Jermain Defoe (Center), England and Tottenham Hotspur
EURO 2012 - England National Team Update
Grieving England and Spurs striker Jermain Defoe returned to the England Euro 2012 squad on Saturday following his 47-year-old father's death from throat cancer. Only three years ago Defoe lost his 26-year-old half-brother and his grandmother.
Defoe is regarded as England's reserve striker and unlikely to start their opening Group D match against old foes France on Monday at England's opening Euro 2012 fixture in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Prior to the death of his father, Defoe attended The Prince's Trust Spring Ball at The Hurlingham Club on May 10, 2012 in London, England. (See photo above.)
England's quest for the Euro silverware will begin in Group D against co-hosts Ukraine, Sweden and France. The Three Lions will clash in the first fixture of their campaign against rivals France on Monday, June 11 in Donetsk.
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England has not beaten France in their last five meetings.
Wayne Rooney is suspended for the first two England National Team matches, therefore Defoe has a good chance of seeing some action. Ashley Young will probably fill the spot just behind a central striker in the absence of frontman Rooney, while Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck are vying for the other forward berth.
Carroll was paired with Young during yesterday's public training session.
The 29-year-old Defoe is not expected to start against the French - however he offers a goalscoring option for Hodson if needed.
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Euro 2012: England v Belgium Saturday, June 2, 2012
New England manager Roy Hodgson has named his starting team for this evening's international with Belgium at Wembley Stadium.
1 Joe Hart, 2 Glen Johnson, 3 Ashley Cole, 4 Steven Gerrard, 5 Gary Cahill, 6 John Terry, 7 James Milner, 8 Scott Parker, 9 Danny Welbeck, 10 Ashley Young, 11 Alex Oxlade Chamberlain
Subs 12 Phil Jones, 13 Robert Green, 14 Leighton Baines, 15 Joleon Lescott, 16 Phil Jagielka, 17 Jordan Henderson, 18 Stewart Downing, 19 Jermain Defoe, 20 Wayne Rooney, 21 Andy Carroll, 22 Theo Walcott, 23 Jack Butland
Manager Roy Hodgson
Mignolet, G Gillet, Vertonghen, Kompany (c), Vermaelen, Mertens, Witsel, Mirallas, Hazard, Fellaini, Dembele
England Euro 2012 Group Matches
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Cristiano Ronaldo, Captain Portugal National Team
PORTUGAL NATIONAL TEAM NAMES EURO 2012 SQUAD
Portugal National Team’s boss Paulo Bento has named his Euro 2012 squad for Croatia and Ukraine.
Portugal will compete for the title of the European Champion in football for the sixth time.
Portugal superstar striker Captain Cristiano Ronaldo was key in securing second place in the qualifiers.
Netherlands, Germany and Denmark are Portugal’s rivals in the group.
Top Portugal players inclue Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, Hugo Almeida, Simao, Nani, Pepe and Fabio Contreao.
Portugal Euro 2012 Squad
Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Eduardo (Benfica), Beto (Cluj)
Defenders: Joao Pereira (Sporting), Bruno Alves (Zenit St Petersburg), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Rolando (Porto), Miguel Lopes (Braga)
Midfielders: Carlos Martins (Granada), Joao Moutinho (Porto), Miguel Veloso (Genoa), Raul Meireles (Chelsea), Ruben Micael (Zaragoza), Custodio (Braga)
Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Helder Postiga (Zaragoza), Nani (Manchester United), Nelson Oliveira (Benfica), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas), Silvestre Varela (Porto)
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Robin Van Persie and Marc van Bommel, Captain Netherlands National Team
NETHERLANDS NATIONAL TEAM EURO 2012 SQUAD NAMED
Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk has named his Euro 2012 squad for Croatia and Ukraine. Netherlands are vice-champions of Europe. The Orange are experienced and ready to seek revenge.
Netherlands Captin Mark Van Bommel of AC Milan salutes played his last game for AC Milan after the Serie A match between AC Milan and Novara Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 13, 2012 in Milan, Italy.
World Cup vice-champions Netherlands in second place after Spain in the FIFA rankings are one of the main favourites to win the European Championship. Netherlands lost 0:1 to the Spain in the World Cup Finals two years ago.
The team of Bert van Marwijk will play for the ninth time at the European Championship.
In qualifying for the Euro 2012 the Oranje team won 27 of 30 possible points.
