The final 23 players for the 32 squads competing in South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup were announced after the deadline for confirmed teams passed on 1 June. Get the low-down on the 736 footballers who will be battling it out for the sport’s biggest trophy from 11 June to 11 July.More statistics on the 32 teams 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP: FIRST STAGE GROUPS Group A South Africa Mexico Uruguay FranceGroup B Argentina Nigeria South Korea GreeceGroup C England USA Algeria SloveniaGroup D Germany Australia Serbia GhanaGroup E Netherlands Denmark Japan CameroonGroup F Italy Paraguay New Zealand SlovakiaGroup G Brazil North Korea Côte d’Ivoire PortugalGroup H Spain Switzerland Honduras Chile GROUP E NETHERLANDS Coach: Bert van Marwijk # Position Player Date of Birth Caps Club 1GoalkeeperMaarten Stekelenburg22 September 1982 (aged 27)25Ajax2DefenderGregory van der Wiel3 February 1988 (aged 22)8Ajax3DefenderJohn Heitinga15 November 1983 (aged 26)51Everton4DefenderJoris Mathijsen5 April 1980 (aged 30)53Hamburg5DefenderGiovanni van Bronckhorst (captain)5 February 1975 (aged 35)97Feyenoord6MidfielderMark van Bommel22 April 1977 (aged 33)54Bayern Munich7ForwardDirk Kuyt22 July 1980 (aged 29)60Liverpool8MidfielderNigel de Jong30 November 1984 (aged 25)40Manchester City9ForwardRobin van Persie6 August 1983 (aged 26)41Arsenal10MidfielderWesley Sneijder9 June 1984 (aged 26)59Internazionale11ForwardArjen Robben23 January 1984 (aged 26)46Bayern Munich12DefenderKhalid Boulahrouz28 December 1981 (aged 28)28Stuttgart13DefenderAndré Ooijer11 July 1974 (aged 35)53PSV14MidfielderDemy de Zeeuw26 May 1983 (aged 27)23Ajax15DefenderEdson Braafheid8 April 1983 (aged 27)5Celtic16GoalkeeperMichel Vorm20 October 1983 (aged 26)3Utrecht17ForwardEljero Elia13 February 1987 (aged 23)5Hamburg18MidfielderStijn Schaars11 January 1984 (aged 26)11AZ19ForwardRyan Babel19 December 1986 (aged 23)38Liverpool20MidfielderIbrahim Afellay2 April 1986 (aged 24)20PSV21ForwardKlaas-Jan Huntelaar12 August 1983 (aged 26)30Milan22GoalkeeperSander Boschker20 October 1970 (aged 39)0Twente23MidfielderRafael van der Vaart11 February 1983 (aged 27)75Real Madrid DENMARK Coach: Morten Olsen # Position Player Date of Birth Caps Club 1GoalkeeperThomas Sørensen12 June 1976 (aged 33)86Stoke City2GoalkeeperJesper Christiansen24 April 1978 (aged 32)11København3GoalkeeperStephan Andersen26 November 1981 (aged 28)5Brøndby4DefenderDaniel Agger12 December 1984 (aged 25)30Liverpool5DefenderLars Jacobsen20 September 1979 (aged 30)29Blackburn Rovers6DefenderPer Krøldrup31 July 1979 (aged 30)28Fiorentina7DefenderWilliam Kvist24 February 1985 (aged 25)13København8DefenderSimon Kjær26 March 1989 (aged 21)9Palermo9DefenderSimon Poulsen7 October 1984 (aged 25)4AZ10DefenderPatrick Mtiliga28 January 1981 (aged 29)2Málaga11MidfielderMartin Jørgensen6 October 1975 (aged 34)94AGF12MidfielderDennis Rommedahl22 July 1978 (aged 31)94Ajax13MidfielderJesper Grønkjær12 August 1977 (aged 32)76København14MidfielderChristian Poulsen28 February 1980 (aged 30)72Juventus15MidfielderDaniel Jensen25 June 1979 (aged 30)47Werder Bremen16MidfielderThomas Kahlenberg20 March 1983 (aged 27)30Wolfsburg17MidfielderJakob Poulsen7 July 1983 (aged 26)11AGF18MidfielderThomas Enevoldsen27 July 1987 (aged 22)4Groningen19MidfielderMikkel Beckmann24 October 1983 (aged 26)3Randers20MidfielderChristian Eriksen14 February 1992 (aged 18)2Ajax21ForwardJon Dahl Tomasson (captain)29 August 1976 (aged 33)108Feyenoord22ForwardNicklas Bendtner16 January 1988 (aged 22)32Arsenal23ForwardSøren Larsen6 September 1981 (aged 28)17MSV DuisburgJAPAN Coach: Takeshi Okada # Position Player Date of Birth Caps Club 1GoalkeeperSeigo Narazaki15 April 1976 (aged 34)76Nagoya Grampus2MidfielderYuki Abe6 September 1981 (aged 28)44Urawa Red Diamonds3DefenderYūichi Komano25 July 1981 (aged 28)52Júbilo Iwata4DefenderMarcus Tulio Tanaka24 April 1981 (aged 29)38Nagoya Grampus5DefenderYuto Nagatomo12 September 1986 (aged 23)25FC Tokyo6DefenderAtsuto Uchida27 March 1988 (aged 22)31Kashima Antlers7MidfielderYasuhito Endō28 January 1980 (aged 30)93Gamba Osaka8MidfielderDaisuke Matsui11 May 1981 (aged 29)23Grenoble9ForwardShinji Okazaki16 April 1986 (aged 24)27Shimizu S-Pulse10MidfielderShunsuke