World Cup 2014 update
As the World Cup draws ever closer we are gaining better insights as to which players will be given a shot at glory on the world’s biggest stage. Let’s take a look at the latest squad news, just 9 days before the tournament kicks off!
Falcao out of Colombia squad
Colombia striker Radamel Falcao has been left out of Colombia’s 23 man World Cup squad, a significant blow to both the player and his team. Falcao, 28, has not played since a severe injury to his anterior cruciate ligament whilst playing for Monaco in January; but hopes had been high that he would be fit for the tournament. In recent weeks Falcao’s father had further fuelled speculation that he would return, commenting that his son was working his way back to full fitness. Although his absence will be a loss to Colombia, who start their World Cup campaign in Group C alongside Greece, Japan and Ivory Coast, they can still call upon the services of highly rated Porto striker Jackson Martinez.
Stephane Ruffier called up to France squad
France have confirmed that third choice goalkeeper, Stephane Ruffier, will take the place of Steve Mandanda on the plane to Brazil although team captain Hugo Lloris is still expected to start. Mandanda, 29, suffered a sickening injury on the final day of the season for Marseille when a knee to the face cracked a neck vertebra and forced him to be stretchered off in the 19th minute. Although Ruffier, who plays for Saint-Etienne, has only earned 2 caps for his national side he is highly rated and may be a target for several Premier League clubs over the summer.
England training session rained off
After a confidence boosting 3-0 win over Peru at Wembley, the England squad flew to Miami in the hope of acclimatising to tropical conditions they will face in Brazil. Unfortunately however, they seem to have got more than they bargained for as their first training session (at Barry University) coincided with the start of Florida’s hurricane season. Finding the training pitches waterlogged and out of commission the team were forced to perform fitness drills inside. The squad will remain in Miami until Sunday and will face Ecuador and Honduras in friendlies ahead of their first tournament game against Italy on June 14th.
Nosa Igiebor out of Nigeria squad
Real Betis midfielder Nosa Igiebor has failed to make the cut for Nigeria’s 23 man World Cup squad, despite playing in a 2-2 friendly draw with Scotland. Joining Igiebor on the sidelines are Parma’s Joel Obi, former West Ham winger Victor Obinna and Bastia midfielder Sunday Mba.
Only three domestically based players have made the final Nigerian squad and they will be joined by John Mikel Obi (Chelsea) Victor Moses (on loan at Liverpool) and Stoke’s Peter Odemwingie. Nigeria play their first group game against Iran on June 16th, they also have to contend with Argentina and Bosnia-Hercegovina in Group F.