<![CDATA[RSS Sambafoot]]>http://sambafoot.com/en(sambafoot.com)sambafoot.comsambafoot.comen-en<![CDATA[No Inter guarantee for Leonardo]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51907_no_inter_guarantee_for_leonardo.htmlLuca Persico

Despite speculation to the contrary, Leonardo insists he has not decided his future. 

The Brazilian, who made 60 appearances for the Seleção, resigned as sporting director of Paris Saint-Germain in July and has been out of work since.

Reports continue to link the 44 year-old with a similar role at former club Inter. He coached the side during the 2010-11 season - leading them to a 2nd place finish in Serie A.

Leonardo is said to enjoy a good relationship with Inter owner Massimo Moratti and would seemingly be an ideal candidate to work alongside protracted investor Erick Thohir, who is close to securing a majority stake in the Nerazzurri.

Leonardo, however, is in no rush to get back into work and believes a job at Inter is not guaranteed.

“I have to re-organise my life and then I’ll return to work,” he told Telelombardia.

“I have an excellent rapport with Moratti, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s a given I’ll return to Inter.

“Besides, the situation at the club has not yet been defined and many things could still happen.”

Leonardo has a strongly affiliation with both Milan clubs. As well as managing Inter, he was also a player and coach at city rivals AC Milan, where he made 97 appearances across two spells with the Rossoneri.

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<![CDATA[Valencia’s Jonas wants 20 goals this season]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51910_valencia___s_jonas_wants_20_goals_this_season.htmlLuca Persico

Valencia forward Jonas believes he can score 20 goals for Los Che this term.

The 29 year-old has hit double figures in two of his last three seasons at the La Liga club, but is yet to reach that milestone.

“It would be great to score 20 goals this year. During the last two seasons I have managed 19 and I would like to beat that,” he told reporters earlier this week.

“Twenty would be an important figure for me, but I hope to manage more.”

Jonas, who has been capped eight times by Brazil, netted twice in Valencia’s 4-2 friendly victory against fellow top flight side Real Valladolid, last weekend. 

“The match was good in this respect for everyone. For me, also, because I scored twice and took some confidence from it,” he continued.

“We played with intensity and seriousness because we all want to play in the team.”

He will hope to net his first competitive goal of the campaign when Valencia face Real Betis in Seville, on Sunday.

The former Santos striker, however, does not expect it to be easy: “Playing there is always difficult. We won last season and hopefully we can win again and climb up the table.”

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<![CDATA[Kenedy and Gabigol called up to preliminary U17 World Cup squad]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51909_kenedy_and_gabigol_called_up_to_preliminary_u17_world_cup_squad.htmlBrazil's under 17 national team manager Aleandre Gallo has announced the 26-man preliminary squad for the Under 17 World Cup.

The squad will train at São Paulo's training ground in Cotia from September 27 until October 7 before Gallo selects the 21 players that will play the Under 17 World Cup.

The Under 17 World Cup will be played in the United Arab Emirates from October 17 until November 8. Brazil are in Group A along with Honduras, Slovakia and the host team.

Fluminense's forward Kenedy and Santos' Gabriel Barbosa, known as Gabigol, are among the team's main stars.

Full Brazil squad:

Marcos - Fluminense
Thiago - Flamengo
Gabriel - Coritiba
Lucas - Ponte Preta
Lucas - São Paulo
Leo Pereira - Atlético Paranaense
Eduardo - Internacional
Leo Mendes - Internacional
Lorran - Vasco da Gama
Auro - São Paulo
Jeferson - Ponte Preta
Abner - Coritiba
Defensive midfielders:
Danilo - Vasco da Gama
Gustavo Aguiar - São Paulo
Maycon - Corinthians
Thiago Maia - Santos
Attacking midfielders:
Gerson - Fluminense
Indio - Vasco da Gama
Boschilia - São Paulo
Nathan - Atlético Paranaense
Caio Rangel - Flamengo
Kenedy - Fluminense
Gabriel - Santos
Tocantins - Coritnhians
Joanderson - São Paulo
Mosquito - Atlético Paranaense

Goalkeepers: Marcos (Fluminense), Thiago (Flamengo), Gabriel (Coritiba) and Lucas (Ponte Preta)

Centrebacks: Lucas (São Paulo), Leo Pereira (Atlético-PR), Eduardo (Internacional) and Léo Mendes (Internacional)

Fullbacks: Lorran (Vasco), Auro (São Paulo), Jeferson (Ponte Preta) and Abner (Coritiba)

Defensive midfielders: Danilo (Vasco), Gustavo Aguiar (São Paulo), Maycon (Corinthians) and Thiago Maia (Santos)

Attacking midfielders: Gerson (Fluminense), Índio (Vasco), Boschilia (São Paulo) and Nathan (Atlético-PR)

Forwards: Caio Rangel (Flamengo), Kenedy (Fluminense), Gabriel (Santos), Tocantins (Corinthians), Joanderson (São Paulo) and Mosquito (Atlético-PR)

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<![CDATA[Big season ahead for Manchester United midfielder Anderson]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51903_big_season_ahead_for_manchester_united_midfielder_anderson.htmlLuca Persico

Brazilian midfielder Anderson believes his improved fitness can help earn him a regular berth in the Manchester United first-team.

