Posted by: sefa101 | April 8, 2008

Sevilla duo looking to impress

Sevilla stars Diego Capel and Jesus Navas will be hoping they impressed infront of the watchful eye of Spain assistant coach Armando Ufarte. Luis Arangones’s no.2 was in the stands as Sevilla crushed Villareal 2-0 at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium on Sunday evening.

Ufarte is likely to report back to Aragonés with nothing but positive comments after the midfield pair both impressed in the game. Both Capel and Navas have never played for Spain and it is ten months since a Sevilla player, Javi Navarro, last represented the country.

Both will be waiting anxiously to see if that fact is changed come the summer.

Posted by: sefa101 | April 7, 2008

Toulalan faces race for fitness

Lyon midfielder will be hoping he recovers from an injury in time for France‘s Euro 2008 campaignn after limping of his sides 3-1 defeat at Marseille.

The 24-year-old sustained the problem early in the game at the Stade Vélodrome in a tackle with international team-mate Samir Nasri. He is likely to miss a month of Ligue 1 action and the French Cup quarter-final against FC Metz, but will return before the end of the season and should be fit for Euro 2008 selection.

Posted by: sefa101 | April 7, 2008

Huntelaar shows no signs of slowing down

Ajax coach Adrie Koster said that Klaas Jan Huntelaar “really is a phenomenon” after a hat-trick on Sunday took his total to over 100 Eredivisie goals.

The 24-year-old striker went into Sunday’s game against De Graafschap needing just one goal to bring up his century in the Dutch top flight. Nicknamed ‘The Hunter’ he did even more than that, scoring a hat-trick in a 4-1 win to take his league total to 102 in 136 league games and become the first Ajax player since Marco van Basten to score more than 30 times in a season.

“After 32 matches his total is already 32. That is special. Yes, he really is a phenomenon.” claimed his coach Koster.

Posted by: sefa101 | April 3, 2008

Bilic pens future to Croatia

The Croatian Football Federation has reached an agreement with Slaven Bilić to extend the coach’s contract beyond Euro 2008.

Bilić, 39, is one of the most sought after young coaches in Europe after securing his countries pass to Euro 2008 at the expense of England. Bilić said;

“I will stay. I will sign anything, money isn’t important.” 

Croatia will meet Austria, Germany and Poland in Group B during this summer’s tournament.

Posted by: sefa101 | April 1, 2008

De Boer and Cocu to return after Euro’s

Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu are to return to the Netherlands national team as assistants to Bert van Marwijk, the man who will succeed Marco van Basten after Euro 2008.

The two former Dutch internationals will join third assistant Dick Voorn and current goalkeeping coach Ruud Hesp to complete the managerial team that will attempt to lead Holland to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

“I am happy with this set-up,” said 55-year-old Van Marwijk. “I think it is important that Frank and Phillip played almost 220 international matches between them. As players they took responsibility and will certainly do that again.”

Posted by: sefa101 | March 27, 2008

Altintop doubtful for Turkey’s Euro 2008 campaign

FC Bayern Munich expect to be without Hamit Altıntop for the rest of the season – putting a question mark against the midfielder’s participation in Turkey‘s Euro 2008 campaign.

Altıntop, 25, broke a metatarsal bone in his right foot during his country’s friendly against Belarus on Wednesday. What is certain is that he faces between six and eight weeks on the sidelines after surgery today – ruling him out of Bayern’s UEFA Cup quarter-final against Getafe CF and probably out of the remainder of their Bundesliga title challenge too.

“It is very doubtful that he will play again this term. This is a real shock, particularly as he has been in great shape recently.” said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld

Posted by: sefa101 | March 27, 2008

Wednesdays Round-Up

Belarus 2-2 Turkey
A fine strike from in-form Tuncay Şanlı and a 70th-minute equaliser from substitute Tümer Metin allowed Turkey to leave Minsk with a creditable 2-2 draw.

Romania 3-0 Russia
Romania beat fellow Euro 2008 contenders Russia 3-0 in a friendly in Bucharest on Wednesday with goals from strikers Ciprian Marica, Daniel Niculae and Marius Niculae.

