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Rio Olympic preparations "worst" ever - Coates

RIO DEIRO (Reuters) - International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president John Coates has called Brazil's preparations for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games "the worst" he has ever seen and critically behind schedule.


Hodgson unimpressed by late form

LONDON (Reuters) - England manager Roy Hodgson has ruled out making any late changes to his World Cup squad based on "last-minute form" in the final weeks of the Premier League season.


World-Versatile Goetze is man to end Germany's drought

BERLIN (Reuters) - Midfielder Mario Goetze has seen his reputation and career skyrocket in the past four years, winning Bundesliga titles and becoming Germany coach Joachim Loew's secret weapon.


Germany coach Loew is still chasing first title

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany coach Joachim Loew knows there is much more at stake at the World Cup than simply ending his country's 18-year title drought in a major competition.


Only the title matters for success-starved Germany

BERLIN (Reuters) - After coming close in big tournaments in recent years, Germany are now under pressure to finally deliver at the World Cup and end a 16-year title drought.


Ronaldo relishing Portugal's underdog status

LISBON (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo finally ended Lionel Messi's four-year reign as football's best player in 2013 and a starring role for Portugal at the World Cup finals would cap another stellar season for the astonishing forward.


Portugal need more than Ronaldo to flourish in Brazil

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's troubles in the World Cup qualifiers have shown that they will need a lot more than an on-song Cristiano Ronaldo if they are to mount a serious challenge in Brazil.


Portugal's Bento has chance to erase unhappy memories

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal coach Paulo Bento will have a chance to wipe out unhappy World Cup memories when he leads his side in Brazil.


U.S. confident of good showing despite tough draw

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The days are long gone when it was a surprise for the United States to reach the World Cup finals, but for a country used to sporting success they are still some way short of making a major impact on the tournament.


Algeria set ambitious target for Brazil finals

ALGIERS (Reuters) - - Two successive World Cup appearances would have seemed almost impossible a decade ago but Algeria have made a swift return from the doldrums to again take a prominent role in African soccer.