Breaking News: AGAINST ALL ODDS Cristiano Ronaldo makes it into the Portuguese NT! (+ other stories)
Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal's World Cup campaign after being named in their 30-man squad for the finals, despite having a hamstring injury. The Portugal captain picked up the injury playing for Real Madrid against Real Valladolid last week, and missed their defeat to Celta Vigo on Sunday. But the 29-year-old is expected to recover in plenty of time for Portugal's opening World Cup match in Group G against Germany on 16 June.
The Portugal coach Paulo Bento also included the Porto winger Ricardo Quaresma in his provisional squad. The 30-year-old former Barcelona player rejoined Porto in January after six months out of the game following his departure from Dubai's Al-Ahli last year.
Portugal also face the US and Ghana in their World Cup group.
Portugal's provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga), Rui Patrício (Sporting)
Defenders: Andre Almeida (Benfica), Antunes (Malaga), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentreo (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Rolando (Inter Milan)
Midfielders: Andre Gomes (Benfica), Joao Mario (Vitoria Setubal), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dynamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica), Nani (Manchester United), Rafa (Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Porto), Varela (Porto), Vieirinha (VfL Wolfsburg)
Meet the future winners of the 2014 World Cup (you heard it here first)
Giorgio Chiellini has been included in Italy's preliminary 30-man World Cup squad, ending doubts that he might face a code of ethics punishment for his three-match ban with Juventus.
Giuseppe Rossi also made the cut, having just returned from a four-month layoff owing to a knee injury. (my bb!!)
Among those who missed out were Southampton's controversial forward Dani Osvaldo, who is on loan at Juventus, and the Sunderland winger Emanuele Giaccherini. Alberto Gilardino, Alessandro Diamanti, who recently joined Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, and the Zenit St Petersburg full-back Domenico Criscito will also not be going to Brazil.
Italy face England in their opening Group B game in Manaus on 14 June, before taking on Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Italy's provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain), Mattia Perin (Genoa)
Defenders: Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorigo Chiellini (Juventus), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Andrea Ranocchia (Internazionale), Ignazio Abate (Milan), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina)
Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Marco Parolo (Parma), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Romulo (Verona)
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina), Mattia Destro (Roma), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)
bitches better be ready
Mata, 2 for you! Torres, 4 for you, Torres!! You go, Torres! ...and none for Arbeloa, bye.
Chelsea's Fernando Torres and Manchester United's Juan Mata have both been included in Spain's preliminary squad for the 2014 World Cup. Neither player has had the best of seasons but Vicente del Bosque picked both of them for his provisional 30-man squad, together with the uncapped Ander Iturraspe of Athletic Bilbao and Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid. However, the Real Madrid pair Álvaro Arbeloa and Isco have been omitted.
Arbeloa was part of the Spain sides that have won back-to-back European Championships and the World Cup in the past six years but the experienced full-back will not be going to Brazil this summer.
Spain's provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, David de Gea, Pepe Reina
Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Raúl Albiol, Juanfran, Jordi Alba, César Azpilicueta, Daniel Carvajal, Alberto Moreno
Midfielders: Xavi, Javi Martínez, Xabi Alonso, Andrés Iniesta, Koke, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Ander Iturraspe, Cesc Fábregas, Thiago Alcântara, Juan Mata, David Silva, Pedro, Jesús Navas (dat midfield o__0)
Forwards: Diego Costa, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Álvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente
gettin' real tired of their football world domination but i'm always here for drunk Xabi <333
Shit just got real for $amir Na$ri and his girlfriend's Twitter feed
Samir Nasri, who was instrumental in helping Manchester City to win the Premier League title, was left out of France's World Cup squad when Didier Deschamps announced a 23-man list plus seven stand-by players. Nasri's omission prompted a furious Twitter rant against the manager and the team by his girlfriend.
Nasri, who has a reputation of being a troublemaker and was disappointing in France's play-off first leg against Ukraine last year, was a notable absentee along with the defender Eric Abidal.
A tweet from the account of Nasri's girlfriend, Anara Atanes, said: "Fuck france and fuck deschamps! What a shit manager!" She then repeated the insults before adding: "Lets just get this straight! Im not mad i get my bf for 2 months.... I just think theres a level of respect to be had!"
Nasri was banned for three matches after launching a foul-mouthed rant at a reporter following France's quarter-final defeat by Spain at Euro 2012.
France's provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickaël Landreau (Bastia)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Lucas Digne (PSG) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Clément Grenier (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loïc Rémy (Newcastle), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)
Stand-by players: Stéphane Ruffier (Monaco), Loïc Perrin (St Etienne), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Benoît Trémoulinas (Dynamo Kiev), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Rémy Cabella (Montpellier)
France always brings something interesting to any tournament. Hoping they flop like it's 2010 <3