Brazilian legend Pele says he is confident about Brazil's chances at the upcoming World Cup and expects injured star Neymar to be fully fit to lead the side in Russia. Brazilian legend Pele, who won the World Cup three times as a player, talks to AFP. (Photo: AFP/Karim Sahib) Speaking to AFP in Dubai, the 77-year-old, who has been in ailing health recently, put his faith in Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar's ability to recover from a fractured foot in time to lead Brazil to a possible sixth global football title. "We don't know exactly what is going to happen, but I think for the World Cup he's going to be in shape because his injury is not so bad," said Pele, the only person to have won the World Cup three times as a player. "I wish he has the same luck I had in the World Cup." PSG's Neymar, the world's most expensive player, has not played since breaking a metatarsal bone in his right foot on Feb 25 in a Ligue 1 match against Marseille. He said last week he is still … [Read more...] about Pele confident Neymar can lead Brazil at World Cup
European world cup qualifiers
Viet Nam News Football HÀ NỘI - Việt Nam's World Cup U20 adventure ended Sunday after they lost 0-2 to Honduras in the last match of Group E in Jeonju, South Korea. Honduras finished on a high note, leaving the second-round tickets to France and New Zealand, who ranked first and second, respectively. Việt Nam started their game with the hope of making it to the next round in case they beat Honduras. Việt Nam received strong support from fans who made the Jeonju World Cup Stadium their home turf, sporting red T-shirts with yellow star to match Việt Nam's national flag. The only representative from Southeast Asia, Việt Nam attacked right from the start. With better ball possession and opportunities, Việt Nam managed to put pressure on Honduras keeper Michael Perello in the first 15 minutes, but failed to convert their chances. Striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh, who was playing his first match, missed a scoring opportunity when he poorly managed the ball in front of the keeper and failed … [Read more...] about Việt Nam’s World Cup dream ends after 0-2 defeat
FIFA President Gianni Infantino wants to stretch the World Cup format to 48 teams and 80 matches, an increase from the current 32 teams and 64 matches. — AFP Photo Viet Nam News ZURICH — After much discussion, argument and counter-argument, FIFA will determine on Tuesday whether president Gianni Infantino can force through his vision of an enlarged World Cup. Infantino’s credibility will be on the line as the world body looks to revamp the four-yearly moneyspinner, potentially opening its door to 48 teams in 2026. That would stretch the action out to 80 matches as opposed to the 2014 format of 32 teams and 64 matches. Several options stand before the 30-strong FIFA council: maintain the status quo; extend to 40 teams featuring either eight groups of five or 10 groups of four; or got for 48 teams. That format would involve either a 32-team playoff allowing 16 winners to join 16 already qualified nations, or Infantino’s preferred option of 16 groups of … [Read more...] about Decision time for World Cup format
by Tien Thanh "I wonder if I will ever see Viet Nam competing at a World Cup in my lifetime," a friend says wistfully while watching the group E match between Japan and Cameroon. "I hope I will because I am only 25 now." Nguyen Van Phuc is not the only one with such sentiments in this football-mad country where millions are avidly watching the world's biggest football tournament on television. The match ended with a deserved win for the Asian team, with CSKA midfielder Keisuke Honda's shot from a pass from another foreign-based player, Daisuke Matsui, on the half-hour sealing victory. East Asian teams have made enormous progress mentally and tactically. When Japan made their first appearance at the 1998 World Cup in France, they did not have anyone playing in Europe and proceeded to lose all three group matches. As for South Korea, who scored a convincing win over 2004 European champions Greece in the opening game of group B, nearly half their players are foreign-based. Manchester … [Read more...] about Will VN ever compete in the World Cup?
World Cup fever overtakes Ha Noi Fan frenzy: South Korean fans gather at the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel to support their team at the World Cup. — VNA/VNSPhoto Quang Minh (04-06-2006) Venues across Ha Noi are preparing for brisk business as football fans make the ever-important decision on where they’ll watch the upcoming World Cup. Hoai Nam reports. The World Cup will start in Germany next week, but Cup fever has already begun in Ha Noi over the past weeks. On the streets of the capital including Trieu Viet Vuong, Hang Hanh and Dien Bien Phu, pubs and cafes have been putting up decorations and giant TV screens in anticipation of an overwhelming rush of football fans during the World Cup. The owners of large cafes have also set up projectors to provide even bigger screens for crazed football fans because the World Cup is not only entertaining, it is big business for these cafes. All of the World Cup matches will be broadcast live at night in Viet Nam (midnight and … [Read more...] about World Cup fever overtakes Ha Noi