Group H team news

LONDON - Latest Group H team news ahead of the World Cup in South Africa which starts on June 11:

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Barcelona's midfield orchestrator Xavi is playing on with a minor calf injury for the reigning La Liga champions, who are a point clear of Real Madrid with three matches left, but says his participation in South Africa is not in doubt.

The 30-year-old, voted player of the tournament when Spain won Euro 2008 and a central figure in coach Vicente Del Bosque's plans, scored a freekick and set up a goal for Lionel Messi in Barca's 4-1 win at Villarreal on Saturday.

"There is a lot at stake for the (Barca) team and I want to be there and help," Xavi told reporters after the game. "It's not that serious an injury and I'll be at the World Cup."


Forward Blaise Nkufo made his final appearance with Twente Enschede after seven seasons and won his first league winner's medal with them as they beat NAC Breda 2-0 to clinch the Eredivisie title. Nkufo has scored 114 league goals for the club, reaching double figures in each season.

Reto Ziegler scored his second Serie A goal of the season for Sampdoria in their 2-0 win over Livorno. Ziegler was on target with a 25-metre free kick.

Forward Alexander Frei, who broke his arm during a game in February, had hoped to make his comeback for FC Basel in the Swiss Super League against Bellinzona on Sunday but was ruled out.

Midfielder Blerim Dzemaili, who is on the fringes of the squad, made his comeback for Parma after three months on the sidelines with a knee injury.


Midfielders Gary Medel, Emilio Hernandez and Pedro Morales were the only foreign-based players in a 16-man Chile squad picked for Wednesday's friendly against Trinidad & Tobago in the northern city of Iquique and named on the Chilean FA website.

Medel of Boca Juniors and Hernandez, who plays for Argentinos Juniors, will come over from Argentina while Morales will join the squad from Croatia's Dynamo Zagreb after the trio were released by their clubs.

Atalanta of Italy would not release midfielder Jaime Valdes, whom coach Marcelo Bielsa had hoped to include, local media reported.


Honduras captain Amado Guevara was lucky not to be shown the red card for slapping an opponent under the eye of the referee during the first leg of the Clausura championship final, Honduran media reported.

Guevara, who hit the post with a shot in the first half, ended up on the losing side after Motagua were beaten 3-1 by arch-rivals Olimpia thanks to an inspired performance by his Honduras colleague Ramon Nunez.

Guevara, nicknamed Wolf, also escaped punishment at the end when he punched Nunez as the creative midfielder, who laid on Olimpia's three goals, celebrated with his team's fans. Players from both sides grappled with each other after the incident but tempers soon calmed.

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