The 25 year-old is now beginning his seventh season at Old Trafford, but is yet to showcase his talents on a consistent basis.

With David Moyes replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm of the Premier League champions, Anderson hopes his strict summer training regime will allow him to impress the new manager.

"I just want to play as many games as I can. I just hope I can stay clear of injuries," the former Porto player told Inside United.

"I've been training hard on the training pitch and in the gym and working on my conditioning. I am pleased with how things are going and, whenever the manager needs me, I will be ready. 

"I have been doing more running, which has helped my fitness. The physios in Portugal have helped me a lot, as have all the coaches at United. I have also been working hard myself. I have built up the strength in my knee, worked hard in training. 

"I have been eating well and sleeping well, while I have also been coming into training on my days off to do more work. It has really helped me and I feel great.”

Anderson made just 17 appearances in the Premier League last season and has not represented Brazil since 2008. While still relatively young, he recognises the importance of the next 12 months.

"I think it's a big season for me, for everyone. However, I don't want to say that and then pick up another injury. I have often started seasons well, played six or seven games and then got injured.”

Anderson is yet to start a game for Manchester United this season, featuring for just 27 minutes, so far.

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<![CDATA[Willian hopes Chelsea move will deliver his World Cup ambitions]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51905_willian_hopes_chelsea_move_will_deliver_his_world_cup_ambitions.htmlLuca Persico

Willian hopes playing for Chelsea will aid his chances of an international call up, but is aware of the competition for places at the London club.

The attacking midfielder signed from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala for a fee believed to be in the region of €35 million.

With a number of attacking players already at coach José Mourinho’s disposal, the arrival of Willian was considered a surprise. 

While able to play in a variety of different positions, the 25 year-old understands he’s not guaranteed a starting berth.

"I know that I haven't secured my spot here. I'll do my best to achieve that place, while respecting the other players. I'll train, play and do my best to get the trust of the manager and of the fans," he told Globo Esporte.

Willian believes playing in the Premier League will give him greater exposure and help force his way into Seleção coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s plans, ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

"There is no doubt English football is very big, with huge visibility. I hope that helps me to be called up for the national team - but of course that depends on me,” he added.

"I'll have to play and prove I deserve that spot. I first have to become a regular starter [with Chelsea], then play well and be called up [by Brazil]. This is my goal."

With the likes of David Luiz, Oscar and Ramires already at the club, Willian expects to settle in quickly.

"The Brazilians called me, especially David Luiz, who told me to come quickly. I was very happy to have them around and they will certainly help me a lot.

"I wanted to play at Chelsea, even more so now with Jose Mourinho, who is the best at what he does.”

Willian could make his Chelsea debut on Saturday, when the Blues travel to face Everton, at Goodison Park.

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<![CDATA[Pato glad he left AC Milan]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51900_pato_glad_he_left_ac_milan.htmlLuca Persico

Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato feels he had to leave AC Milan to rediscover his best form.

The forward departed the Rossoneri in January, returning to Brazil in a deal worth around £12 million.

Having scored 62 goals in 132 appearances across his first 4 seasons, a spate of muscle injuries began hindering Pato’s form, and he netted just once in his last 18 months at Milan.

Having maintained fitness and found form with Corinthians, the 24 year-old is now back in the plans of national team trainer Luiz Felipe Soclari. He netted his first goal in over a year for the Seleção in Saturday’s 6-0 victory against Australia.

“For me to leave the Rossoneri has been good, I wanted to get back into shape and play more games,” said Pato, speaking to Goal International.

“Now that I’m here my goal is to win a place in the World Cup. For the way I am playing with Corinthians I think I am deserving of this.”

Pato’s scored six goals in eleven starts for Corinthians this season, but has not found the net since he struck in a 1-1 draw with Atlético Paranaense, at the end of July.

