World Cup Countdown: Van Nistelrooy accepts his Dutch career is over

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The Independent Football

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy believes his international career is over after being left out of Bert van Marwijk's Netherlands squad. The 33-year-old struggled with a knee injury this season but finished the campaign strongly after joining Hamburg. "I feel I could have helped the team," he said. "But now my World Cup dream is shattered. I think my international career is over."

With virtually none of their native fans travelling to South Africa, North Korea will benefit from the support of neighbouring Chinese fans. The majority of the Northern Korean population are unable to attend due to poverty and visa controls. However, the Chinese have rallied to support their neighbours, distributing nearly 1,000 tickets to fans, including a group of musicians and actors sent to previous World Cups to support China. With a group including Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast, the Koreans may need all the backing they can get...

Highlights of the day

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Outburst of the day

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