Group A team news

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

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A local coach will be appointed to succeed the Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira after the World Cup, the South African Football Association's top official said at the weekend.

It is expected either Parreira's assistant Pitso Mosimane or Gavin Hunt, who has won three successive South African league titles with SuperSport United, will be offered the job by the South African Football Association.

SAFA chief executive officer Leslie Sidibe said the association believed it was time a local coach was at the helm of the national team, Bafana Bafana.


Thierry Henry made the most of a rare Barcelona appearance when he scored the Blaugranas's second goal in a 3-1 win against Xerez on Saturday, his first in two months.

Playmaker Yoann Gourcuff picked up a thigh injury in Girondins Bordeaux's 1-0 defeat at Lorient on Saturday.

He was only replaced at half time although Bordeaux said on their website Gourcuff felt pain following an attempt on goal early in the game. The club did not elaborate on the length of Gourcuff's absence.


A squad of 17 assembled by coach Javier Aguirre entered a training camp near Avandaro this week with one eye on their May friendlies in the United States against Ecuador (May 7), Senegal (10) and Angola (13).

Goalkeeper Oscar Perez cannot wait for players still with their clubs in Europe to link up with the squad.

"When they are with us things are going to go really well. We used to work with the entire squad but there shouldn't be any hitches," the 37-year-old said.


The much-travelled Sebastian Abreu, now with Brazil's Botafogo, is hoping he is playing his way into coach Oscar Tabarez's plans for Uruguay's strike force. Abreu has hit 13 goals in 18 games for the Rio de Janeiro outfit.

"A national coach can't afford to ignore an experienced player who's in great form, is winning titles and scoring goals in a league as strong as Brazil's, is playing for a big club like Botafogo, and who knows his way round the national set-up. Only the best players get chosen for the national squad," the man known as El Loco said.

Tabarez is likely to count on Diego Forlan of Atletico Madrid and Luis Suarez of Ajax as his first choice for an attacking partnership, and Forlan was on target this week.

He scored the Atletico goal that sunk Liverpool in the first leg of the Europa Cup semi-final on Thursday.

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