World Cup in brief: 'We need to respect the other teams but we are confident' says sleepy Rooney

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney has revealed he missed the World Cup draw, because he fell asleep. Manchester United had travelled down to the capital ahead of Saturday's match at West Ham, arriving in their London hotel in good time for the draw.

"Having got the train down we got to the hotel about five o' clock," said Rooney. "I laid down on my bed to watch the TV and fell asleep. I didn't find out what the draw was until I woke up five hours later."

Once he heard the draw he was pleased. "It is a good draw," said Rooney. "The USA are a good team. I saw them play Spain in the Confederations Cup on telly. That'll be the difficult game for us. We need to respect the other teams but we are confident we can win those games.

"I don't know too much about Algeria but I'm sure the manager and his coaches will have loads of information before the game. We played Slovenia two months ago and beat them 2-1. It will be a tough game but it could have been worse."

One forthcoming opponent, West Ham's American defender Jonathan Spector, warned England not to take his team lightly. "The US doesn't get a lot of respect in terms of the world football stage and that's to our benefit," he said. "We proved that in the Confederations Cup by beating Spain." Glenn Moore

No extra lift at altitude for England as the FA rejects Viagra rumours

The Football Association has denied Fabio Capello's side are considering taking Viagra to help cope with playing at altitude at the World Cup in South Africa next year. A report yesterday claimed England could take the anti-impotence drug to help improve their lung capacity, with the squad set to be based nearly 5,000 feet above sea level at Rustenburg. But an FA spokesman said: "The England medical staff are conducting detailed research with a variety of experts ahead of next year's World Cup. However, there has been no discussion with regard to Viagra and certainly no plans for the players to take it in South Africa at the tournament."

Messi defends Barcelona team-mate Thierry Henry over handball shocker

Thierry Henry should not solely be blamed for his part in the controversial goal that sent France to the 2010 World Cup finals, Ballon d'Or winner and Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi said. "I think Thierry did what he had to do, he apologised," the Argentina striker said yesterday after the Ballon d'Or prize-giving ceremony in Paris. "I also believe that it was just an incident during a game of football, the referee didn't see it, the linesman didn't see it. One shouldn't pin everything on Thierry," Messi addded.

Bradley convinced opening match can kick-start game in US

United States coach Bob Bradley believes his team's World Cup game against England could create a wave of interest for the sport in America. Bradley admits that his initial reaction was "Oh no" when he heard the draw, but quickly saw the bigger picture. "It's a big challenge but one that we're excited about," he said. "Our fans are so excited. I started getting texts from players just thrilled about what a challenge and an opportunity it is. It will make a lot more impact with the first game being against England. I think it will mean that the interest will be at an all-time high [in America]. In terms of our continued growth, it couldn't be a bigger or better opportunity."