GERMANY: Miroslav Klose will head to Brazil hoping to become the leading World Cup goalscorer of all time after he was confirmed in Joachim Low’s final 23-man squad yesterday.
Klose, who turns 36 next week, needs two more goals to beat the current record total of 15 goals, which is held by Brazilian great Ronaldo.
The veteran is likely to start in Germany’s first-choice line-up, as Low’s decision to axe Hoffenheim’s Kevin Volland from his provisional party means Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski is the only other natural centre-forward in the squad.
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Klose made 22 Serie A appearances for Lazio last season, scoring seven goals, but his World Cup pedigree means he will head to Brazil as one of the most feared strikers in the tournament.
Podolski is one of four English-based in the German squad, with fellow Arsenal players Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil joining Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle in Low’s line-up.
ALGERIA: Crystal Palace midfielder Adlene Guedioura has been omitted from Algeria’s final World Cup squad.
However, Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb has made it into head coach Vahid Halihodzic’s final selection despite only winning his second international cap as a substitute during last weekend’s friendly win over Armenia.
Striker Rafik Djebbour, who spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest from Greek side Olympiacos, has also missed out on a place in the squad.
ITALY: Giuseppe Rossi has expressed his frustration on missing out on a third major tournament after head coach Cesare Prandelli axed him from Italy’s squad.
Rossi, who spent four months on loan at Newcastle United in the 2006-07 season, missed four months of last term with a knee injury, but felt he had proved his fitness after featuring in last weekend’s warm-up game against the Republic of Ireland.
However, after missing out on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and Euro 2012, the 27-year-old was left disappointed again when Prandelli announced his final squad.
“I am saddened and disappointed, but I will support my team-mates,” said Rossi.
BRAZIL: Luiz Felipe Scolari has read the riot act to his Brazil squad after he was less than impressed with their efforts in a recent training session.
The hosts take on Panama in their penultimate World Cup warm-up game this evening, and Scolari is demanding a significant improvement from Sunday’s training session.
“I did not like training, I liked nothing,” said the Brazil boss, who will rest Thiago Silva, Paulinho and Fernandinho during tonight’s game. “Everything was wrong. When I don’t like things, I have to find a solution and field it on the pitch until I am satisfied.”