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<![CDATA[Match Preview: Brazil vs Portugal (02:00 GMT; Massachusetts, USA)]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51898_match_preview__brazil_vs_portugal__02_00_gmt__massachusetts__usa_.htmlLocation: Gillette Stadium, Boston (USA)
Kick-off: 09/12/2013, 22:00 (Brazil); 0200 (GMT)
Referee: Juan Guzman (United States)
Assistants: Peter Manikowski (USA) and Adam Wienckowski (United States)

Brazil face Portugal tonight in their second friendly of the week following the 6-0 beating of Australia on Saturday.

Seleção boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, who spent five years in charge of tonight’s opponents between 2003 and 2008, goes into the match with injury concerns in his team.

Dani Alves (knee) and striker Hulk (thigh) look set to miss the clash in Massachusetts, meaning Roma’s Maicon could be drafted into the defence alongside David Luiz and Thiago Silva.

Barcelona star Neymar is set to spearhead the attack for the Confederations Cup winners who have only lost one game in 2013; a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland last month.

Portugal go into the game unbeaten in six games after coming from behind in their latest World Cup qualifier to beat Northern Ireland 4-2 at Windsor Park.

However, Paulo Bento’s men will be without hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo as he recovers from Tendonitis and will miss the clash in the USA tonight.

The Seleção will be looking to build upon the 6-0 win over Australia and continue their improving form ahead of next year’s World Cup on home soil.

Possible lineups:
BRAZIL: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Ramires, Oscar, Jo and Neymar.

Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari.

PORTUGAL: Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Coentrao, Miguel Veloso, Raul Meireles, Joao Moutinho, Vieirinha, Nani and Helder Postiga.

Coach: Paulo Bento. 



Brazil wins – 11

Draws – 3

Portugal wins – 4

Last three meetings:

25/06/2010:            Portugal 0 – 0 Brazil – Fifa World Cup

19/11/2008:            Brazil 6 – 2 Portugal – Friendly

06/02/2007:            Portugal 2 – 0 Brazil – Friendly

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<![CDATA[Júlio César reveals summer contact with Benfica]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51893_julio_cesar_reveals_summer_contact_with_benfica.htmlQueens Park Rangers goalkeeper Júlio César has admitted that he was in contact with Portugese side Benfica over a possible transfer this summer.

The Seleção keeper was widely expected to leave Loftus Road this summer and he has now revealed that a move to Benfica was discussed between the parties and could have happened after he sought advice from former Benfica defender David Luiz, reports Lancenet.

However, the move did not materialize and the 34-year-old now stays at Harry Redknapp’s team, at least until the Janaury window opens.

He said: “There were contacts Benfica, but unfortunately the transfer did not materialize.

“I got to talk to David Luiz about life in Lisbon and the club.”

The keeper was also linked with a move to Schalke, however, negotiations with the German side also failed and the Brazilian had to stay at Queens Park Rangers following their relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season.

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<![CDATA[El Shaarawy: Neymar is the best player in the world]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51886_el_shaarawy__neymar_is_the_best_player_in_the_world.htmlAC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy has declared that Neymar is the best player in the world at the moment.

The Italian has praised the Seleção star as well as revealing new teammate Kaka was one of his idols as a boy.

Regular winner Lionel Messi along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery are seen as the favourites to win this year's Fifa Ballon d'Or, but El Shaarawy believes Neymar is even better than these three in the current game, reports Goal.com.

El Shaarawy told reporters: "I'd say Neymar is the best player in the world at the moment.

"I played against him in Geneva with Italy back in March and he was simply incredible on the ball."

The 21-year-old then went on to voice his admiration for the returning Kaka - who recently completed his return to Milan after a four-year spell at Real Madrid.

He added: "I had a number of idols. It was great to see players such as Kaka and Del Piero week after week. Totti was another of my biggest idols. It's crazy to be playing against him now."

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<![CDATA[Manchester United eye move for Fluminense wonderkid Kenedy - report]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51885_manchester_united_eye_move_for_fluminense_wonderkid_kenedy_-_report.htmlManchester United are reportedly readying themselves to join the race to sign Brazilian wonderkid Kenedy.

The Premier League champions have been monitoring the forward closely and watched him again at the weekend when he appeared for Brazil’s under-17 side.

The 17-year-old has made eight appearances for Fluminense, including two starts, and is already attracting interest from Monaco and Real Madrid amongst other big names in Europe.

Kenedy is being touted as the next big thing to come out of Brazil after leading the Seleção kids side to the World Under-17 Cup with six goals in the South American Under-17 tournament in April.

It is now being reported that David Moyes is now lining up a swoop for the highly rated teenager, reports Clubcall.com.