Poland 0-3 United States
Poland‘s run of three friendly victories since qualifying for Euro 2008 came to a shuddering halt as the United States struck from three set-pieces in Krakow.

Scotland 1-1 Croatia
Croatia‘s preparations for Euro 2008 continued as they were held to a draw by a gritty Scotland side at Hampden Park.

Denmark 1-1 Czech Republic
Jan Koller ended his goal drought with a trademark header the Czech Republic battled back to earn a friendly draw against Denmark in Herning.

Sweden 0-1 Brazil
A 72nd-minute goal from teenage debutant Alexandre Pato consigned Sweden to a 1-0 defeat by Brazil in their friendly at the Arsenal Stadium in London.

Portugal 1-2 Greece
Georgios Karagounis scored two free-kicks for European champions Greece to ensure Otto Rehhagel’s side overcame Portugal for the third time in as many meetings.

Austria 3-4 Netherlands

A late goal from Klaas Jan Huntelaar sealed a staggering comeback by Marco van Basten’s side. Trailing 3-0 after 35 minutes, the Netherlands mounted an improbable fightback which left the co-hosts reeling at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion.

Switzerland 0-4 Germany
Germany confirmed their status among the Euro 2008 favourites as they beat co-hosts Switzerland in style in Basel with goals from Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez (2).

Spain 1-0 Italy

A spectacular 78th-minute volley from second-half substitute David Villa gave Spain a 1-0 win over world champions Italy in Elche.

France 1-0 England
Franck Ribéry’s penalty just past the half-hour mark proved enough to give France a well-earned friendly win against England and dampened David Beckham’s night as he celebrated his 100th cap for his country.

Posted by: sefa101 | March 26, 2008

Van Basten delight at Van Persie return

Netherlands coach Marco Van Basten has expressed his hapiness at having Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie back inhis squad for tonights game against Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria. The 24-year-old has been out for nearly 5 months after limping of in the 2-0 win over Slovakia in October. Van Basten was keen to stress that the striker still has a lot of hard work ahead of him;

“Robin will be able to experience the atmosphere in the camp again. He has trained hard in the past few weeks to get in shape,” said Van Basten. “A lot of big matches await him and Arsenal before the end of the season – hopefully he will play in a lot of those and get in a good rhythm for the European Championship.”

Posted by: sefa101 | March 26, 2008

Nicolas Anelka: ‘No such thing as a friendly’

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka claims “there is no such thing as a friendly” against England as he prepares for tonights game in Paris.

Victory would be the perfect send-off in what is France‘s last scheduled outing before June, and it heaps added pressure on Anelka and Co to impress this evening. Samir Nasri certainly ensured there would be no complacency last night when he made a claim for a place in the UEFA EURO 2008 squad as France’s A side beat Mali 3-2.

With the in-form Karim Benzema out of tonights game, Anelka must surely see this as the perfect oppurtunity to secure his plane ticket to AustriaSwitzerland this summer.

Posted by: sefa101 | March 25, 2008

Swiss hopes on Barnetta’s shoulders

As Bayer 04 Leverkusen climb the Bundesliga and advance in the UEFA Cup it is not just supporters of the German club enjoying the moment. Switzerland fans too have had reason to celebrate their success, as it is due in no small part to their very own Tranquillo Barnetta.

Barnetta has taken on a leading role for club and country. His side are in the hunt for a place in the UEFA Champions League next season and are through to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

“We’re playing an attractive and attacking game and we know we’re always capable of scoring, when you are successful, running is easier. You do the extra miles and everyone at Leverkusen works for their team-mates.”

The pressure is now on Switzerland to produce performances to match expectations and despite recent results Barnetta is convinced they can. “There is definitely a new confidence within the Switzerland side. We want to win all the time and we know we’re capable of doing so. Many of us play abroad and have gained confidence. It doesn’t even matter if we’re playing the Netherlands or Germany, we are confident.”

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