Higuita drops himself for Colombia

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The Independent Online
The flamboyant goalkeeper Rene Higuita has withdrawn himself from selection for Colombia following a series of disappointing displays.

"I'm not well, I don't feel right," Higuita said. "I'm still not up to the necessary level to assume the responsibility of playing on the national side."

The head of the Colombian football federation, Alvaro Fina, said he had accepted Higuita's decision with regret but without any doubt that the 29-year-old was acting in what he believed to be the best interest of the team.

"He told us very honestly that he was playing at a low level and didn't feel as if he were in shape to be on the selection," Fina said. "We have to believe in Higuita's sincerity and we have to keep moving forward."

Higuita became known for his eccentric playing style, including his amazing ``scorpion-kick'' save against England at Wembley earlier this season.

Fabio Capello, the Milan coach who is close to his his fourth Italian league title in five years, may leave the club at the end of the season

According to published reports, Capello is close to joining Real Madrid. Italy's largest sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport said that a three-year contract, giving Capello four billion lire (pounds 1.7m) a year, would be signed early next week.

Gazzetta quoted Real Madrid's president Lorenzo Sanz as saying "Capello will be the next coach of Real Madrid." Capello said recently he will decide his future on Monday.

On Saturday Milan can clinch the title by winning at Torino as long as Juventus, who trail Milan by nine points, fail to beat Internazionale in Milan.

Elections in Italy on Sunday will decide whether Silvio Berlusconi, the television mogul and Milan president has succeeded in his attempt to regain the premier office as leader of a centre-right coalition.

A victory for Berlusconi would result in a renewal of the popular high- spending policy of the Milan club. This would also include a new contract for Capello.

Capello, who took over at Milan from Arrigo Sacchi in 1991, when the latter became national team coach, has been in conflict with the club recently after he was offered a one-year extension of his contract provided he won the title first.

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