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:
• Alex has admitted he would love to stay at Paris Saint-Germain beyond this season and still harbours ambitions of playing for Brazil at next summer's World Cup. Alex, 31, is out of contract with the French champions in June, but has featured in 20 league games for PSG this season, more than compatriots Thiago Silva and Marquinhos, his principal rivals for a place at the heart of Laurent Blanc's defence. Read more (PSG's official website).
• David Cameron has overruled the Home Office and ordered a rethink to ensure that pubs can be open for England's World Cup fixture against Italy. The English Prime Minister stepped in after pubs were refused permission to extend opening hours for the opening clash on Saturday, June 14, which kicks off at 11pm BST and revealed the news on Twitter. Read more.
• Mexico forward Carlos Vela, formerly of Arsenal, will not be available for selection for this summer's World Cup in Brazil, according to his national football federation. Read more (BBC).
INTERNATIONAL BIRTHDAYS: Gyula Grosics (1926), Ernst Hufschmid (1913), Oleg Protasov (1964)
DID YOU KNOW?
On this day in 1998, Costa Rica striker Paulo Wanchope scored four goals against Cuba. The CONCACAF Gold Cup finals were held in the USA that year, and Costa Rica won 7-2 in Oakland after leading 5-0 at half-time. Wanchope might have scored five goals if he'd taken the penalty converted by Wilmer Lopez -- Cris Freddi
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