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Messi wanted Maradona to stay on as coach

sports Updated: Aug 06, 2010 00:00 IST
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Lionel Messi wanted Maradona to stay on as Argentina coach and is looking forward to playing in the same club side as Spain's Cesc Fabregas one day, the Barcelona forward said on Thursday.

“I certainly did not want him to leave, I hoped he would stay,” Messi said ahead of the club’s pre-season friendly against Beijing Guoan on Saturday.

“But this is football. There are always many uncertainties.”

Messi made his feelings plain about Barca transfer target Fabregas, angling for a move away from Arsenal. “I'm very much looking forward to playing with Fabregas as part of the same team one day,” he said.

Kaka may need knee surgery, says club

Real Madrid midfielder Kaka has suspected meniscus damage in his left knee and may need surgery, the La Liga club said on Thursday. The Brazilian playmaker, who was plagued with injuries over the past year, had left Real's pre-season training camp in California and flown to Belgium for checks by a specialist.

“He's a very popular player among his teammates and also a very good player but we want him at 100 per cent so that he is happy,” coach Jose Mourinho said. “If we have to lose him for a while it won't be a drama,” the Portuguese added. “We have other players and that's that.”

Benzema returns to squad to play Norway

Paris: Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema returned to the France squad for next week's friendly against Norway. Benzema, who was not at the World Cup after an unimpressive season, received a call on Thursday despite his involvement in an investigation over allegations that he solicited an underage prostitute.

France will begin their 2012 European Championship qualifying campaign against Belarus on September 3 at Stade.