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Football: FIFA concerned about World Cup stadium delay

FIFA has expressed alarm about repeated delays in readying the Brasilia stadium for the Confederations Cup in June and next year's World Cup. The inauguration of Brasilia's 71,000-seat Mane Garrincha arena, initially set for Sunday, was postponed until May 18 because of problems in preparing the pitch. It was the fifth delay in delivering the stadium, where the Confederations Cup is to kick off on June 15, with a Brazil-Japan match.

Football: Former Brazil boss Zagallo in car accident

Former Brazil coach Mario Zagallo, 81, escaped with minor injuries in a car accident here late Thursday, police reported. Zagallo, who managed the legendary 1970 World Cup-winning Brazil team before returning to lead them at the 1998 tournament, suffered a bruise to his right eye but was otherwise in good shape, according to a family source quoted in the Lance sports daily. Zagallo, who also a player int the Brazil teams which won the 1958 and 1962 World Cups, was reported to have lost control of his car which hit a pillar while driving in the west of Rio de Janeiro.

Football: Former Brazil boss Zagallo in car accident

Former Brazil coach Mario Zagallo, 81, escaped with minor injuries in a car accident here late Thursday, police reported. Zagallo, who was in charge of Brazil at the 1998 World Cup where his team lost to France in the final, suffered a bruise to his right eye but was otherwise in good shape, according to a family source quoted in the Lance sports daily. Zagallo was reported to have lost control of his car which hit a pillar while driving in the west of Rio de Janeiro. He was taken to hospital but later released to return home.

Football: Scolari searching for best of Brazil

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admits Monday's friendly against Russia is a vital part of his preparations for the 2014 World Cup because he still doesn't know his strongest line-up. Scolari is yet to secure the first win of his second spell as Brazil manager after losing to England 2-1 and drawing with Italy 2-2. And the former Chelsea boss concedes he is a long way from knowing who will make up his team come the Confederations Cup later this year or, more importantly, the World Cup, which will be hosted by Brazil next year.

Football: New Zealand make major changes for last qualifier

New Zealand will field Australian-born Andrew Durante in their final Oceania group World Cup qualifier against the Solomon Islands as they continue to push FIFA to rule on his eligibility. Although Durante has taken New Zealand citizenship he was excluded from Friday's clash with New Caledonia because New Zealand football authorities had not received FIFA confirmation that he met all eligibility criteria.

Brazil's Kaka gets his turn to impress Scolari

By Brian Homewood NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) - Brazil's matches against Italy and Russia are billed as friendlies but could be an acid test for midfielder Kaka's hopes of playing in his fourth World Cup next year. Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, taking charge of his second match since being re-appointed in November, said on Wednesday that Kaka will be under the microscope as he continues to look for his ideal team for the Confederations Cup in June and next year's World Cup.

Football: Scolari undecided over Kaka-Ronaldinho partnership

Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted Wednesday he is still undecided whether veteran pair Kaka and Ronaldinho can have a future together with the Brazilian national team. Ronaldinho has not been called up by the 2002 World Cup winning coach this time for friendlies against Italy in Geneva on Thursday and Russia in London on Monday. But last month it was Kaka who missed out while Ronaldinho was included in the 2-1 defeat to England at Wembley.

Liverpool's Coutinho is like Messi and Ronaldinho - Pochettino

LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho has the same quality as Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho, Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday. The 20-year-old Brazilian joined Liverpool in January from Inter Milan with a reputation for quick feet and a turn of pace but with question marks hanging over his physicality and ability to adjust to the all-action Premier League.

Football: Malaga continue dream European run

Malaga's remarkable Champions League campaign continued on Wednesday when they beat Porto 2-0 to progress to the quarter-finals 2-1 on aggregate. Trailing 1-0 after the first leg in Portugal, Malaga levelled the tie on aggregate when Isco scored with a stunning strike just before half-time. If that gave the Spanish club confidence, they were left in an even stronger position when Porto had Steven Defour sent off for a second booking shortly after the restart.

Football: Malaga continue dream European run

Malaga's remarkable Champions League campaign continued on Wednesday when they beat Porto 2-0 to progress to the quarter-finals 2-1 on aggregate. Trailing 1-0 after the first leg in Portugal, Malaga levelled the tie on aggregate when Isco scored with a stunning strike just before half-time. If that gave the Spanish club confidence, they were left in an even stronger position when Porto had Steven Defour sent off for a second booking shortly after the restart.
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