United have done their homework on the player and they are well aware of the rules around signing young Brazilian players before they reach the age of 18; meaning any move would see them have to wait until Febuary 2014 to snap up the striker.

In 2007, United agreed a deal with Fluminense to sign Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio da Silva but had to wait over a year for the deal to be completed when they turned 18.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2013-09/home/info_1378805356.jpgTue, 10 Sep 2013 07:52:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Fiorentina made no late bid for QPR's Júlio César ]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51884_fiorentina_made_no_late_bid_for_qpr_s_julio_cesar_.htmlFiorentina have reiterated that the club made no contact to sign Júlio César from Queens Park Rangers late on in the transfer window.

The Seleção goalkeeper had been expected to leave Loftus Road this summer following QPR’s relegation from the Premier League; with a move to Fiorentina or Arsenal being linked repeatedly.

However, reports have suggested that the 34-year-old turned down a move to Serie A, but Fiorentina’s sporting director Daniele Prade has denied making an approach for the stopper, reports Sky Sports.

"We were never rejected by Júlio César because we never contacted Júlio César," Prade told La Nazione.

"For two reasons - Júlio César has not played a real match since last April and then he has a very high salary, too high for us."

César was linked to a number of moves this summer and it was expected that he would move on from QPR, however, a number of loan offers were deemed not to be in the best interest of the club according to manager Harry Redknapp.

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<![CDATA[Coritiba star Alex rules out return to national team]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51881_coritiba_star_alex_rules_out_return_to_national_team.htmlCoritiba's midfielder Alex has ruled out the possibility of returning to Brazil's national team, despite his impressive performances lately.

The former Fenerbahçe player scored a brace on Sunday as Coritiba beat São Paulo 2-0 at the Couto Pereira stadium.

Calls to have him called up have increased, while Brazil's national team keep strugglin to find a classic number 10.

However, Alex are not interested in returning to the national team, he told reporters: "Scolari has already designed his team during the Confederations Cup, he already has some players, he already has an idea of what he has to do.

"I really don't see myself in that situation, it would be great, amazing but I really don't believe [I can get called up]."

Alex also compared the behavior of Turkish and Brazilian fans, he said: "The Turkish people are much more fanatic than the Brazilians, we can't even compare.

"The way they see football is much bigger, far bigger."

The experienced midfielder also talked about his dreams and the future of his career, he said: "My main dream is to finish my career at a big level and choose when I retire rather than being forced to retire."

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<![CDATA[Corinthians rejected late Tottenham bid for Pato]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51880_corinthians_rejected_late_tottenham_bid_for_pato.htmlTottenham Hotspur made a late bid for Corinthians forward Alexandre Pato, according to a report in The Metro.

The London club were allegedly keen to reinvest some of the world record £85.3 million fee they received from the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid on the former Internacional man, but were rebuffed.

Their deadline day offer failed to tempt Corinthians into a sale and was said to be less than what the Brazilian club paid to sign Pato from Milan in January - around £12 million.

After having his final 18 months with Milan hampered by injury and loss of form, Pato is starting to return to his best and has scored six goals in 16 appearances for Corinthians this season.

He continued his revival by netting in Brazil’s 6-0 friendly victory against Australia, on Saturday. It was the 24 year-old’s first goal in just over a year for the Seleção

It is unlikely that he would want leave Corinthians before next summer’s World Cup, as he looks to continue impressing the national team trainer Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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<![CDATA[Barcelona consider January swoop for Chelsea's David Luiz]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51870_barcelona_consider_january_swoop_for_chelsea_s_david_luiz.htmlBarcelona are lining up a January bid for Chelsea defender David Luiz, according to the club's president.

The 26-year-old was a target for the Catalans in the summer transfer window with a bid reportedly being placed.

The Brazilian international recently revealed it was a personal choice to turn down the Nou Camp's offer, but it looks likely Chelsea will be tested again when the January transfer window opens, reports Daily Star.

The President of the La Liga champions, Sandro Rosell, has revealed that the club will reconsider a bid for the Seleção star in January adding the 26-year-old's fee and wages were also a factor in the breakdown of the deal.

He told TV3: "Barcelona should not pay more than what the coach thinks is the right price for the salary. We did not recruit David Luiz because of a technical decision.

"But we will see what happens in January."

Barca were in the market for a centre-back this summer, having been linked to Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany and Liverpool's Daniel Agger but is seems Luiz is top of their list.

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<![CDATA[Vargas set for Napoli return?]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51868_vargas_set_for_napoli_return_.htmlLuca Persico

The good form of Grêmio forward Eduardo Vargas has not gone unnoticed.

