> Sports > 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP 

   June 21, 2002 | 1515 IST


Umit Davala
Sun sets on Japan

  Best of the Web

A compilation of the best links on the World Cup.

  Soccer Store

Snap up Jerseys, Books, CD ROMs and Arsenal soccer balls. Click here

Act Now! Treat those Scratches

Raul fighting to be fit for quarter-final

E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Spain's leading striker Raul has a chance of being fit for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against South Korea, team doctor Genaro Borras said after the squad's training session on the eve of the game.

Raul, who suffered a groin injury in Spain's second round win over Ireland, was unable to join his team mates again as they practised on the pitch at Kwangju on Friday.

He did at least return to the field, though, doing some light jogging and stretching exercises and Borras has not given up hope.

"Raul is not ruled out for Saturday," Borras told reporters at pitchside after the squad's training session.

"He had his first training session today and it was satisfactory. He had no pain specifically in his groin, although he did feel general discomfort in his right leg.

"He could play or start on the bench and come on for a few minutes. It will be for the coach to decide."


Spain coach Jose Antonio Camacho said on Thursday that Raul would not play unless completely fit but Borras appeared to leave room for some discretion.

"Raul won't be at 100 percent but that's logical," Borras said on Friday. "He'll have two more training sessions on his own later today."

Raul has scored three goals in Spain's World Cup campaign and his importance to the team was recognised by strike partner Fernando Morientes.

"I think we gain a great deal offensively with Raul," said Morientes, who has also scored three goals.

"When he's out we lose a bit of cutting edge but there are many more players who can adopt the attitude needed to reach the opposing goal and score."

If Raul does not start, Camacho could opt to play Morientes or Diego Tristan as a lone striker, with midfielder Juan Carlos Valeron playing just behind.

In training on Friday, Camacho left a question mark over his starting line-up by only playing 10 men in the "probables" in a practice match.

That could mean the coach is ready to risk Raul against South Korea. Alternatively, Javi de Pedro could be promoted from the "possibles" to play in a five-man midfield.

Back to top
(c) Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


(c) 2002 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.