World Cup Insider - Spain suffer major injury blow

INJURY BLOW: Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara will miss the World Cup finals after damaging his knee ligaments

INJURY BLOW: Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara will miss the World Cup finals after damaging his knee ligaments

First published in Sport

THIAGO ALCANTARA has been ruled out of Spain’s World Cup squad after tearing his cruciate knee ligaments.

The Bayern Munich midfielder was named in Spain’s provisional squad on Monday, but requires surgery after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury this week.

Alcantara, who boasts five senior international caps and scored a hat-trick as Spain beat Italy to win the European Under-21 Championships last summer, will also miss this weekend’s German Cup final.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “This is bitter for Thiago and I feel sorry for him. A young man who wanted to come back at the World Cup, and suddenly his dreams are burst.

“We will take care of him now, and make sure he is fit at the start of the season.”

**

QPR are involved in a tug-of-war with the South Korean national team over defender Yun Suk-young.

South Korea coach Hong Myung-bo named Yun in his 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup finals, and has already gathered his players together at a training camp in Paju, north of Seoul.

However, with QPR due to face Derby County in the Championship play-off final on May 24, the London club are refusing to release the defender.

Hong said: “If Yun reports to the camp late, then it could set a bad precedent. There’s no shift to our stance that Yun must be here at the earliest date possible.”

**

LIVERPOOL defender Mamadou Sakho insists the French squad have put a disastrous 2010 World Cup behind them as they look to live up to their billing as fancied outsiders for this summer’s tournament in Brazil.

Four years ago in South Africa, France crashed out in the group stages as a number of the players refused to train in the wake of coach Raymond Domenech’s much-publicised row with Nicolas Anelka.

Disciplinary issues reared their head again this week when Didier Deschamps admitted Samir Nasri’s exclusion from the squad was partly because of his attitude, but Sakho is confident any problems are in the past.

He said: “I can’t talk about South Africa, and I prefer not to talk about it as I wasn’t there. But in terms of looking forward, what I can say of France’s chances at the World Cup is that we have a squad of quality players.

“Look at the type of clubs these players play for. They are top clubs in Europe – Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United, Juventus, Arsenal.”

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