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:
• Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has suggested to the Daily Mail that Robin van Persie is currently not enjoying his football at Manchester United. He said: "I think he should be great in the tournament because he loves to play in the Dutch squad. The football from Man United now is for him maybe difficult but then he wishes to show his techniques. Techniques in the Dutch team for him is higher. He has shown that all the qualification matches more than ever because he’s our top scorer and I hope he can continue this." Read more.
• Spain coach Vicente del Bosque thinks that Brazil could crumble under the pressure this summer: "Brazil will have the fans behind them but this could come back to bite them as it heaps the pressure on." Read more at Sport24.
• Jurgen Klinsmann thinks that his U.S. side can compete for a place in the knockout stages in Group G. “Our team has matured a lot over the last couple of years and we are going to give them a big, big fight,” he said at a FIFA pre-World Cup workshop in Brazil on Thursday. “We are expecting to go to the knockout stage, that means Germany, Portugal and Ghana will have to fight it out for the other spot." Read more at Ghanaweb.
INTERNATIONAL BIRTHDAYS: Karim Bagheri (1974), Jimmy Greaves (1940), Artur Boruc (1980).
DID YOU KNOW?
Turkey's Hakan Sukur scored the quickest goal in World Cup finals history as he hit the back of the net just 11 seconds into the game against South Korea in 2002 -- Cris Freddi
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