Samba Sunrise: Benzema at the double, last gasp Swiss

FourFourTwo summarises all the headlines, reactions and features from Brazil into one nifty breakfast package. You're welcome!


Group E - Switzerland 2 (Mehmedi 47', Seferovic 90+2') Ecuador 1 (Valencia 21')
Preview • Match Report • Stats Zone

Group E - France 3 (Benzema 44', 71', Valladeres o.g. 47') Honduras 0
Preview • Match Report • Stats Zone

Group F - Argentina 2 (Kolasinac o.g. 2', Messi 64') Bosnia-Herzegovina 1 (Ibisevic 83')
Preview • Match Report • Stats Zone


Switzerland boss Ottmar Hitzfeld has been hailed as a tactical genius after two tactical masterstrokes brought about a comeback win over Ecuador, but he's been keen to divert praise towards his own team instead. "I'm proud of my team. The pressure in the first World Cup game is always very large," he said.

Opposite number Reinaldo Rueda, meanwhile, felt that Ecuador had displayed tactical naivety in allowing Switzerland to claw their way back into the game. "We lost our organisation, which has been one of our characteristics, at the end of the match, we were somewhat betrayed by our emotion," he told a media conference. 

Didier Deschamps was full of praise for his charges after France's 3-0 win over Honduras. "This is a very good start. We did good things during our preparation but this is the competition. Winning today is a very good start and we will enjoy this victory," he told TF1.

Honduras coach Luis Suarez (yes, not the other one) chose to dwell on Victor Bernadez's injury, feeling that it had marked a turning point during the game. The San Jose Earthquakes defender appeared to twist his knee before the break and was substituted.

Alejandro Sabella had no complaints as Argentina opened their World Cup campaign with victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina. The South Americans were far from their best but a relieved Sabella said his team would be 'cherishing' the result.


It's only the fourth day of the World Cup finals, but there's already been a scandal. Croatia are set to boycott media duties after pictures of players bathing nude in the team's swimming pool emerged. Coach Niko Kovac revealed on Sunday that the players were furious at pictures taken by photographers without their knowledge and published online.

Netherlands man-of-the-moment Arjen Robben isn't satisfied with just the big opening win over Spain. "This match will be remembered for a long time, but actually does not say much. We want more," he told AD.

Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes is happy to do a job for Germany at left-back at the World Cup. Howedes is a centre-half for his club, where he has occasionally featured at right-back, but is expected to line-up on the left-hand side of defence in Germany's opener against Portugal.

Germany coach Joachim Low has confirmed Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit to face Portugal in their Group G opener. Concerns were raised over the influential Bayern Munich midfielder's availability after he was airlifted to hospital from Germany's training base on Saturday for a scan on a knee injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo is raring to go, quelling fears that he would miss the game against Germany as he confirmed that he had been training normally and felt fine. Portugal have been rapturously received by locals at their training base in Campinas and the Ballon d'Or winner stated a victory would be dedicated to the Brazilian people.

Samuel Eto'o could be forced out of Cameroon's Group A game with Croatia after missing two days of training with a knee injury. He played all 90 minutes of his country's World Cup opener against Mexico on Friday, but has been sidelined since.

There has been some concern within the Greece camp after backup goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos was taken to hospital with an eye problem. The PAOK shotstopper has been ruled out for at least the next three days of training on doctors' orders.

By some coincidence, Spain are also sweating on the fitness of David De Gea after he was forced to miss training with a muscle injury. The Manchester United man is understudy to No. 1 Iker Casillas, with Pepe Reina also in reserve.

Teammate Fernando Torres has been busy telling the media that the current Spain squad is better than the one that lifted the trophy in 2010. Vicente del Bosque's squad have been criticised for being too old following the defeat against Netherlands, which was the first time Spain had conceded five goals in a match since 1963.

Rafael Marquez has urged his Mexico team-mates to make the most of their World Cup clash against hosts Brazil. "We have to make the most of this opportunity - it is a showcase for all of us, for many of them it is an opportunity to go up one more level," the Mexican skipper told Globo.

FIFA have claimed breaks were not deemed necessary in Italy's clash with England despite player reports of hallucinations due to the heat. The heat and humidity in Manaus – deep in the Amazon Rainforest - made for uncomfortable conditions during Italy's 2-1 win on Saturday.

Striker Park Chu-young is hoping to play a vital role when South Korea open their World Cup campaign against Russia on Wednesday. Park, who is expected to be utilised as a lone striker, believes Korea can start with a victory, but acknowledges he will require sufficient support from his team's midfielders.

Belgium must learn from Spain's opening-game humbling as they prepare to face Algeria on Tuesday, says defender Toby Alderweireld. The Atletico Madrid man watched on as the reigning champions fell to a surprising defeat to Netherlands, and believes that shows anything can happen in the World Cup.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz feels that there has been a lack of respect for his team ahead of their World Cup opener against Nigeria. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid boss said that the country's qualification was no fluke and didn't deserve to be written off by the media.


Sheffield United team-mates tell Richard Edwards about Alejandro "Alex" Sabella's Bramall odyssey... The story of how coach Harry Haslam went to Argentina to buy a 17-year-old Diego Maradona and returned with the future Argentinian manager instead.

With Germany set to get their World Cup underway against Portugal on Monday, Jonathan Harding explains why coach Joachim Low is under more pressure than ever before...

Nick Harper is still in Brazil! Here he tells us about the long slow Sunday after the hectic Saturday in this latest edition of El World Cup Diario...

FFT's Jonathan Fadugba analysed Switzerland's late, late 2-1 victory over Ecuador in Brasilia using Stats Zone...

Meanwhile, Gary Parkinson watched how France's comfortable win over Honduras developed, as traced by Stats Zone...

Argentina made a winning start at the 2014 World Cup against Bosnia-Herzegovina, but only just. FFT's Gregg Davies followed it live, coincidentally also using Stats Zone!