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Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Thursday, 1 July 2010 07:28 UK

Thursday's World Cup round-up

Robin van Persie and Bert van Marwijk
Van Persie was unhappy after being substituted against Slovakia

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk called a team meeting after reports in the Dutch media claimed Arsenal striker Robin van Persie said midfielder Wesley Sneijder should have been substituted instead of him in their last 16 win over Slovakia.

"I will never accept anything that could upset the next match," Van Marwijk told Dutch national broadcaster NOS.

"I spoke to Robin and he is supposed to have said something about Wesley.

"I've spoken to Wesley and after that I called the team together... told them what I think and then drew a line under it."

Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus says the loss of Michael Ballack ahead of the World Cup has been a blessing in disguise for Germany.

Ballack was set to take the captain's armband in South Africa, but he injured his ankle playing for Chelsea against Portsmouth in the FA Cup final at the end of May.

"I'm genuinely upset for Michael Ballack, but I have to say his absence has helped Germany," Matthaus told

"I don't mean that in a spiteful way, but Ballack was arguably holding up a number of players who've now blossomed.

"Ballack often took a lot of pace out of the game, but that wouldn't fit the mentality of this young team. Missing out is a personal catastrophe for Michael, but it's benefited Germany."

Germany striker Miroslav Klose claims to have received lucrative offers from clubs in Eastern Europe following his impressive performances at the World Cup.

Klose has scored twice for his country in South Africa as Germany have powered to a quarter-final meeting with Argentina on Saturday.

But he was a peripheral figure at Bayern Munich last season and his club future remains up in the air.

"I have a contract with Bayern until 2011 which I have to honour," Klose told German newspaper Bild.

"Of course there have been enquiries, especially from Eastern Europe, which are really lucrative."

Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson is desperate for a chance to prove himself in the Premier League.

Kingson was released by Wigan in May after two years at the DW Stadium, where he made four first-team appearances.

"I have to prove myself in the Premier League. It is an unfulfilled mission for me," said the 32-year-old.

"I was waiting for my chance and it did not come. Now I am at the World Cup. I am playing, I am comfortable and I am happy. Everyone can see what I can do.

"I would still like to stay in England because I know I could play every week in the Premier League."

The newly-renovated Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was lit up by green and yellow lights to show support for the nation's football team ahead of their quarter-final clash with the Netherlands on Friday.

Legendary Brazil striker Pele has continued his war of words with Argentina coach Diego Maradona.

Having previously said Maradona only took the Argentina job because he needed the money, Pele has criticised Maradona's lifestyle.

"Maradona is not a good coach, because he had a bizarre lifestyle which cannot go down well with his team," three-time World Cup winner Pele told German magazine 11Freunde.

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz says he will not quit his role, despite returning empty-handed from the World Cup.

"If the national coach must resign for having lost 1-0 against Spain in the last 16 of the World Cup then there is something that is not right," said Queiroz.

"Spain is one of the big favourites. We haven't succeeded in winning. That will be for the next one."

Updated throughout the day.

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see also
Wednesday's World Cup round-up
30 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Tuesday's World Cup round-up
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Monday's World Cup round-up
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sunday's World Cup round-up
27 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Saturday's World Cup round-up
26 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Friday's World Cup round-up
25 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Thursday's World Cup round-up
24 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

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