World Cup round-up: Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain fancies move to Barcelona

Pepe Reina is tired of talking about Spain's 5-1 loss to Netherlands; Roy Hodgson calls out Luis Suarez ahead of their match; Samuel Eto'o will miss Cameroon's match against Croatia.
Gonzalo Higuain, centre, of Argentina controls the ball against Muhamed Besic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, right, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match at Maracana on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Gonzalo Higuain, centre, of Argentina controls the ball against Muhamed Besic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, right, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match at Maracana on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain fuelled speculation of a move to Barcelona when he said he was happy to be linked to the Spanish giants.

His compatriot Sergio Aguero ruled out any chance of a similar move.

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Speaking after Argentina’s 2-1 World Cup win over Bosnia at the Maracana Stadium, Higuain said he would relish the opportunity of linking up with Lionel Messi at club level.

“Any player would be pleased to play for Barcelona,” said the Napoli striker, formerly of Real Madrid. “It speaks well of you as a player and it would make anyone happy.”

Higuain played down suggestions that a move was imminent after reports in Spain that a deal had been agreed. “I’m not looking at it. My mind is on the World Cup.”

Spain

Goalkeeper Pepe Reina is fed up with the conversation surrounding Spain’s shock defeat to the Netherlands.

Is this team’s golden run over? Is it the end of a cycle for the World Cup champions?

“I’m tired of this question, tired of it, man,” Reina said yesterday. Asked if the team thoroughly reviewed the 5-1 loss to the Dutch ahead of tomorrow’s must-win Group B match against Chile, he said: “We only talked about it, we didn’t watch it again. We’re not masochists.”

Chile

Arturo Vidal, the midfielder, said Chile are not interested in eliminating Spain from the World Cup; they just want to win the whole thing.

“We hope to play well against Spain, take the three points and, if we knock them out that would be great but we didn’t come here to knock out Spain, we came here to win the World Cup,” Vidal said.

He expects Spain to play with intensity after their loss to Netherlands. “As world champions, Spain have quality,” Vidal said. “They have great players who will go onto the field full of rage.”

England

Ahead of a Thursday meeting with Uruguay, England coach Roy Hodgson said Luis Suarez had yet to prove he is a world-class striker.

“You can be a great player in your league but to be recognised as one of the all-time greats you have got to do it at the World Cup,” Hodgson said.

Suarez, voted Premier League Footballer of the Year, scored 31 goals for Liverpool last season. He is expected to play against England after missing a defeat to Costa Rica as he recovered from knee surgery.

At the 2010 World Cup, he scored three goals for Uruguay in five matches.

Belgium

Marc Wilmots, the Belgium coach, on Monday dismissed suggestions that his impressive but young team might wilt under the pressure of a World Cup.

“Pressure? What pressure? Pressure is for example when a child is seriously ill in hospital,” he said.

“This is football: I see nothing but sheer enjoyment from the players here. In just two years we have come an incredibly long way. Now the players are going to do everything they can so they do not go home with regrets.”

Cameroon

Samuel Eto’o is likely to miss the Group A clash against Croatia in Manaus on Wednesday, the Cameroon striker said on his Twitter account, after failing to shake off a niggling knee injury.

“The doctors confirm! I would probably not be able to play the match vs Croatia on Wed, june18th due to an injury on my knee causing me pain,” he wrote.

Eto’s absence would be a blow to Cameroon, who lost their opening game to Mexico 1-0.

Follow our sports coverage on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Published: June 16, 2014 04:00 AM

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