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Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 16:02 UK

Monday's World Cup 2010 round-up

Anthony Reveillere, Thierry Henry, Mathieu Valbuena, and Djibril Cisse (left to right)
Henry (second from left) has scored 51 goals for France

Thierry Henry is preparing to start France's World Cup games on the bench - a role which he says he is content with.

The Barcelona striker, 32, has been used as a second-half substitute for Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka in France's last two friendly matches - Sunday's 1-1 draw with Tunisia and Wednesday's 2-1 win over Costa Rica.

"As I've often said, the most important thing is the team," Henry told L'Equipe. "I try to come on and to give something, give some movement when I'm called on.

"We're not here to know who will play and who won't play. No-one is above the team, we're all in this to go as far as we can together."

Former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit has thrown his hat into the ring as a possible successor to Australia coach when Pim Verbeek.

Verbeek revealed in March that he will leave his Socceroos post after the World Cup finals, and Dutchman Gullit, who won 66 caps for his country, admitted the lure of coaching in the sun was tempting.

"Of course I would consider it," said Gullit. "I love Australia, I've been to Sydney."

"What I like about Australia is the people are very sport-minded, very much, they love it. And of course the temperature is nice, the environment is nice."

Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson insisted he remained "very confident" in his team despite seeing them relinquish a two-goal lead in his first game in charge - a 2-2 friendly draw against Paraguay.

Goals from Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Hibernian defender Souleymane Bamba put the Africans 2-0 up with only 15 minutes of the game remaining in Evians-les-Bains, south-eastern France.

Didier Drogba
Drogba celebrates scoring his side's opener in the 2-2 draw with Paraguay

However, substitute Lucas Barrios, of Borussia Dortmund, cut the deficit before Aureliano Torres, of Argentine club San Lorenzo, snatched a last-gasp draw for the South Americans, who will face Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia in Group F in South Africa.

"From what I've seen in training and during one hour today, I'm very confident," said Eriksson, who has spent only one week with his squad since succeeding Vahid Halilhodzic in the job in March.

"It's all about organisation, to defend well together, to attack well together and we're working every day on that, and hopefully it will get better and better," added the Swede.

South Korea will be without Kwak Tae-hwi for the World Cup finals after the defender twisted knee ligaments in Sunday's 1-0 friendly defeat to Belarus in Austria.

Coach Huh Jung-moo is set to call up either Suwon Bluewings defender Kang Min-soo or Hwang Jae-won, of Asian champions Pohang Steelers, as a replacement for the 28-year-old Kyoto Sanga player.

South Korea complete their preparations against Spain in Innsbruck on Thursday ahead of their opening game against Greece in Group B on 12 June.

Australian midfielder Brett Emerton returned to full training on Sunday after shaking off the calf injury that has hampered his World Cup preparations.

But the Socceroos may decide not to risk the 31-year-old Blackburn player in Tuesday's friendly against Denmark in Johannesburg, while Galatasaray's Harry Kewell is also likely to sit out that game with a groin strain.

Coach Pim Verbeek remains hopeful former Liverpool attacker Kewell will be available for the Aussies' Group D opener against Germany on 13 June.

Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, meanwhile, has recovered from the thumb sprain that kept him out of last Monday's 2-1 victory over New Zealand in Melbourne.

Portugal have been boosted by the news that defender Pepe has been cleared to play in South Africa by medical staff at his club, Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old centre-back has not played since twisting his right knee in a La Liga game in December.

Spain midfielder Xavi has echoed team-mate Iker Casillas's concerns over the official World Cup match ball, the 'Jabulani'.

"This is a ball you have to get used to," said the Barcelona star. "It's true that it is really fast. But we have to adjust as quickly as possible."

And Real Madrid goalkeeper Casillas renewed his criticism of the Adidas product, saying: "It's sad that an event as important as the World Cup has such a rotten ball."



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see also
Sunday's World Cup 2010 round-up
30 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Saturday's World Cup round-up
29 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Friday's World Cup round-up
28 May 10 |  World Cup 2010


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