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Teams: Colombia (C1), Greece (C2), Ivory Coast (C3) and Japan (C4)


14 june - Colombia v Greece (Belo Horizonte)

14 june - Ivory Coast v Japan (Recife)

19 june - Colombia v Ivory Coast (Brasilia)

19 june - Japan v Greece (Natal)

24 june - Japan v Colombia (Cuiaba)

24 june - Greece v Ivory Coast (Fortaleza)


Zaccheroni names full-strength Japan squad

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni promised the Asian champions will fear nobody at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ as he named a full-strength 23-man squad, spearheaded by Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda. The 61-year-old Italian backed his Blue Samurai to give Côte d'Ivoire a severe test in their opening game in Brazil on 14 June, insisting that reputations will count for nothing.


Japan squad

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liege/BEL), Shusaku Nishikawa (Urawa Reds), Shuichi Gonda (FC Tokyo)

Defenders: Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), Masahiko Inoha (Jubilo Iwata), Yuto Nagatomo (Inter Milan/ITA), Masato Morishige (FC Tokyo), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke/GER), Maya Yoshida (Southampton/ENG), Hiroki Sakai (Hannover 96/GER), Gotoku Sakai (Stuttgart/GER)

Midfielders: Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Makoto Hasebe (Nuremberg/GER), Toshihiro Aoyama (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Keisuke Honda (AC Milan/ITA), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United/ENG)

Forwards: Yoshito Okubo (Kawasaki Frontale), Shinji Okazaki (Mainz/GER), Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nurnberg/GER), Yoichiro Kakitani (Cerezo Osaka), Manabu Saito (Yokohama F-Marinos), Yuya Osako (1860 Munich/GER


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Falcao's World Cup Dreams Crash & Burn

  1. French daily newspaper L'Equipe, reported that Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, will in fact be missing the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

    The ligament injury he suffered back in January during a French Cup match, sidelined the striker for an undetermined amount of time, and despite doctor's high-hopes of recovery, the bottom line is that Falcao is not near ready to be competing at the biggest of stages just yet.

    Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman, included the celebrated striker in his provisional squad for Brazil 2014, with the expectation that Falcao would make a complete recovery by the time the summer came.

    This will not come as a surprise for Falcao, who was already accepting the reality of his injury. The striker knew he had a steep hill ahead of him and that it was gonna be unlikely for him to reach full fitness in time.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Colombia striker Radamel Falcao will miss the World Cup after he was left out of his country's final 23-man squad.

The 28-year-old Monaco player has not played since sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage in January.


Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), Camilo Vargas (Independiente Santa Fe).

Defenders: Mario Yepes (AC Milan), Cristian Zapata (AC Milan), Pablo Armero (West Ham, on loan from Napoli), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven), Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), Carlos Valdes (San Lorenzo).

Midfielders: Fredy Guarin (Inter Milan), Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina), James Rodriguez (Monaco), Abel Aguilar (Toulouse), Juan Fernando Quintero (Porto), Carlos Sanchez (Elche), Aldo Leao Ramirez (Morelia), Alexander Mejia (Atletico Nacional),

Forwards: Victor Ibarbo (Cagliari), Jackson Martinez (Porto), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin), Teofilo Gutierrez (River Plate).


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FIFA steps in to help Greece get to World Cup base

ARACAJU, Brazil (AP) — FIFA had to step in to help Greece's national team get to its World Cup base in Brazil a day later than expected after a flight cancellation in the United States.

Greece was due to leave Newark for Recife just after midnight Friday, shortly after beating Bolivia 2-1 in a warm-up friendly at New Jersey's Red Bull Arena. But the team's flight was canceled because of a technical problem with the plane's navigation system.

The Hellenic Football Federation says the team left Saturday night from New York and arrived in Sao Paulo on Sunday, and then boarded a FIFA charter flight to Aracaju. Despite the long journey, the federation says the team will go ahead with a planned training session Sunday evening.



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Alberto Zaccheroni stepped down as Japan coach with a heavy heart on Wednesday, saying he wanted to take full responsibility for Japan's World Cup failure.

Speaking a day after the Asian champions were eliminated from the competition after a 4-1 hammering by Colombia in their final Group C match, the 61-year-old Italian said, "I am the one that decided on the tactics and how we play and I want to take full responsibility."

"Everyone got together at lunch today and I offered my thanks to all the people that have supported the team. I would select exactly the same players and staff if I had another chance."



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