World Cup Daily: Casillas cash-strapped and Croatia crisis
The World Cup is nearly upon us, with Brazil kicking things off against Croatia but in the meantime here’s a mildly diverting round-up of all the news that matters from Brazil.
In the headlines
Spain’s preparations for Friday’s game against Holland have been hindered by the news Iker Casillas has had to pay €1.6 million in taxes – an eye-watering figure for the Roja captain, who may still be having nightmares over his Champions League final howler.
Here’s a reminder of why Roy Hodgson may have called him a ‘d*ckhead’ – that Panenka penalty against England.
The England Camp
Danny Welbeck is a doubt for the opener against Italy after picking up a thigh injury in training – something that could pave the way for Raheem Sterling to start.
Roy Hodgson is facing a double-whammy of World Cup headaches, amid concerns over the quality of the playing surface at the Amazonia Arena ahead of their showdown with the Azzurri and the potential side effects of the anti-Malaria tablets.
One in 10 users of Malarone – the drug being used by England – have been known to suffer vomiting and diarrhoea. It could result in scenes reminiscent of Tottenham’s infamous lasagne-gate incident when mass illness cost Spurs Champions League football back in 2006.
Welbeck’s woes have already been documented but one team facing a real injury crisis are Croatia.
Midfielder Ivan Mocinic has been forced to pull out of the squad, with manager Niko Kovac moving to bring in Milan Badelj, even though the latter was previously ruled out of the squad…through injury. The switch is subject to approval from FIFA.
Diego Costa, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are all set to be fit following injury layoffs, while Luis Suarez is looking likely to be ready in time for Uruguay’s meeting with England. Great news.
With England seemingly obsessed with how good/bad Wayne Rooney is, the Three Lions squad must wish they had the backing of the Brazilian public.
A study from The New York Times, who surveyed fans from 19 countries competing in Brazil, found just four per cent of England fans think they can win the World Cup – the lowest second only to Costa Rica – while 64% of Selecao followers backing their team.
So here’s to the hosts!
And in other news
John Barnes has been doing the rounds, with video footage of the former England favourite singing his legendary World In Motion rap in a pub in Bristol.
Keep up the good work John.
Google are also getting involved in the World Cup fun, with a new edition of street view showcasing the many painted streets of Brazil. Check it out here.
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