Nakamura24 June 1978 (aged 31)96Yokohama F. Marinos11ForwardKeiji Tamada11 April 1980 (aged 30)69Nagoya Grampus12ForwardKisho Yano5 April 1984 (aged 26)18Albirex Niigata13DefenderDaiki Iwamasa30 January 1982 (aged 28)2Kashima Antlers14MidfielderKengo Nakamura31 October 1980 (aged 29)46Kawasaki Frontale15DefenderYasuyuki Konno25 January 1983 (aged 27)36FC Tokyo16ForwardYoshito Ōkubo9 June 1982 (aged 28)48Vissel Kobe17MidfielderMakoto Hasebe18 January 1984 (aged 26)30Wolfsburg18MidfielderKeisuke Honda13 June 1986 (aged 23)14CSKA Moscow19ForwardTakayuki Morimoto7 May 1988 (aged 22)5Catania20MidfielderJunichi Inamoto18 September 1979 (aged 30)79Kawasaki Frontale21GoalkeeperEiji Kawashima20 March 1983 (aged 27)9Kawasaki Frontale22DefenderYuji Nakazawa15 February 1978 (aged 32)104Yokohama F. Marinos23GoalkeeperYoshikatsu Kawaguchi15 August 1975 (aged 34)116Júbilo IwataCAMEROON Coach: Paul Le Guen # Position Player Date of Birth Caps Club 1GoalkeeperCarlos Kameni18 February 1984 (aged 26)58Espanyol2GoalkeeperSouleymanou Hamidou22 November 1973 (aged 36)40Kayserispor3GoalkeeperGuy N’dy Assembé28 February 1986 (aged 24)0Valenciennes4DefenderRigobert Song1 July 1976 (aged 33)133Trabzonspor5DefenderGeremi20 December 1978 (aged 31)109Ankaragücü6DefenderStephane Mbia20 May 1986 (aged 24)29Marseille7DefenderAurélien Chedjou20 June 1985 (aged 24)8Lille8DefenderNicolas N’Koulou27 March 1990 (aged 20)6Monaco9DefenderBenoît Assou-Ekotto24 March 1984 (aged 26)4Tottenham Hotspur10DefenderSébastien Bassong9 July 1986 (aged 23)3Tottenham Hotspur11DefenderGaëtan Bong25 April 1988 (aged 22)0Valenciennes12MidfielderJean Makoun29 May 1983 (aged 27)46Lyon13MidfielderAlexandre Song9 September 1987 (aged 22)20Arsenal14MidfielderLandry N’Guémo28 November 1985 (aged 24)17Celtic15MidfielderEyong Enoh23 March 1986 (aged 24)12Ajax16MidfielderGeorges Mandjeck9 December 1988 (aged 21)4Kaiserslautern17MidfielderJoel Matip8 August 1991 (aged 18)1Schalke18ForwardSamuel Eto’o (captain)10 March 1981 (aged 29)92Internazionale19ForwardPierre Webó20 January 1982 (aged 28)39Mallorca20ForwardAchille Emana5 June 1982 (aged 28)32Real Betis21ForwardMohammadou Idrissou8 March 1980 (aged 30)28Freiburg22ForwardVincent Aboubakar22 January 1992 (aged 18)0Cotonsport Garoua23ForwardEric Choupo-Moting23 March 1989 (aged 21)0NurembergPREVIOUS: GROUP D << • >> NEXT: GROUP F
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MSK Prasad was trolled on social media when he said the selectors would have to look for alternatives if MS Dhoni did not perform consistently enough. However, the chief selector seems to be in awe of the former India captain’s commitment to the team.Dhoni, 36, had stepped down as India’s limited-overs captain earlier this year, after a run of ordinary scores. But he has since regained his mojo and been in outstanding form, slamming a hundred and four fifties in 11 innings. In the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, Dhoni remained unbeaten on 45 and 65 in Kandy as India clinched the five-match series with two games still to go.Speaking on the sidelines of an event, Prasad revealed how Dhoni had fought an injured back to play the crucial Asia Cup T20 match against Pakistan early last year.”While training at the gym late in the night, Dhoni picked up weights and suddenly there was a catch in his back and fell with the weight. Thankfully, the weight did not fall on him. He could not walk, he was literally crawling. He pressed the alarm bell, and the medical staff immediately came and attended him. He was taken on stretcher.””As I reached Dhaka, the journalists questioned about Dhoni and I had no answers. The game against Pakistan was crucial, that too, it was on a seaming track. So, I went to Dhoni’s room to know what the issue was. He said, ‘don’t worry MSK bhai.’ I even asked him what should I tell the scribes, and the answer again was ‘don’t worry MSK bhai.’ I asked him whether we should call for a replacement, and he again told me not to worry,” Prasad said.advertisement”There was so much pressure before a big match. The next morning I went to his room and he told me not to worry. But I felt things were not right. (As a selector) I couldn’t take Dhoni’s words for granted, so I called up the then chief selector Sandeep Patil and told him the situation. Immediately, Parthiv Patel was sent in as a replacement. By evening, Parthiv had joined the team,” Prasad said.Prasad, himself a former India wicketkeeper, said he went back to Dhoni’s room in the evening and saw the then captain was struggling to sit upright in bed. Prasad was unsurprisingly worried as the team management had to submit the final team list 24 hours before the game. But Dhoni assured Prasad he would take the field.Despite the assurances, Prasad had stated to panic. He went back to Dhoni’s room late at night to find the skipper was not there.”Fortunately, I went to the top floor and I saw Dhoni was trying hard to walk towards the swimming pool.”He was literally crawling. Dhoni said he was trying to walk. I was thinking how could he even think of playing when he could barely walk. Dhoni looked at me and said, ‘don’t worry, you have anyway got Parthiv without telling me. So, you are safe.”Dhoni, of course, took the field, and led India to a commanding victory over the arch-rivals. India even went on to win the Asia Cup a few days later with the skipper playing a stellar role in the final against Bangladesh.
HOUSTON — Two New York Yankees from Houston stole the show against the Astros on the night of June 26.Chris Young had a go-ahead, three-run homer among three more hits in his hometown, lifting the Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Astros.Nathan Eovaldi (7-2), who grew up just outside of Houston in Alvin, Texas, yielded five hits and two runs with six strikeouts in six innings to give him a career-high seven wins.He did it just feet away from fellow Alvin native Nolan Ryan, who sat in the front row just behind home plate.He’s never met the Hall of Famer and didn’t realize he was sitting there until his night was almost done. He hopes to meet him before the series is over.“Growing up for me I connected baseball with him,” Eovaldi said. “In our town it was Nolan Ryan everything. You go to any restaurant his memorabilia and everything was there.”New York managed just three hits through the first six innings. The Yankees trailed 2-0 before Carlos Beltran and Garrett Jones had back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh to chase Houston rookie starter Vince Velasquez.He was replaced by Will Harris (4-1), who was greeted with Young’s shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field to put the Yankees on top.“Will’s been fantastic,” manager A.J. Hinch said of Harris, who has a 1.03 ERA. “He had one bad pitch in about a month.”Young, who extended his hitting-streak to a career high-tying nine games Friday, has nine homers, 33 RBIs and 14 multihit games in 25 career games at Minute Maid Park.“It definitely doesn’t hurt to have some extra support behind your back and a little extra kind of fire up under you when you step to the plate,” Young said.“You always have it under you, but anybody I think will agree that when you have 50 people in the stands, it definitely makes a difference.”Young’s recent hitting streak has raised his average from .220 to .271. “He’s been really hot and that’s why he’s playing every day,” Manager Joe Girardi said.Carlos Correa had a run-scoring single in the third inning for Houston and an RBI single by Evan Gattis made it 2-0 in the sixth.Chasen Shreve struck out the side in the seventh for New York for his 13th straight scoreless appearance and Dellin Betances struck out two in 1 1-3 innings for his fifth save. Betances leads all relievers in the majors with 61 strikeouts.Velasquez, who was making his fourth career start, allowed five hits and two runs in a season-high 6 1-3 innings.Jose Altuve singled with one out in the sixth inning and stole second base on a strikeout by Luis Valbuena.It was the first time a runner stole a base with Eovaldi on the mound since June 13, 2014, and it was Altuve’s American League-leading 21st steal.Altuve made it 2-0 when he scored on a bloop single by Gattis that dropped in between Stephen Drew, Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner in shallow center field as both Drew and Gregorius fell to the ground trying to catch it.Young singled in the fifth, but the Yankees couldn’t do anything else in that inning. Chase Headley singled with one out in the sixth before Mark Teixeira grounded into a double play to end the inning.Jones robbed Colby Rasmus of a hit when he slid on his knees for a catch for the last out of the fourth inning.Gardner continued his recent hot hitting with a double off the wall in center field with two outs in the third inning, but Velasquez retired Headley to end the threat. Gardner had two hits on Friday night and has three doubles, one triple, four homers and 10 RBIs in his last eight games.Hank Conger hit a one-out double in the third inning and scored on a single by Correa with two outs to make it 1-0.(KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Matthew was named the New South Wales Sports Federation Volunteer of the Year, while Croft received a Distinguished Long Service award for his involvement in Touch Football. It’s been a big couple of months for Matthew, who was also recognised for his outstanding contribution to the sport of Touch Football at the New South Wales Sports Volunteer Awards in December last year, while he also received Life Membership from Touch Football Australia. Matthew won the Volunteer of the Year award over Surf Life Saving’s Gary Cain and Hockey’s Richard Willis, saying he was ‘gobsmacked’ to take out the award. “I’m surprised but really happy because I think it’s really good for our sport, Touch Football had four nominations so to get two people up is just sensational.”Matthew told the night’s Master of Ceremonies, Stephanie Brantz, that the most enjoyable part of his involvement in Touch Football is the people he gets to work with. “It’s helping the people come through, it’s being involved in the sport,” he said. Croft has also been recognised on numerous occasions in recent years for his work with Parramatta Touch Association, becoming a Life Member of New South Wales Touch Association (NSWTA) in 2010 and receiving the Rod Wise Medal for Volunteer of the Year at the 2011 NSWTA Blues Dinner. Croft was one of 17 people to be recognised with a Distinguished Long Service award for 30 years of service and says that it was ‘very special’ to be one of the recipients of this award. “I keep on saying, I’m not in Touch to get the awards. I love coaching, I love picking up all the rubbish and being a happy-go-lucky guy,” Croft said. “I feel humble, sometimes I even feel embarrassed…I am in it because I love the sport, doing all the coaching and that kind of thing. I’m now coaching the daughters of the mothers I coached years ago, that’s scary. It’s been a lot of good fun.”Croft says that he’s had many highlights during his involvement in Touch Football in many aspects of the game, including coaching and administering the sport. “Winning five out of six tournaments with all of the young girls from Parramatta, that was one of them, starting off down at South Sydney when it was barefoot, I enjoyed all that, plus being a part of New South Wales Touch Association, that’s the main thing.”Australian Men’s Open coach, Tony Trad and Australian referee, Adam Foley, were also nominated for awards in their respective areas. Trad was nominated for Coach of the Year, with the award being won by Swimming’s Brant Best, coach of James Magnussen. Foley was nominated for the Official of the Year award, which was won by Netball umpire, Sharon Kelly, who won the award for the second year in a row. Touch Football Australia would like to congratulate the four Touch Football volunteers who were nominated, as well as Matthew and Croft on their awards.
Jeff Capel Quinn CookDuke senior guard Quinn Cook, one of the few upperclassmen who saw meaningful time for the Blue Devils on the floor during the NCAA Tournament, has a great relationship with the team’s coaching staff. Thursday, we saw yet another example of that fact in action.Duke assistant Jeff Capel posted a photo of a note that Cook left him on his office door from yesterday. In the note, Cook writes that he “came through” to talk to Capel. Capel’s response? “You most definitely came through.” Well done.Cook had a fantastic NCAA Tournament, averaging 13.5 points per game as he led the Blue Devils to their fifth national title. He’s out of eligibility, but we have a feeling that he’ll still be a fan favorite for quite some time.
