Video Rating: 4 / 503.25.14
A number of players are looking to get into the national team squads at the final moment in order to play at World Cup 2014. Parma striker Antonio Cassano is one of them and he has stated in a recent interview that he has lost as much as 10 kg in weight in order to make it into the Italian squad for the World Cup. Italy will go into the competition as one of the teams with a great opportunity to win the tournament. They have done exceedingly well in recent finals due to the leadership from Cesare Prandelli, but now, there is a feeling that the nation is ready to reclaim the glory days.
They come into the World Cup with the right mixture of youth and experience. The presence of striker Mario Balotelli upfront has provided a new dimension to Italy’s attack, which has boasted in the past the likes of Alessandro del Piero and Totti. Even though these players are still playing, they are unlikely to return to the international fold. One striker, however, is capable of doing just that and it is 31-year-old Cassano. The former AC Milan striker has been in fine form for his club this season, but he has stated that his diet over the last few months has helped him lose 10 kgs.
“I can’t do better than this. I’ve lost 10kg to go to Brazil. I’m on a diet and I’ve stopped eating focaccine, except for once a week. I don’t know if there’s still a chance but I’m doing everything to give Prandelli something to think about. I have never played at a World Cup and it’s something I’d love to do. I would be the happiest man in the world if it happened,” said the striker in a reference to national team manager Prandelli.03.19.14
Video Rating: 0 / 502.28.14
The future of England left back Ashley Cole at international level has been thrown into doubt after manager Roy Hodgson said that the inclusion of the 33-year-old is very difficult right now considering that he has not featured enough at club level this campaign. Cole is one of the record appearance maker for England, while he holds the record for the most number of appearances made by a left back. However, he is coming to the end of their career, which saw him lifting numerous titles with Arsenal and Chelsea.
Since the last few months, he has not been featuring regularly for Chelsea. Jose Mourinho has largely used him as a substitute, while in his place, right back Cesar Azpilicueta has been playing. This has mystified many because Azpilicueta is not playing in his natural position, but he is still keeping his place in the team ahead of a specialist like Cole. The future of the former Arsenal man at Chelsea is also in doubt since he has only a few months left on his contract. He signed a one-year contract last summer, but the club are likely to review his place before offering him a new deal – the prospects of which are decreasing by the week.
As a result, the probability of seeing Cole at the World Cup is also diminishing.
“For years people have been understudy to Ashley. Now it’s Ashley’s turn to sit back. It’s a bit of a problem when you are a full-back – you either play or you are an understudy. We know what Ashley can do. We know how fit he keeps himself, how experienced he is. I certainly wouldn’t write Ashley Cole out of any plans because he wasn’t playing in his club team,” said Hodgson.
Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw are waiting in the wings to take Cole’s place in the team.02.19.14
Video Rating: 1 / 502.3.14
FIFA has announced that a song by singers Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez will be the official anthem of World Cup 2014. The track titled “We Are One (Ole Ola)” also features Claudia Leitte. This song will be performed in the opening ceremony of the tournament on 12 June. It is expected that the track will be released in the next few months leading up to the competition itself. The 2014 FIFA World Cup album, which is set to be released in the near future, will also feature this song. Pitbull has been one of the most popular singers in recent times.
He has been able to get 11 of his songs into the top 10 tracks. His song is currently top of the 2014 charts. Pitbull said that he was extremely delighted to have been offered the opportunity by FIFA, while Jennifer Lopez says that she cannot wait to perform along with Pitbull and Claudia Leitte at São Paulo in the opening ceremony. The 2010 edition of the tournament featured the song from Shakira, which was titled as Waka Waka. It went on to become one of the most popular on video sharing site YouTube by getting more than 600 million viewers.
FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke says that music plays a major role in Brazil’s tradition and he hopes this song manages to reach expectations. “I truly believe that this great game and the power of music will help unify us, because we are best when we are one,” said Pitbull. “I grew up in a house that loved football, so I am thrilled to be performing at the World Cup Opening Ceremonies with Pitbull and Claudia Leitte. This is an amazing celebration of global unity, competition and the sport,” said Jennifer Lopez.
The first match of the tournament will see Brazil taking on Croatia.01.21.14
Video Rating: 2 / 512.24.13
Video Rating: 4 / 5