World Cup Countdown: Denmark name final South Africa squad

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The Independent Football

Denmark manager Martin Olsen has named his final 23-man squad for the tournament, selecting the Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and Palermo defender Simon Kjaer despite the pair recovering from elbow and knee injuries respectively.

Kjaer is Olsen's preferred partner for Liverpool defender Daniel Agger in the starting line-up. Other Premier League-based players included were Lars Jacobsen (Blackburn) and Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal), but Celtic striker Morten Rasmussen was left out.

Bayern Munich full-back Philipp Lahm has been named Michael Ballack's replacement as Germany captain by manager Joachim Löw, who also named Bastian Schweinsteiger as vice-captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as the new No 1. Löw praised the 26-year-old defender: "Lahm has played in his position with great class and will take over as captain."

Argentina forward Lionel Messi has picked England as a major threat in South Africa. The 22-year-old scored 47 goals in 53 matches this season for Barcelona. However, he has been accused of not reproducing this form for Albiceleste. "They [England] had a strong qualifying campaign and are very tough."

John Obi Mikel joined the Nigeria squad yesterday for the first time since knee surgery last month and will be fit for the World Cup. The Super Eagles' opening match is against Argentina on 12 June.

Quote of the day

"Rooney will be one of the biggest players in South Africa."

Algeria captain Madjid Bougherra is set for a fright if Peter Crouch plays for England on 18 June.

Unimpressed player of the day

"It's like one of those balls you buy in the supermarket."

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar isn't happy with the new World Cup ball. Fifa has billed it as the first perfectly round ball – must be based on Sepp Blatter's head then.