Love them or hate them, the Los Angeles Lakers long represented the closest thing the NBA had to a proverbial land of milk and honey. For the better part of three decades, the club often had a surplus of star players, a robust record, and the occasional championship trophy.Then they were hit with what equates to a biblical drought for their fans: a five-season stretch without a playoff berth.But on Sunday night, the sky opened up and watered the thirsting Laker franchise, as LeBron James, the world’s best basketball player, chose to join the Los Angeles club as a free agent, agreeing to a four-year, $154 million deal, according to Klutch Sports, the sports management agency that represents James.James’s choice will change the NBA landscape for obvious reasons. LeBron reached eight straight NBA Finals in the Eastern Conference, and his departure from his hometown Cleveland club almost certainly figures to put the Cavaliers back in the cellar, while also giving other teams in the badly diminished East — like Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto — a clearer path to the Finals.But the more pressing issue for the 33-year-old James is how quickly he and the young Lakers can become title contenders while Golden State essentially has a stranglehold on the league.The answer obviously hinges on the route Los Angeles takes next: either a more patient approach that lets the talented yet unseasoned Lakers develop around James, or a more aggressive one that involves trading some of that talent for a proven star like Kawhi Leonard.Regardless of which path the Lakers take, they will be considerably improved if LeBron can stay healthy the way he always has.According to CARMELO, FiveThirtyEight’s NBA player projection system, the current club with James would be projected to win 52 games, with an 11 percent probability of winning it all next season.1This assumes the Lakers would be keeping Julius Randle, who is currently a restricted free agent — one Los Angeles can exceed the salary cap to keep if it wishes. The projected win total would jump considerably, to nearly 60 victories with a 22 percent probability of a title, if the Lakers were to land Leonard in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Luol Deng and a first-round pick or two. Such a deal would sting — Ingram has incredible potential, and Kuzma’s an impressive young scorer — and you can bet on the Lakers doing all they can to resist surrendering this sort of haul. Yet Leonard’s stature as a top-five talent when healthy is impossible to deny, and he would quicken any timeline for contention. (The late-Sunday-night addition of Lance Stephenson didn’t figure to help the team much, per our projections, which essentially label the ex-Pacer as a replacement-level player at this point.)The first scenario, in which LeBron plays with the homegrown Lakers, would be a pretty far cry from 2014, when he started his second stint with Cleveland by playing alongside two other established scorers in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and thrived in a wide-open offense that catered to James’s unique ability to drive and kick. The Lakers ranked near the bottom of the NBA in 3-point shooting and may need to scour the free-agent market for perimeter marksmen.And while Los Angeles boasts a much better defense than the Cavs had last year, the Lakers were similar to Cleveland in that they lacked a true rim-protecting presence on last season’s club. More than 30 percent of Lakers’ opponents shots came from within 3 feet of the basket, tied for the third-highest rate in the NBA last season, according to Basketball-Reference. (The Lakers also agreed to terms Sunday with JaVale McGee, who isn’t the most reliable on D. But he had his moments against James in the Finals and his wingspan helps him around the rim.)There would be at least one clear upside: After a year where James had to dominate the ball in Irving’s absence, he can now share that responsibility with second-year point guard Lonzo Ball. The two could connect quite frequently in transition, given that Ball is known for his uptempo style and long outlet passes, and James — looking to get a breather after some offensive possessions — will occasionally hang back and cherry-pick layups and dunks.Ball figures to be a part of the core going forward, even if the Lakers do push for Leonard. The Spurs — long seen as the league’s most straitlaced team — are rumored to lack interest in Ball, likely due to some of the off-court distractions that surround him. But having Leonard would carry obvious benefits. James — who hasn’t played on a roster without a prime-age All-Star-caliber teammate since the 2009-10 season2The 2015-16 season was the only one in that stretch where none of his teammates made the All-Star team, but Kyrie Irving only failed to make the roster because he was injured that year; his performance on his return was up to his usual standard. — wouldn’t have to shoulder nearly as much of the clutch-scoring burden. Perhaps more important: In a potential matchup with the Warriors, James wouldn’t necessarily have to defend Kevin Durant, as Leonard would be more than capable of handling that task.By no stretch of the imagination are the Lakers a force to be reckoned with yet. But after these last five years, the roughest dry spell in franchise history, this is a welcome shift. Depending on how aggressively Magic Johnson and the team’s front office handles the trade market, they could creep into Golden State’s rear-view mirror more quickly than many suspected. Nabbing LeBron James, even at damn-near 34 years old, will speed up just about any team’s process.