According to Gazzetta Sportiva, Napoli, who own the 23 year-old, could be set to recall him when his loan spell in Porto Alegre expires at the start of January.

A hat-trick against AIK in the Europa League aside, Vargas struggled to make an impression at Napoli, failing to find the net in 19 Serie A appearances. 

When loaned to Grêmio in January, it was believed that his time in Naples was up. 

A return of three goals from seven matches in the Brasileiro so far this season has, however, seemingly caught the eye of new Napoli coach Rafael Benítez.

The 53 year-old’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation is more accommodating to Vargas than the 3-5-2 adopted by previous coach Walter Mazzarri. With the Chilean having rediscovered his best form at Grêmio, he may have a role to play.

Vargas has been used largely as a substitute in recent weeks by Grêmio trainer Renato Gaúcho, while he missed yesterday’s 3-2 victory against Portuguesa because he was on international duty.

Napoli signed Vargas from Universidad de Chile for £11.5 million, in January 2012.

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<![CDATA[Zenit back in for Damião]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51865_zenit_back_in_for_damiao.htmlLuca Persico

Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg are readying a second bid for Internacional forward Leandro Damião, according to Russian newspaper Izvestia.

Zenit, who currently sit top of the Russian Premier League, have previously approached Damião, only to be turned down by the 24 year-old. 

The players agent, Vinicius Prates, however insists that Damião would be interested in a move to Zenit, but only if the terms are acceptable. 

“Zenit were really interested in Leandro, but the proposal of the Russian club did not suit him,” Prates said, speaking of the Russian club’s last offer.

“Leandro was not against the move to Zenit, as this is a very serious club, which has set big goals and have great players in their ranks.”

Damião has long been keen on a switch to Europe, but seen various deals fall apart over the last 18 months. 

In January, he was said to be close to a move to Tottenham Hotspur, while this summer Napoli made a serious bid.

With just three goals so far this season at Internacional, Damião has fallen behind Fred and Jô in the pecking order for the Brazilian national team. Playing in the Champions League with Zenit, alongside Hulk, could bring him back into contention for a starting berth.

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<![CDATA[Diego Costa: I could have left Atlético Madrid ]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51860_diego_costa__i_could_have_left_atletico_madrid_.htmlAtlético Madrid striker Diego Costa has admitted he was tempted by a summer offer from Liverpool but has explained his decision to stay in Spain.

The striker was reportedly the subject of a bid from the Premier League side, but ultimately has stayed with Atléti and signed a new contract, reports Football Espana.

Costa admitted to Mundo Deportivo: “I had the chance to leave. I was about to do so.

“Liverpool are a great team. But, after so much fighting and overcoming many difficulties to earn my place at Atlético, how was I going to leave?

“I thought that it was very important for me to continue growing in this club and to play here for many years. Here I have the trust and respect of the people.

“My feelings towards Atléti? I know the world of football. I can really love a club, but a club is not just the fans, make no mistake.

“There are people running a company and with them you can encounter problems. The best way to demonstrate the affection or love that I have for Atlético is by giving my all on the field.

“That’s my point of view. If I go, perfect. If I do not go, I try to improve.”

The 24-year-old’s profile with Atléti has risen in the last year, after recovering from a serious injury and having spent a number of loan spells which characterised his early years with the club.

He added: “I wanted a chance. I was only asking that I could prove myself. But the strongest position at Atletico was up front.

“Since my arrival, the level in that position has been very high. The competition has always been very strong.

“I have learned a lot from the big names that I shared the dressing room with, like Aguero and Forlan.

“I knew that when I arrived at Atleti, as it is a big club, that I would have to be patient.

“If you do not have self-esteem and much love for yourself, then you fail. I knew that I had a few, whilst there were many doubts about me.

“And that made me stronger because I had to prove to myself that I would be able to show that I was worth.”

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<![CDATA[Australia injury sidelines Real Madrid defender Marcelo]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51854_australia_injury_sidelines_real_madrid_defender_marcelo.htmlLuca Persico

After limping off in Brazil’s 6-0 victory against Australia on Saturday, reports suggest Marcelo could now miss up to three games for Real Madrid.

The full-back had to be replaced by Maxwell in the first half and is believed to have suffered a thigh strain. 

He is definitely unavailable for the Seleção’s fixture with Portugal on Wednesday morning and will be assessed by medical staff today to ascertain the damage. The early prognosis is that the 25 year-old will be out for two weeks.

That would leave him unavailable for Real Madrid’s next La Liga game away to Villarreal, as well as their Champions League opener against Galatasaray. The defender may also miss the Madrid derby with Getafe, but should return ahead of the trip to Elche.

