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Football: Torres left on bench as Schuerrle starts for Chelsea

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho left out Fernando Torres for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, selecting Andre Schuerrle in his place. With Samuel Eto'o sidelined due to a hamstring injury, Spain striker Torres had been expected to get the nod at the tip of the Premier League side's attack. However, he was left on the bench at kick-off with German international winger Schuerrle and Belgium's Eden Hazard both starting, and both capable of playing through the middle.

Football: FIFA orders shock transfer ban on Barcelona

FIFA on Wednesday banned Spanish giants Barcelona from buying or selling players for the next two transfer windows for "serious" breaches of rules on under-age players. FIFA's Disciplinary Committee found Barcelona and the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) guilty of making or allowing illegal deals. As well as the transfer ban, which will effectively last one year, FIFA fined Barcelona 450,000 Swiss francs, (369,000 euros, $509,000). Barcelona were given 90 days to regularise the situation of all 10 minor players concerned.

Football: Mexico coach hopes Brazil, Neymar feel cup pressure

Mexico manager Miguel Herrera voiced hope Wednesday that Brazil will falter under home pressure during his side's World Cup clash with the heavyweights, adding that the hosts' star player Neymar lacks leadership experience. In an interview with AFP, Herrera said five-times champions Brazil are the clear favorites to win Group A and that Barcelona forward Neymar is growing into a prominent role.

Football: Mexico coach hopes Brazil, Neymar feel cup pressure

Mexico manager Miguel Herrera voiced hope Wednesday that Brazil will falter under home pressure during his side's World Cup clash with the heavyweights, adding that the hosts' star player Neymar lacks leadership experience. In an interview with AFP, Herrera said five-times champions Brazil are the clear favorites to win Group A and that Barcelona forward Neymar is growing into a prominent role.

Football: 'Heaven or hell' Brazil open training center

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was warned Wednesday he faces a trip to "hell" if his team flop at the World Cup, as he watched his squad's training complex inaugurated. Brazilian Football Confederation chairman Jose Maria Marin opened the refurbished Granja Comary base at Teresopolis, a small town just north of Rio, and asked Scolari: "Is that to your liking?" Scolari, the 2002 World Cup winning coach, replied: "Here we have just the conditions we need for great preparation as we go after our sixth world title."

Football: 'Heaven or hell' Brazil open training center

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was warned Wednesday he faces a trip to "hell" if his team flop at the World Cup, as he watched his squad's training complex inaugurated. Brazilian Football Confederation chairman Jose Maria Marin opened the refurbished Granja Comary base at Teresopolis, a small town just north of Rio, and asked Scolari: "Is that to your liking?" Scolari, the 2002 World Cup winning coach, replied: "Here we have just the conditions we need for great preparation as we go after our sixth world title."

Football: Brazil's anti-World Cup anthem hits out at costs

"Excuse me, Neymar, but during this World Cup I shan't be cheering for you." Jennifer Lopez may be the star name behind Brazil's official World Cup anthem "We are One" but not everybody is singing from the same songsheet in the host nation, as evidenced by the launch of an anti-Cup song. The ballad is the work of singer Edu Krieger, who has set to music his frustration at the governing "thieves" who have spent more than $11 billion on hosting a tournament in a country whose public services need a massive overhaul.

Football: Samba star mulls Iran World Cup adventure

As Brazil prepare for a first World Cup on home soil in 64 years, one Brazilian is plotting appearing at the finals with ... Iran. Former Vasco da Gama and Paraenense striker Eder Luciano, better known as Edinho, moved to Iran in 2008 to play for Mes Kerman. His goalscoring form for the club, founded in 1998, has been such that the Iranians conferred citizenship on him earlier this year. "I already have my documents so I'd say there is about a 90 percent chance" of making it into the national team, Edinho, 31, forecast.

Football: Neymar heads for Clasico as 'one of world's best'

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino claims Brazilian star Neymar remains "one of the top five players in the world" despite his stuttering start to life with the Catalans. Neymar is expected to return to Martino's starting line-up for Barca's huge La Liga clash away to Real Madrid on Sunday after sitting out last weekend's 7-0 thrashing of Osasuna as an unused substitute.

Football: Brazil's first Cup-winning skipper dies

Hilderaldo Luiz Bellini, the captain of Brazil's first World Cup-winning team, died Thursday aged 83 after a long illness, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said. The central defender, who had been battling Alzheimer's disease for a decade, died in a Sao Paulo hospital three years after he suffered a stroke which left him unable to speak. The CBF declared three days of mourning in honor of Bellini, who will be buried on Friday in his home city of Itapira, in Sao Paulo state.
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