— Neil Paine contributed to this story.CORRECTION (July 2, 2018, 12:25 p.m.): An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that LeBron James had not been on a team without at least one other prime-age All-Star since the 2009-10 season. In 2015-16, he was the only All-Star for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ohio State junior forward Mason Jobst prepares for a face-off against Robert Morris on Oct. 27. The Buckeyes won 5-3. Credit: Nick Hudak | For the LanternThe No. 15 Ohio State men’s hockey team (8-4-4, 3-4-1-0 in Big Ten) will continue its streak of conference play with a weekend series against No. 7 Minnesota (10-7-1, 4-5-1-1 in Big Ten) on Friday and Saturday. The Golden Gophers enter the series losing three of the past four games, but the losses were against high-ranked opponents in No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 4 Notre Dame. Ohio State is coming off a disappointing series against No. 18 Penn State, in which they lost in shootout after a 5-5 tie, then lost 4-0 the following game.“No one likes to lose, and certainly you don’t like to lose the way we lost on Saturday,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “We’re playing one of the better hockey teams in the country, and we know we have to be ready, so obviously it’s important for us to get back and have a good effort.”Minnesota gets its scoring from a variety of players. Three Golden Gophers rank top-50 in the NCAA in points. Sophomore forward Rem Pitlick leads the team with eight goals and 19 points, followed closely by junior forward Tommy Novak and freshman forward Casey Mittelstadt with 17 and 15 points, respectively.With the Buckeyes taking a few weeks off after this series, junior defenseman Sasha Larocque understands the importance of playing well against Minnesota.“It’s huge, they’re a top team, both in the Big Ten and nationally, so it’s a good marker for us going into break here,” Larocque said.Minnesota is ranked 30th in goals for and tied for 12th in goals against in the nation. Its impressive lack of allowed goals can be largely credited to junior goalie Eric Schierhorn, who has played in goal every game for the Golden Gophers this season.Last season Ohio State and Minnesota split both series. The four games totaled a combined 39 shots finding the back of the net between both teams.“It’s an easy team to get up for,” Larocque said. “We’ve had … some real tough series against Minnesota, and we know they’re a great program, so we’re excited to play against them.”The Buckeyes look to fix their struggles at home and Rohlik said it’s all about fixing the mentality going forward.“That’s a good question. Certainly if I had (that answer) we’d already have that fixed, but I think it’s just a mindset,” Rohlik said. “On the road we feel a little more loose for whatever reason, and we just have to come out here at home and we have to win hockey games no matter where we’re at.”Puck drop for the series against Minnesota is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday and 8:00 p.m. Saturday at the Schottenstein Center.
Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi is adamant that nobody wants to win the World Cup more than his Argentina teammate Lionel MessiOtamendi scored the only goal for Argentina in their humbling 6-1 thrashing to Spain on Tuesday night with Messi having been unavailable, due to injury, at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.But, despite having won five Ballon d’Or’ awards and four Champions League titles, Messi is determined to win the prestigious World Cup trophy for Argentina and is the best player if the world, according to Otamendi.“For Leo, [the World Cup] is obviously what’s missing, but it doesn’t stop him being the best in the world,” Otamendi told Marca, before their 6-1 defeat to Spain.“In Argentina, we are very demanding, but we are lucky to have Leo – he helps a lot. He is always calm, he tries to deliver for the team. He’s a competitor, a winner, in games and in training.“Sometimes the game doesn’t go as planned but he always looks for the best for the team. We try to help him, to give him what he needs, to make it work and take advantage of having him in the team.Report: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“Given the players that Argentina have, [winning the World Cup] is a demand that we all want, but we won’t win it in the first game. We will play each game like a final and destiny will tell us where we will end up.“In Brazil, we got to the final and we almost won it, but it wasn’t to be. We’ve had three finals where we couldn’t do it, but if we get into that position again it’s because the team deserves it.“In Argentina, [Messi] is valued highly – there are comparisons with [Diego] Maradona. I am lucky to share a team with Leo and he wants to win a title with his country more than anyone.”The Argentine defender also expressed his satisfaction with his current level of football under Pep Guardiola at City this season.“At a personal level, I’m having a very good season,” he said. “I’ve adapted to the team, the play, Pep’s ideas.“I’m happy because I’m playing football how I’ve always liked to play it.”