Top Netherlands players include Dirk Kuyt, Ruud Van Nisterloy and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael Van der Varta and Robin Van Persie.
Netherlands will clash with the Germans, the Portuguese and the Danes.
Netherlands Euro 2012 Squad
Goalkeepers: Tim Krul, Maarten Stekelenburg, Michel Vorm
Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz, Wilfred Bouma, John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Gregory van der Wiel, Ron Vlaar, Jetro Willems
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay, Mark van Bommel, Nigel de Jong, Stijn Schaars, Wesley Sneijder, Kevin Strootman, Rafael van der Vaart
Forwards: Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Luuk de Jong, Dirk Kuyt, Luciano Narsingh, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie
Netherlands Quick Facts
- World Cup Runners-up (1974, 1978, 2010)
- European Championship Winners (1988)
- Most Capped Player: Edwin van der Sar (130 caps from 1995 to 2009)
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Stefano Mauri, Lazio and Italian National Team
EURO 2012 ITALY NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE
Juventus coach Antonio Conte and Lazio captain Stefano Mauri have been implicated in match-fixing.
Defender Domenico Criscito has been withdrawn from the Euro 2012 squad list a day before the player lists have to be submitted to UEFA. Criscito’s house in Genoa was searched, while Conte’s place in Turin was also raided.
“He would have experienced a pressure that no human being can deal with,” Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said of Criscito playing at the June 8 to July 1 tournament. “He wouldn’t have been in the right frame of mind. And he could also have been called up by the prosecutors at any time, before a match.
“It was a peculiar day. My first reaction was one of fear: `Oh my god, what can we do.’ But then you have to find something positive out of this situation, such as if it had happened four days later it would have been a lot worse.”
Police swept through the Italian national squad’s training camp as part of an investigation into match-fixing that resulted in 14 arrests, including Lazio captain Stefano Mauri. the total number arrested is 50 since last year.
The Italian soccer federation said Juventus coach Antonio Conte is under investigation for alleged wrongdoing asf Siena boss in 2010-2011.
However Juventus president Andrea Agnelli said Conte would remain in charge and lent his support to Leonardo Bonucci, the Juve defender who is also reportedly under investigation but remains with Italy’s squad.
Conte denied any wrongdoing.
“My story speaks clearly for itself,” he said. “I’ve always showed moral integrity, honesty, fairness in every situation, whether as a player or a coach. I am completely innocent of any of this, as are my players.
“With Siena we won the second-division title with three games to go, thanks to a lot of sacrifice, sweat, tears and joy, with a group of extraordinary lads.”
Siena president Massimo Mezzaroma is also under investigation, and Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino said the club is at the center of the investigation.
“There are seven, eight games being looked at and there have been statements that make us think they were manipulated,” Di Martino said. “The searches involved players, coaches and directors of the club, including Conte and Mezzaroma.”
Apart from those arrested Monday, three people have been placed under house arrest and two others are to present themselves to authorities. Five of the arrests were made in Hungary.
Former Italy striker Christian Vieri, who retired in 2009, is also among those under investigation, while Inter Milan’s match against Lecce in 2001 is being examined.
“It’s devastating news,” said former Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni, who is now in charge of Ireland. “If the authorities are acting it’s because there’s something there.”
Mauri was arrested on suspicion of sporting fraud. Most of the footballers implicated now play in Serie B or lower leagues, although one, Omar Milanetto, spent five years at Genoa before joining Padova in 2011.
Numerous others have had their houses searched, including Chievo Verona striker Sergio Pellissier.
Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni being banned from football for three and a half years, and the arrest of former Lazio captain Giuseppe Signori.
Serie A clubs Atalanta, Novara and Siena were among the 22 Italian teams notified at the beginning of this month that they are being investigated by sports authorities.
“It will be impossible to go right to the end with this because my office is not equipped to do so,” Di Martino said. “If people wanted, we could go on forever but there is very few personnel.
“It will be impossible to go ahead with this for long.”
After the 2006 match-fixing scandal – known as Calciopoli, the Italian national team reacted in the best possible way, winning the World Cup later that year.
“This time it’s worse than 2006. At least for me,” Roma and Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. “It’s more shocking this time, with the police coming into Coverciano and people I know being arrested.
“We’re going to the Euros with a stain on us.”
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