describing a day out with Ray Parlour...

Reality check of the day

"We dream of a great achievement for our team, but the reality is often very different."

Jacques Anouma, president of the Ivory Coast's Football Association, is not wildly optimistic about his team's chances, despite investing a reported £2m in serial quarter-finalist Sven Goran Eriksson.

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