Given the loss of Marcelo, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will be relieved that Fábio Coentrão didn’t complete his expected loan switch to Manchester United. The 54 year-old would have been left with just Nacho Fernández as his only recognised left full-back.

Marcelo has played every minute for Real Madrid so far this season, with Los Merengues still unbeaten after three games.

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<![CDATA[Madrid fought hard for Neymar, says Barcelona president]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51851_madrid_fought_hard_for_neymar__says_barcelona_president.htmlBarcelona president Sandro Rosell has revealed that Real Madrid fought hard in an attempt to convince Neymar to join them over Barca this summer.

Rosell claims that their bitter rivals had attempted to steal the player from under the Catalans’ noses even as he signed a contract, reports Goal.com.

The Brazilian forward sealed a €57 million switch to Camp Nou after making it clear he favoured a move to the Liga champions, but that did not prevent Madrid from attempting to interupt negotiations according to Rosell.

He told TV3: "When we reached an initial agreement with Neymar's father, the player had already passed a medical with Madrid, so we joked we would not bother with our own check-up."

Rosell went on to reveal that Madrid were still attempting to steal Neymar away from Barca at the point of the 21-year-old putting pen to paper on his contract at the Camp Nou.

He added: "When we were signing the contract, Madrid were sending emails to Santos."

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<![CDATA[Gattuso hopes for Kaká patience]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51850_gattuso_hopes_for_kaka_patience.htmlLuca Persico

Palermo coach Gennaro Gattuso has insisted that Milan fans should be patient with Kaká. 

The play-maker returned to the Rossoneri on a free transfer from Real Madrid just before the transfer deadline.

A legend at Milan, where he won the 2006-07 Champions League and was subsequently crowned World Player of the Year, much is expected of the 31 year-old.

Gattuso, who spent six years as a team-mate of Kaká, believes however that he will need time to rediscover his best form.

“Patience is needed with Kaká. I hope they don’t expect to see the Kaká of the past. The Brazilian hasn’t played that much over the last three years and he hasn’t been expressing himself at his levels. Therefore the Milan fans will need to show him some patience.” 

Kaká made his return in last week’s 4-0 friendly victory against Swiss outfit Chiasso and was handed the captains armband. 

This gesture didn’t surprise Gattuso, who feels the Brazilian’s experience and professionalism will benefit Milan off the pitch.

“He is a great and, especially, a great guy to have in the changing room.”

Kaká is expected to make his first competitive appearance for Milan on Saturday, when they travel to Turin to face Torino.

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<![CDATA[Barcelona considering Dani Alves' future - reports]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51827_barcelona_considering_dani_alves__future_-_reports.htmlBarcelona are thinking twice about offering Dani Alves a new deal at the club, reports in the Spanish Press suggest.

Marca claim that the Catalans are seriously questioning whether to offer the Brazilian an extension in two years’ time when his current deal comes to an end.

The wing-back’s deal ends in 2015, when he will be 32 – and the hierarchy at Camp Nou have doubts about whether Alves can sustain his current level at that age, reports Football Espana.

The former Sevilla man has been generating interest from some of the biggest names in Europe this summer, including big spenders Paris Saint-Germain.

And it is reported that Tata Martino’s men would consider selling the defender, if the right amount came in.

However, one thing making the Catalans reluctant to offload Alves is his relationship with Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Barca are obviously keen to keep their two star attackers happy, and keeping the Selećão international could be one way to do that.

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<![CDATA[Chelsea midfielder Oscar confident of making return against Portugal]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51826_chelsea_midfielder_oscar_confident_of_making_return_against_portugal.htmlChelsea midfielder Oscar hopes to be back for the friendly match against Portugal in Boston on Tuesday.

The former Internacional player twisted his ankle during a training session in Brazil before the game against Australia.

His teammate Ramires replaced him, having an impressive performance and scored one of the goals in Brazil's 6-0 win.

Oscar talked with reporters as the Brazilian national team squad arrived in Boston for the game, he said: "Everyone knew that the game [against Australia] wouldn't be too hard.

"If it was an important game, I could have played, but it was better to have two more days to recover."

The midfielder also praised his Chelsea teammate Ramires, he said: "Not only Ramires did well, everyone else did well too."

Brazil will be missing Daniel Alves, Marcelo, Hulk and Fred on Tuesday, while Portugal will not be able to field Cristiano Ronaldo.

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<![CDATA[Leo Baptistao enjoying life at Atlético Madrid ]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51825_leo_baptistao_enjoying_life_at_atletico_madrid_.htmlAtlético Madrid forward Leo Baptistao has reflected on his first few months at the club after his summer move from Rayo Vallecano.

