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:
• A biopic about the life of Brazil legend Pele has hit a snag and will not be ready in time for its planned release date -- designed to coincide with the World Cup. The film, written and directed by Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist, charts Pele's rise from the slums of Sao Paulo to teenage World Cup winner in 1958.
• After suffering with tough group stage draws at the last two global tournaments, Ivory Coast have been handed more palatable opposition this time in the shape of Colombia, Greece and Japan and Roma forward Gervinho is hoping it will be third time lucky for the Elephants as they look to advance to the second round for the first time in their history. Gervinho said: "The last two tournaments have not been easy for us, because we have come up against very strong teams. This one seems more favourable, but it won't be as easy as people think. Colombia, Greece and Japan mustn't be underestimated. They are quality teams, with good players. We have to concentrate to make a good start to the competition."
• Uruguay striker Diego Forlan insists his nation have nothing to fear at the World Cup. The 2010 finalists have been drawn with England, Italy and Costa Rica but feels they are well equipped to progress in the tournament. “When I saw the draw, I wasn’t worried,” he told the Telegraph. “We prefer to play tough teams. We went further in the last World Cup than these teams. We’re not intimidated.” FULL STORY.
INTERNATIONAL BIRTHDAYS: Mark Bresciano (1980), Rafael van der Vaart (1983), Steve McManaman (1972)
DID YOU KNOW?
On this day in El Salvador in 2009, Dwight Yorke was scoring his last goal for Trinidad & Tobago -- 19 years after his first -- then getting himself sent off in a 2010 World Cup qualifier. Yorke scored from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw and picked up a red card for arguing with the referee about the crowd late on. Neither side recovered from the result, missing out on the World Cup finals -- Cris Freddi
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