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Page last updated at 20:10 GMT, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 21:10 UK

Wednesday's World Cup 2010 round-up

Fabio Cannavaro
Cannavaro was released by Juventus last month

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro, who held aloft the World Cup four years ago, has signed a two-year deal with a club in Dubai.

Juventus chose not to extend the 36-year-old defender's contract and he has taken up a lucrative deal with Al-Ahli.

Cannavaro, who has 132 caps for Italy, is retiring from international football after the tournament.

"My contract with Al-Ahli realises my dream of living in Dubai and finishing my career playing for one of its clubs," said Cannavaro.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter says Soccer City, the World Cup venue for next week's opening game and the final, is as good as Wembley.

"This is a five-star stadium and can be compared, if comparison is possible, with Wembley in London," Blatter said of Johannesburg's 94,700-seat venue. "We are very proud about that."

Spain goalkeeper Pepe Reina hopes Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard will stay at Anfield after the World Cup and not be lured away by Real Madrid.

New Real boss Jose Mourinho has long been an admirer of the England midfielder and Liverpool's failure to qualify for the Champions League could lead to him being tempted away.

But Reina, who recently signed a six-year deal, said: "I hope Gerrard doesn't bring anything to Real Madrid and that he stays a long time at Liverpool, that he is with us for the rest of his career.

"I understand that something will happen, that Real Madrid's interest in Gerrard will become manifest because Mourinho knows him very well and he is a footballer who can play in any team in the world. Let's hope they don't take him away."

France coach Raymond Domenech thinks his team will thrive in South Africa because of how much the French public are rooting for them.

Speaking on French television, ahead of Friday's final friendly against China on the island of Reunion, he said: "The impact of the public may bring a form of pressure, but a positive pressure from people who feel that the France team should succeed.

"I feel my players are determined. And the addition of the public pressure will put the final touches to our mental preparation. They know what to expect. They also know what people expect of them. It is most important."

Civil servants have been given a half-day off work so they can cheer on Zimbabwe in Wednesday's friendly against Brazil.

Robert Mugabe's government, which reportedly paid $1.8m to get the Brazilians to come and play the match in Harare, is also laying on buses to take the government workers to and from the stadium.

It is not clear if the Brazilian coach Dunga will risk stars Kaka, Robinho and Maicon in the match.

Brazil have been drawn against Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea in the so-called "Group of Death".

Italy winger Mauro Camoranesi will be fit for the opening game against Paraguay, says the team's doctor Enrico Castellacci.

Camoranesi suffered a knee injury during training on Tuesday but tests ruled out any serious injury and Dr Castellaci says he will rest it and sit out friendlies against Mexico and Switzerland.

But he said: "He can recover. We aim to have him available for selection before the first game against Paraguay."

Chile striker Humberto Suazo seems certain to miss Chile's first match at the World Cup after suffering a hamstring injury in the friendly against Israel on Sunday, and may need up to three weeks to recover.



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see also
Tuesday's World Cup 2010 round-up
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Monday's World Cup 2010 round-up
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
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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