Samba Sunrise: Messi's the Man

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


Group F - Nigeria 2 (Musa 3', 46') Argentina 3 (Messi 2', 45', Rojo 49')
Preview • Match Report • Stats Zone

Group F - Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 (Dzeko 22', Pjanic 58', Vrsajevic 82') Iran 1 (Ghoochannejhad 81')
Preview • Match Report • Stats Zone

Group E - Honduras 0 Switzerland 3 (Shaqiri 5', 30', 70')
Preview • Match Report • Stats Zone

Group E - Ecuador 0 France 0
Preview • Match Report • Stats Zone


Alejandro Sabella feels Argentina are clicking into gear at the World Cup, although he knows there is room for further improvement. While a haul of nine points looks impressive, Argentina have yet to consistently find their best form and have, at times, looked vulnerable at the back.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi labelled Lionel Messi as "not from this planet" after he led Argentina to a 3-2 World Cup Group F win. The head coach said: "He is not from this planet. Messi is from Jupiter. He is different. He is one hell of a player. You can't take it away from him."

Bosnia-Herzegovina's players were praised by coach Safet Susic after they recorded their first FIFA World Cup win against Iran this morning. Goals from Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and Avdija Vrsajevic made history for Bosnia, who put defeats against Argentina and Nigeria behind them with a stylish 3-1 win in Salvador.

Carlos Queiroz spoke of his disappointment that his tenure as Iran coach had come to an end after their World Cup exit. The former Portugal boss is the latest head coach to have guided Iran to the finals but failed to get them out of the group, and he was left to rue the Iranian Football Federation's decision not to offer him a new deal.

Switzerland winger Xherdan Shaqiri has paid credit to his team-mates, after his hat-trick in their 3-0 World Cup win over Honduras. "I wanted us to play football and we did that. I wouldn't have scored three goals without them," Shaqiri said.

Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez has resigned after his team's exit from the World Cup this morning. Speaking after the loss to Switzerland, Suarez said the time had come for a change at the helm and the 54-year-old believes Honduras have a bright future.

Didier Deschamps declared "all is well" in the French camp after they secured top spot in Group E at the World Cup. "Sometimes it's hard to win but we had some opportunities. The (Ecuador) goalkeeper stopped a few - sometimes, there are fewer opportunities," the France coach told TF1.

Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez believes his team-mates can be proud of their World Cup efforts despite bowing out on Wednesday. Dominguez pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the score goalless against France in Rio, but a point was not enough to keep Reinaldo Rueda's men in the tournament.


Uruguay captain Diego Lugano claims team-mate Luis Suarez is being victimised after he was alleged to have bitten Italy's Giorgio Chiellini. "The images do not show anything, just a collision between two players. Nothing important," Lugano said.

Ex-Russia midfielder Konstantin Zyryanov says "wild" Luis Suarez should be banned if found guilty of biting, but only after the World Cup. If found guilty of the offence again, Zyryanov believes FIFA must suspend Suarez from the game, although he feels the Uruguay forward's case should be dealt with after the World Cup.

Mario Balotelli has refused to shoulder personal blame for Italy's disappointing World Cup exit. The 23-year-old insists he has a "clear conscience" when it comes to his role in Cesare Prandelli's squad and his efforts throughout their campaign.

Fabio Cannavaro has declared his interest in becoming Italy coach and claimed he is "ready" for the job. "It would be a great honour for me to be the manager of my national team," he said in his role as a pundit on ITV.

Nigeria midfielder Michel Babatunde is in doubt for the rest of the World Cup after breaking his hand in his team's loss to Argentina. A shot by team-mate Ogenyi Onazi struck Babatunde's hand during the 3-2 loss, but Nigeria still reached the last 16.

Former South Korea coach Kim Ho has labelled Park Chu-young as the current squad's "biggest disappointment" at the World Cup. "But it doesn’t mean that he (Hong) will just take Park out of the starting line-up, because Hong still believes that Park is the type of striker who can match his football style," he told Joonang Daily.

Alberto Zaccheroni has confirmed he is to resign from his post as Japan coach following their World Cup exit. The Italian took over in 2010 and won the Asian Cup a year later but oversaw a disappointing campaign at the World Cup in Brazil. 

Brazil midfielder Willian has warned Chile ahead of their last-16 clash, claiming Neymar is yet to show his best form at the World Cup. Neymar scored four goals in three games in Group A as host nation Brazil sealed their passage to the knockout stages.

Joachim Low insists both Germany and the United States will be out to win and secure top spot in Group G at the World Cup on Friday. The two nations will be guaranteed a place in the round of 16 should they draw at the Itaipava Arena Pernambuco in Recife, but Low has dismissed any suggestion of collusion between teams.


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Musos used to say the devil has the best tunes. But does the devil work for the BBC or ITV? FourFourTwo's James Maw compares the British television theme tunes to the last eight tournaments to determine which network is best (at coming up with theme tunes). Wistful sighs and shameful cringing aplenty...