Monthly Archives: May 2014

Capello Believes World Cup Will Be Difficult

Russia’s national team manager Fabio Capello has stated that the upcoming World Cup 2014 will be a difficult campaign for his team. Russia will be coming up against the likes of Algeria, Belgium, and Korea in the group stages of the competition. Compared with the likes of Germany and Brazil, these represent easy opponents for Russia. Hence they are regarded as one of the favourites to reach the knockout stages. Fabio Capello, though, has rejected suggestions that this will be anything easy. Capello already has the experience of managing teams in the World Cup.

The squad for the World Cup was only recently announced by Capello. He took the England team to the quarter-finals of the World Cup 2010 where they were extremely unlucky to reach the semifinals after having a goal disallowed. The former Real Madrid manager appears to have done extremely well in his position as the Russia’s national team manager. The team are undefeated in the last five matches and they will go into the start of the pretournament friendly matches with a lot of confidence. They come up against the likes of Slovakia, Norway, and Morocco in the three matches before starting the World Cup campaign against South Korea on June 18.

“I think Russia has a good team. We should remain realists because nothing will come easy for us at the World Cup. I expect our group opponents to play flat out against us, both physically and mentally. We need to be ready for that and I believe that three warm-up matches will help us a great deal. Of course I will thoroughly study the video footage of our group rivals’ matches. But I’m also set to watch Belgium in their warm-up match against Sweden in Stockholm on June 1 and to attend the match between Romania and Algeria in Geneva three days later,” said Capello.


Stoke city goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has said that his club teammate Peter Crouch should be recalled by the England national team ahead of the World Cup 2014. Crouch is one of the few strikers, who has an imperious record for the national team. He has scored a goal every other game, but it has not exactly endeared himself to the managers who have taken over the national team. He has been consistently overlooked in recent years, but the Stoke striker has not been concerned about the lack of a call up to the national team.

The arrival of Mark Hughes has the manager signalled a change in the era for Stoke. They were expected to play a much more attractive brand of football, which would even get the best out of Crouch since the tall striker is also adept at playing on the ground. Crouch has been one of the ever present players for Stoke this season. He have scored only seven goals in 29 league matches for the club, but his overall style of play helps the club sustain their position in the league.

The 33-year-old is coming to the end of his career, and if selected, the World Cup could be his last major tournament. He has 22 goals in 42 appearances for the national team.

“I can’t recommend Peter Crouch highly enough. I’ve played with him for a few years at Stoke, and before that at Portsmouth. He offers you something different. There are not many strikers like him around the world, it will be very difficult for defences to handle him. His goal record speaks for itself, especially at international level. He can make a big difference,” said Begovic, who himself has been linked with a move away from the club after a string of excellent performances.