Germany 2006 Shorts
Graham Poll has admitted that his World Cup could be ended by just one mistake. The referee heads for Germany next Friday as England's representative knowing that a poor performance will be punished by a swift departure. "Yes, I will be nervous, I've got to be honest, because it only comes around once every four years," the 42-year-old told Radio Five Live. "I've had one go at it and now this is my last attempt. I'll be too old in four years' time. If you make a big mistake in your first game it will be your last game, and that's something that has been made very clear to us. "
Germany's coach Jürgen Klinsmann finally got his entire World Cup squad together in Sardinia yesterday but several players went straight to the physio. The left-back Philipp Lahm has had surgery on an elbow and will not return to full training until the end of May, and the centre-back Christoph Metzelder is struggling with a calf muscle injury. The midfielder Sebastian Kehl has an ankle problem, Tim Borowski and Mike Hanke both caught colds in Sardinia, and Lukas Podolski has a bad back.
Barcelona's winger Ludovic Giuly has hit out at France's coach Raymond Domenech after he was left out of the World Cup squad. "I met all the selection criteria Domenech put forward," he said. "He wanted experience, players accepting they might be on the substitutes' bench, players who play for a great club and who had appeared in big games, players who don't complain. I did all that for Barcelona, so either I didn't understand or Domenech has changed tack."
Mark Viduka will captain Australia this summer after Guus Hiddink chose the Middlesbrough striker ahead of Craig Moore, who missed most of the qualifying campaign through injury. "It's a difficult situation because I roomed with Craig at the Australian Institute of Sport and we've known each other a long time," Viduka said. "We both enjoy leading the team but I think whether it was him or me we would have been happy for each other."
Hiddink expects Tim Cahill to overcome a knee injury in time for the opener against Japan on June 12 but said he was disappointed that the injured Harry Kewell had not been able to join his team-mates yet. "He [Kewell] can be fit just in time for the first game but what we are doing now is to build up the focus and working on tactics and strategy," he said.
Mexico's religious leaders blessed the country's World Cup players on Saturday before they left for Europe. Cardinal Norberto Rivera addressed 21 squad members, dressed in suits and green ties to match the Mexican strip, at a mass in the capital's Basílica de Guadalupe attended by thousands of fans. "You are the centre of attention for many who admire you," he said. "Carry the colours of the flag with pride." The cardinal gave them pictures of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's most revered image, and they presented him with an autographed ball. Mexico have been drawn in Group D with Iran, Angola and Portugal.
Freddie Ljungberghas revealed he may miss some or all of Sweden's Group B games if he suffers a migraine attack during the World Cup. The Arsenal midfielder, who will line up against England in Cologne on June 20, said he normally has to "stay in bed for a week or 10 days" if he has an attack.
"It is horrible. I am just in bed and vomit all the time," he said. "There are some things I can do to avoid it, so for example I know that I can't eat any cheese at all or drink any red wine. I have to tell the waiters in a restaurant that they have to be 100% sure that there is no cheese in the food or I will have to leave that place in an ambulance."