Pirlo set to end Italy career

Italy international Andrea Pirlo has confirmed that he will retire from international football at the end of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 35-year-old penned a new two-year deal with Juventus earlier this week, and is opting to focus his efforts exclusively on his club football. The Italians kick off their

MARADONA ENCOURAGES MESSI

Writing in the Times of India today, World Cup legend Diego Maradona said Lionel Messi can cement his status as an all-time great by leading Argentina to World Cup glory. He wrote: "There were too many footballers in Argentina who were named the second Diego. Leo is the only one with

Defiant Blatter hits back

Sepp Blatter has hit back at attacks against him by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke and other European football officials as he sets out his plans to stand for a fifth term. The subject of Blatter's future as FIFA president has been one of the main topics at the organisation's congress

Modric: We won’t hold back

Luka Modric believes attack will be Croatia's best form of defence when they face Brazil in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup on Thursday. The five-time world champions are among the favourites to again lift the title, this time in their own backyard, and they raise the curtain on

Concerns over Manaus pitch

The groundsman responsible for the Arena Amazonia in Manaus has conceded that the pitch is in "bad shape" ahead of England's World Cup opener against Italy on Saturday. The Three Lions will send an official to inspect the pitch on Thursday as concerns grow over the condition of the surface. "Frankly, Manaus

Neuer shakes off shoulder injury

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is expected to be fit to face Portugal in his side's World Cup opener on Monday. The 28-year-old participated in a full training session on Wednesday for the first time since turning out for Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final in May after being sidelined by a

Ramires feeling anxious

Brazil midfielder Ramires has conceded there is considerable anxiety within the squad ahead of their World Cup opener against Croatia on Thursday. After enduring a dry spell in their football, Brazil have experienced a resurgence of sorts in the past two years, which has renewed faith in the national team. However, what

World Cup preview: USA

Football411's FAGBURE FUNSHO brings you a breakdown of the 32 teams at the World Cup, with the focus on the United States of America. Despite taking part in the first ever World Cup in 1930, where they claimed a third-placed finish, the USA have to wait for several decades for their

World Cup preview: Germany

Football411's FAGBURE FUNSHO brings you a breakdown of the 32 teams at the World Cup, with the focus here on Germany. Having won their third World Cup trophy in 1990, Germany have come oh so close to clinching a fourth in the editions that have followed. The closest they came was

World Cup preview: Iran

Football411's FAGBURE FUNSHO brings you a breakdown of the 32 teams at the 2014 World Cup, with the focus here on Iran. The top seeded Asian team going into the tournament, their status as a lowly-rated outfit could work in their favour. How they qualified They finished as group winners to book their

World Cup preview: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Football411's FAGBURE FUNSHO brings you a breakdown of the 32 teams at the 2014 World Cup, with the focus here on Bosnia and Herzegovina. How they qualified Bosnia and Herzegovina are the only debutants at this World Cup. A host of first-time participants have blazed a trail before them. They carry with

World Cup preview: Nigeria

Football411's FAGBURE FUNSHO brings you a breakdown of the 32 teams at the 2014 World Cup, with the focus here on Nigeria. How they qualified The Super Eagles went through their entire qualifying campaign without a loss. Despite this, Stephen Keshi has experienced the usual off-field problems, like all other Nigeria coaches

World Cup preview: Honduras

Football411 brings you a breakdown of the 32 teams at the 2014 World Cup, with the focus here on Honduras. Serviced by a cosmopolitan squad, lined with a sextet of British-based players, this will be Honduras' third World Cup. Warm-up fixtures against Turkey in Washington, Israel in Houston and England will certainly

World Cup preview: Group H

Football411's FAGBURE FUNSHO brings you a breakdown of the 32 teams at the 2014 World Cup, with the focus here on Group H. Group H sees Belgium make a much-anticipated return to the big time with arguably their strongest squad in over 20 years and a real chance of glory in