World Cup Daily: Monday

Posted by ESPN staff

On June 12, the world’s eyes turn to Brazil for the start of the 20th FIFA World Cup, but the planet’s biggest football tournament will have plenty of news and views in the months leading up to it. ESPN FC’s World Cup Daily blog is the place to be:


•  Germany coach Joachim Loew is refusing to rule out the possibility of Sami Khedira returning from injury in time to play at the World Cup. Khedira, 26, had to undergo knee surgery in November after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the friendly against Italy. The Real Madrid midfielder currently faces a battle to recover his fitness before the end of the season, but Loew has not given up hope of seeing him feature in Brazil. “Three days ago, I talked to Sami on the phone. He feels fine, does light training on the treadmill, and has not suffered any setbacks,” Loew told Bild. “All is fine, Sami is on schedule.” Read more

•  World Cup, Brazil, flights, we've been here before. However, there may be some good news on the horizon as a few of Brazil's main airlines -- TAM, Gol, Avianca and Azul -- have announced they will put on almost 2,000 more flights to connect the 12 host cities. Read more at eturbonews.

•  In case you missed it, the African Nations Championship is currently taking place and Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is using a number of young domestic-based players to find other options for his senior side ahead of the World Cup. “That's what I'm really looking [for]. Giving these kids the opportunity to play in a tournament like this and if I can pick one, two, three players from this tournament, already they have a little bit of experience,” Keshi said. “This is the reason why I'm here. Yes, I'm looking forward to that, hopefully we gain two or three players that will make the home-based players proud.” Read more at Supersport.

INTERNATIONAL BIRTHDAYS: Owen Hargreaves (1981), Lubos Kubik (1964), Pierre Webo (1982),


Carmel Busuttil scored his last goal for Malta. He scored his first in 1983, and today in 2000 took his total to 23, a national record at the time and a whopping 15 more than anyone else -- Cris Freddi


Owen HargreavesAPEngland's Owen Hargreaves, left, and Sweden's Henrik Larsson battle for the ball during the Group B match between England and Sweden in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, June 20, 2006. The game finished 2-2 and England advanced.


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