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11.15.2007

Ronaldinho in doubt for qualifier against Peru

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Brazilian football team doctors are trying to help their super star, Ronaldinho Gaucho, recover from injury before Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Peru.

Indeed, coach Dunga canceled practice Thursday at the team's mountain training camp in Teresopolis, near Rio, while the FC Barcelona star underwent special weight training to stay in game condition in the hope that his injured ankle heals on time.

"I think that with these exercises Ronaldinho won't be jeopardized physically," physical therapist Luiz Alberto Rosan said Thursday on the Brazilian Soccer Confederation's Web site.

The Brazilian midfielder, a World Cup veteran twice named FIFA's Player of the Year, hurt his right ankle in a game for Barcelona and was listed as questionable for Sunday's game with Peru in Lima. The rest of the team — including playmakers Kaka and Robinho — are healthy and expected to be available.

Boss Dunga is worried about the team's preparation, and on Wednesday barred a visit by 26 candidates for the Miss Teresopolis beauty pageant who turned up at the training camp to see their admired idols.

The "Scratch" travels to Peru on Friday, two days before the game. Brazil then returns to face Uruguay on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.

We must mention that Brazil tied Colombia 0-0 and trounced Ecuador 5-0 in previous qualifiers. The five-time World Cup champions trail leader Argentina by two points in the 10-nation South American qualifying league.

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Argentina gets ready to face Bolivia and Colombia in South American qualifiers

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Following the arrival of their footballers who play in Europe at the weekend, Argentina are working to maintain their perfect start in qualifying for World Cup 2010. And this time, the most important news have to do with the return of Hernan Crespo.

Alfio Basile's squad will face Bolivia at home at the end of the week, with an away trip against Columbia in Bogota just three days later. The Argentineans have so far collected a maximum six points from two games and are the clear favourites heading into their next two fixtures.

Highly-rated young attacker Lionel Messi of Barcelona is keen to take the initiative against a comparitively weak Bolivia team. "Argentina always plays an offensive game, we show that every match trying to create as many chances as possible. The more goals we score the better."

"We have to win, the first goal is to win, then we'll see if we can have fun and score many goals. Even if last world cup qualifiers we managed to win 3-0 against Bolivia and everything went fine, on the previous one we won just 1-0 with a last minute goal from Gustavo Lopez. Anything can happen. We don't have to hide, we know we depend on ourselves and we know we are better than them

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South American Qualifiers Photo Gallery

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Juan Román Riquelme was the absolute star of Argentina in the first game of the qualifiers against Chile.

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FIFA World Cup History

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There's no doubt that the FIFA World Cup is the most expected sports event in the world. Indeed, ever since the first tentative competition in Uruguay in 1930, FIFA's (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) flagship has constantly grown in popularity and prestige.

A bunch of visionary French football administrators, led in the 1920s by the creative Jules Rimet, are credited with the original idea of bringing the world's strongest national football teams together to compete for the title of World Champions. The original gold trophy bore Jules Rimet's name and was contested three times in the 1930s, before the Second World War put a 12-year stop to this popular tournament.

And when it resumed, the football World Cup rapidly reached its undisputed status as the greatest single sporting event of the modern world. Held since 1958 alternately in Europe and the Americas, the World Cup broke new ground with the Executive Committee's decision in May 1996 to select Korea and Japan as co-hosts for the 2002 edition.

It's important to say that since 1930, the 16 tournaments have seen only seven different winners. However, the FIFA World Cup has also been punctuated by dramatic upsets that have helped create footballing history - the United States defeating England in 1950, North Korea's defeat of Italy in 1966, Cameroon's emergence in the 1980s and their opening match defeat of the Argentinean cup-holders in 1990....

Nowadays, the FIFA World Cup holds the entire planet under its spell. The last World Cup Germany 2006 got extraordinary numbers in terms of audience, breaking many records.

And after this long way, the main goal of the FIFA World Cup remains the same - promote the game, unite the World, entertain people and make nations happy.

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