The Brazilian striker joined the Atlético this summer after an impressive season last time out with the Vallecano where he scored seven times.

And the 21-year-old has already seen the differences between the two clubs, whilst also commenting on their objectives for the campaign, reports Football Espana.

Baptistao, who forms part of the Atlético strike force alongside his compatriot Diego Costa, told AS: “I’m thrilled to be here.

“Rayo and Atléti play different styles of football, but I think I’m adapting okay.

“Simeone asks his players to never stop working, never lower the intensity.

“We have reinforced the squad with some phenomenal players, but I think things will stay the same in the League.

“We’re looking forward to the Champions League though. It’s the best competition out there.”

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<![CDATA[Neymar reaffirms admiration of Lionel Messi]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51824_neymar_reaffirms_admiration_of_lionel_messi.htmlBarcelona striker Neymar has again admitted his admiration for his new teammate Lionel Messi, saying the Argentine is ‘above all’.

The Brazilian signed for the Catalans this summer for a fee of €57 million, and has repeatedly spoken of his respect for the Camp Nou Ballon D’or winner.

And the 21-year-old has claimed once more that he is proud to play with the Argentina star, whilst also commenting on how he has settled in the Catalan capital, reports Football Espana.

He told reporters: “Messi is above all.

“I admire him, He is my idol. I respect him a lot.

“He has been the best player in the world for four times now, and he’s eager to do it again.

“My life in Barcelona is quiet. But I love how everything is going.

“I love the city, the club and the people I work with. Everything is perfect.”

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<![CDATA[Lucas: I need to remain calm at PSG]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51823_lucas__i_need_to_remain_calm_at_psg.htmlPSG midfielder Lucas Moura has vowed to keep calm during his goalless spell at the club and insists he will give his all to keep the team winning games.

Despite a promising start in the French capital, Lucas has found the going somewhat tougher in recent times and has yet to find the net since joining the Ligue 1 champions from São Paulo for €45m in January.

However, he does not believe this is necessarily a problem as he is still getting used to life in a new team, reports Goal.com.

The 21-year-old said: “I'm still adapting; I don't regret having signed for PSG.

“I'm still young, I have a lot to learn and a lot to grow.

“Every player wants to score goals, but I've never really been one to score many goals, so I think I need to remain calm and all. The important thing is that the team continues to win and I'm always trying to help the best way I can.”

Lucas’ difficult spell at PSG has seen him fall out of favour with Luiz Felipe Scolari for a spot in the Seleção’s starting XI but he understands this decision.

He explained: “You can only choose 11 guys to start a match.

“Unfortunately, someone's going to be left out. The coach makes his choices and I always have to respect anything he decides. Bernard is going through a beautiful moment and I believe he's got every right to be here.”

Lucas’ next opportunity to make an impression could come on Tuesday, when Brazil meet Portugal in a friendly.

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<![CDATA[Pato: I owe Brazil call-up to Corinthians form]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51822_pato__i_owe_brazil_call-up_to_corinthians_form.htmlAlexandre Pato believes his move to Corinthians in January helped him make his return for Brazil on Saturday.

The 24-year-old came off the bench to score in the Seleção’s 6-0 rout of Australia at Brasilia’s Mané Garrincha Stadium, in his first international game since April.

And Pato has now set his sights on representing Brazil at the World Cup next summer, which he believes is a real possibility thanks to his move from Milan to his homeland earlier this year.

"I believe I owe that call-up to how I've been playing at Corinthians lately,” he told Goal.com.

"I wanted to have a longer sequence of games and I got it. Now I'm here and my new goal is to be at the World Cup."

Pato, who has seven goals in 16 Brasileirão matches this season, revealed that the news of his recall was particularly special for him.

"I was at home when I received the news that I had been called up, it was my birthday," the forward added.

"I'm even happier to have been called totally by surprise and to have scored on my first match back. The important thing is to keep on working to improve and do my best."

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<![CDATA[Milan coach Allegri impressed with Kaká return]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51820_milan_coach_allegri_impressed_with_kaka_return.htmlBy Luca Persico

After watching Kaká make his first appearance back at Milan, coach Massimiliano Allegri is confident the playmaker can help his side push for a top three finish.

Kaká, who was handed the captain’s armband, played 45 minutes in a 4-0 friendly victory against Swiss side Chiasso.

While admitting the 31-year-old still needs match fitness, Allegri expects him to quickly become a protagonist once more for the Rossoneri.

"Kaká has great quality, is a champion and his presence raises the level of self-confidence throughout the squad," he told Milan Channel.

