Europe: Quim out to impress new boss Queiroz

August 19, 2008

Goalkeeper Quim has vowed to repay the faith of new Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz if selected to play in Wednesday's friendly against the Faroe Islands in Aveiro.

The Benfica stopper is favourite to succeed Ricardo as Portugal's number one after the Real Betis man was surprisingly left out of Queiroz's first squad.

Former Manchester United assistant Queiroz is looking to prove he can cut it as a number one after taking over from Luis Felipe Scolari this summer.

He failed to live up to expectations during his time in charge of Real Madrid, but has wasted little time in stamping his mark on the Portugal squad by dropping Ricardo, who was first choice at Euro 2008.

Quim, who missed that tournament through injury, could now have the chance to add to his 26 caps - and insists he will not let the new boss down.

The keeper said in Portuguese newspaper Record: 'I have been called up but I have the same intention as the others (who have been selected) and that is to play.

'I feel well in myself. I am in good form and I am going to measure up.'

Quim faces competition from Braga's Eduardo, who has been named in the squad for the first time, and Daniel Fernandez of German side Bochum.

'We are three good goalkeepers and any one of us can be an option. I am going to do everything to be the choice and give my best. It is clear that I feel in form,' the 32-year-old said in sport daily O Jogo.

Queiroz will be without attackers Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma through injury.

New Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld wants his players to take the game to Cyprus when he takes charge of his first game in Geneva on Wednesday.

Hitzfeld won the Champions League as a club coach with both Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich but has a tough act to follow as the successor of the much-loved Kobi Kuhn.

'My team should show an aggressive game against Cyprus,' he told the Swiss FA's official website, www.football.ch.

'I would like to see a team that dominates the game. We have to act and not only react.'

Switzerland will fancy their chances in World Cup qualifying with Greece and Israel likely to be their toughest opponents in Group Two, and Hitzfeld is looking for early signs his side are good enough to qualify for the tournament in South Africa in 2010.

'I know that expectations are very high,' he said. 'Qualification will not be routine, but rather will be achieved with hard work.

'I am used to coping with such pressure. What is important is that everyone, not only the players but also the staff, put everything into the target of 2010.

'Everyone has to be aware of the huge responsibility to the fans and the public. I am convinced that each player has taken this attitude to heart.'

Croatia travel to Slovenia looking to bounce back from the disappointment of going out of Euro 2008 on penalties.

Slaven Bilic's side lost their quarter-final shoot-out to Turkey after conceding an equaliser in the dying seconds of extra time.

The Turks for their part will set out to prove their surprise run to the semi-finals in Austria and Switzerland was no fluke.

Fatih Terim's side had been expected to go out in the group stage, but in the end only a late goal from Germany's Philipp Lahm denied them a spot in the final.

They take on a Chile side who lie fourth in the South American World Cup qualifying standings.

Three sides looking to bounce back from group stage exits at Euro 2008, Poland, Romania and Greece, face Ukraine, Latvia and Slovakia respectively.

Hungary warm up for a World Cup qualifying group which includes Portugal, Sweden and Denmark by welcoming Montenegro to Budapest.

Estonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina both prepare for a group also featuring Euro 2008 champions Spain and semi-finalists Turkey with home matches against Malta and Bulgaria respectively.

Lithuania take on Moldova in Vilnius, Iceland play Azerbaijan, Finland host Israel, Macedonia travel to Luxembourg and Albania face Liechtenstein.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Norway take on the Republic of Ireland, Scotland host Northern Ireland, England take on the Czech Republic and Wales go up against Georgia.