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Sunday, 2 January, 2000, 20:43 GMT
Edmundo to be ready

Edmundo: Likely to make the start for Vasco


Vasco da Gama's controversial striker Edmundo is expected to recover from injury in time play in the club's World Club Championship opener against South Melbourne on Thursday.

World Club Championship
The forward pulled a thigh muscle during a match in December, and had been expected to miss at least the first game of the tournament.

Coach Antonio Lopes said the man known as the Animal might even play the last few minutes of a friendly against the Algerian national side on Monday.

Vasco de Gama director Eurico Miranda had threatened to slash Edmundo's salary after claiming he had aggrevated the injury during a night out.

But the official backed down when the player apologised and vowed that he was fully committed to getting fit for the competition.



He's been making a very quick recovery
Team doctor Fernando Mattar
If Edmundo recovers in time for Thursday's match, he will line-up alongside former World Cup star Romario for the first time in Vasco colours.

The pair have had serious personal differences in the past year and commentators have wondered how the two will fit into the same side.

Romario gave Vasco fans a scare when he limped out of a training session on Friday but Lopes guaranteed that it was nothing serious.

Vasco are taking the tournament so seriously that they have planned their entire season around it.

Former internationals Jorginho and Junior Baiano have been added to a squad which disappointed last season.

The tournament begins on Wednesday in Sao Paulo with Corinthians of Brazil facing Morocco's Raja Casablanca and Spain's Real Madrid taking on Al Nassr from Saudi Arabia.

Manchester United begin their campaign on Wednesday against Necaxa of Mexico, before Vasco and the Australian side complete the first set of matches.

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See also:
24 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Brazil 2000: Football's new century begins
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Vasco da Gama: Football's democrats
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
World Club Championship schedule
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
South Melbourne: Raising the stakes
01 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Scholes misses United mission
Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.