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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup chit-chat: Surgery done, Vidal says he can make it

World Cup chit-chat: Surgery done, Vidal says he can make it

May 08, 2014 07:59 IST

World Cup chit-chat: Surgery done, Vidal says he can make it

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A confident Arturo Vidal said his knee cartilage surgery in Barcelona on Wednesday was a success, rekindling Chilean hopes that he may yet make it to the World Cup finals.

"The operation went very well!!!," the Juventus midfielder said on Twitter. "Now I'm going to give my all to be with my fellow players in Brazil."

A picture attached to the tweet showed a grinning Vidal flashing a thumbs-up sign above his thickly bandaged right leg. Hovering over the hospital bed was fellow Chilean soccer star Alexis Sanchez who plays for Barcelona.

A key member of Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli's team, Vidal suffered a tear to the external meniscus in his right knee. He aggravated the problem playing for Juventus, crowned Serie A champions at the weekend, in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Benfica last Thursday.

Chile are pinning their hopes on the versatile and energetic 26-year-old player in a tough group at the tournament in Brazil starting on June 12.

The head of the Chilean football federation, Sergio Jadue, said on Wednesday Vidal had assured him he would be there.

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Image: Arturo Vidal
Photographs: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

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Scolari names Napoli's Henrique in Brazil squad

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Napoli defender Henrique was the only surprise inclusion when Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari named his provisional 23-man squad for the World Cup on Wednesday.

The squad, which will be aiming to win the title for a record sixth time, features Barcelona striker Neymar and will be captained by Paris St Germain defender Thiago Silva.

Henrique, who has played just 71 minutes at international level but worked under Scolari at Palmeiras, won out over Atletico Madrid's in-form defender Miranda and PSG's youngster Marquinhos for the spot as fourth central defender.

Scolari, who guided Brazil to their fifth World Cup in Japan in 2002, took Brazil to the Confederations Cup crown last year, beating Italy, Uruguay and Spain on their way to the title.

The team has won 13 of their last 14 matches and is favourite to win the first World Cup to be played in Brazil since 1950.

The players will meet up on May 26 in Rio de Janeiro and play two friendlies against Panama and Serbia before opening their World Cup campaign against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12. Brazil will also face Mexico and Cameroon in Group A.

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Image: Henrique of Napoli in action
Photographs: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

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South Korea coach Hong gambles on Park

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South Korea coach Hong Myung-bo included Park Chu-young in his 23-man squad for the World Cup finals on Thursday, taking a gamble on the oft-injured striker who finished the season playing in the second tier of English football.

Hong opted not to name an expanded provisional squad, instead focusing on the 23 players he expects to take to Brazil. Teams have until June 2 to submit their final squad lists for the June 12-July 13 tournament.

Announcing the squad at a news conference held at the National Football Centre in Paju, north of Seoul, Hong said the Koreans had their work cut out to advance from a group that also includes Belgium, Russia and Algeria.

The news conference started on a sombre note as Hong and other officials took a moment to reflect on the recent South Korean ferry disaster that left 269 confirmed dead and 35 still missing as of Thursday.

The squad contained few surprises and is built around a core of young overseas-based players such as Ki Sung-yueng (Sunderland), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton), Kim Bo-kyung (Cardiff) and Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen).

No fewer than 17 of the 23 players ply their trade abroad.

Park Chu-young, who was loaned out to Watford from parent club Arsenal earlier this year, marked his return to the international fold with a goal against Greece in March to boost his chances of making Hong's squad.


Image: Chu-Young Park of Korea Republic
Photographs: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

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