||ESPNsoccernet: World Cup
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Raul and Xavi confident of making World Cup
MADRID, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Spain captain Raul and midfielder Xavi are confident they will recover from serious knee injuries in time to play at the World Cup, says coach Luis Aragones.
'I've been following their progress very closely,' Aragones
was quoted as saying in sports daily AS on Saturday.
'I saw Raul a few days ago and he told me that everything
was going well and that he would recover in time. When I spoke
to Xavi on the phone he also assured me that he was recovering
Real Madrid's Raul tore the cruciate ligament and damaged
the cartilage in his left knee in November and decided to follow
a conservative programme of treatment so he could avoid surgery
and play in the World Cup in June.
Barcelona midfielder Xavi had no choice but to go under the
knife after tearing the cruciate ligament in his right knee in
training at the start of December.
Aragones made his comments while making an inspection visit
of Spain's World Cup training base in Germany on Friday.
The 67-year-old said he was delighted with the facilities in
Kamen near Dortmund, the same base used by German teams for
their successful 1974 and 1990 campaigns.
'We wanted to have a place where we wouldn't have to travel
to the training pitches and we've got that here. The rest of the
installations are magnificent,' he said.
Aragones said the Spanish Football Federation was close to
finalising the details of two warm-up matches against Egypt and
Slovenia in the final weeks before the World Cup.
Spain will play Ivory Coast on March 1 and Russia on April
27. Aragones said the Egypt match was likely to be on June 3 and
Spain could face Slovenia in Austria four days later.
Spain have been drawn with Ukraine, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia
in Group H for the World Cup which begins on June 9.