"I must do well to get the best out of him and help him reach peak fitness. You cannot expect a player, even one of his level, to be ready straight away.

"Kaká is a lovely guy who is eager to work hard, which he proved already in training. I must do well to get the best out of him and help him reach peak fitness. You cannot expect a player, even one of his level, to be ready straight away."

Kaká’s impact was instantaneous, as he set up midfielder Antonio Nocerino for the opener after just seven minutes.

Allegri reverted away from the 4-3-3 he has used to start the season, switching to a 4-3-1-2, with Kaká positioned behind the strikers.

"We have to work, as we changed our tactical system with forwards who allow me to vary my options," Allegri added.

"I am happy because we have almost everyone available."

Kaká returned to Milan after four seasons with Real Madrid on transfer deadline day, with the hope of finding form ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

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<![CDATA[Thiago Silva disappointed with Cristiano Ronaldo absence]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51812_thiago_silva_disappointed_with_cristiano_ronaldo_absence.htmlBrazil defender Thiago Silva has admitted he is disappointed that Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has been ruled out of Tuesday’s friendly.

The Seleção, fresh from their 6-0 rout of Australia on Saturday, will now travel to the Gillette Stadium, Boston, to face Luiz Felipe Scolari’s former side.

But Ronaldo, who scored a devastating hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Northern Ireland on Friday, has been ruled out due to tendinitis, and Silva had been looking forward to facing the Real Madrid man.

"Portugal are a very strong team, they've been playing tough international challenges for some time now. I watched the goals yesterday, the three from Cristiano," Silva told reporters.

"Someone said he's not playing, that he felt something, but who knows? It could be one of those little lies. But regardless of that, their team is really strong. We need to be ready to face them.

"I'm not happy that he [Cristiano] is out. It's always a sad thing to see a fellow footballer getting injured. We had that today with Marcelo. A player of Cristiano's calibre should always be fit to play, because that makes any match automatically better."

However, David Luiz, who partnered Silva at the back against the Socceroos, feels Ronaldo's absence gives Brazil a better chance of winning.

He told reporters: "When one of the best players in the world isn't fit to play, it's always better for who's playing against his team."

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<![CDATA[Scolari heaps praise on Ramires and Bernard]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51811_scolari_heaps_praise_on_ramires_and_bernard.htmlBrazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has heaped praise on midfield pair Ramires and Bernard after Brazil thrashed Australia 6-0 on Saturday.

The duo were drafted into the starting line-up after injuries to Hulk and Oscar during the week and were both pivotal as the Seleção romped to victory.

Ramires set up Neymar to score Brazil’s third goal of the night, before finding the net himself with a header in the 58th minute.

"He is agile, fast and can be used either as an attacking midfielder or defender," Scolari said about the Chelsea midfielder.

"The more versatile the player is, the better he is for me. He is a modern player who can help change the team's setup during a match if needed."

Bernard, who joined Shakhtar Donetsk from Atlético Mineiro last month, set up both of Jô's first half goals and troubled Australia's defence with his pace on the right wing.

"He was great. He can play on either the right or left-hand side with excellent tactical awareness," Scolari added. "He is gaining points and cementing his place in the team."

Next up for the World Cup hosts is a friendly against Portugal in Boston, which kicks off in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

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<![CDATA[ Brazil taught us a lesson, admits Australia coach Osieck]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/51810__brazil_taught_us_a_lesson__admits_australia_coach_osieck.htmlAustralia coach Holger Osieck said his team received a harsh lesson from Brazil on Saturday.

The Seleção ran out comfortable 6-0 winners at Brasilia’s Mané Garrincha Stadium, after goals from Neymar, Ramires, Alexandre Pato, Luiz Gustavo, and two from Jô.

"We have come to Brazil to get an idea how football on this level is, and now we know and now it's up to us to analyse and to work on all the elements we have to improve on," Osieck said following the defeat, as reported on Goal.com.

"When you don't play the ball accurate from defence and you give away [possession] easily and the other team, like Brazil, they press and that is what we have to work on and to learn to play the ball under high pressure."

The result equals the Socceroos’ worst ever result against Brazil, following their 6-0 Confederations Cup drubbing in 1997 when Romario and Ronaldo grabbed hat-tricks.

"We haven't played a team like Brazil for a long time," Osieck added.

"Brazil brings a different quality to the game, they started with a lot of pace, we were pushed back and when we could win the ball we gave it away too easily.

"We played very inaccurate balls up front and that is how we conceded the goals [in the] first half, we lost the balls in the attacking third and against a team like Brazil you get punished for it.

"I must say the quality of the Brazilian team and of the individual players is fantastic."

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