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Brazil will win, Messi will score: Journalists

Five-time winners Brazil are favourites to lift the World Cup trophy in South Africa this July, according to a poll of international sports journalists.

sports Updated: May 06, 2010 23:27 IST

Brazil will win, Messi will score: Journalists

London: Five-time winners Brazil are favourites to lift the World Cup trophy in South Africa this July, according to a poll of international sports journalists.

Brazil received 28.3 percent of votes to edge out second-placed Argentina with European champions Spain and Fabio Capello's England making up the top four.

The poll, conducted by the International Sports Press Association, was made up of 200 journalists from 97 countries. Argentina and Barcelona World Player of the Year Lionel Messi took almost half the votes to finish as tournament top scorer.

Mandela reunited with Cup trophy

Johannesburg: Nelson Mandela has been reunited with the World Cup trophy, six years after he was famously pictured with football's greatest prize on the day South Africa won the right to host the event. The 91-year-old former president on Thursday met with FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and chief local organizer Danny Jordaan, who brought the trophy to the Nelson Mandela Foundation buildings in Johannesburg.

Pictures of a smiling Mandela holding the World Cup in Zurich in 2004 were beamed across the world and became the image of South Africa's successful bid.

Veteran Ono makes case for Cup team

Tokyo: Veteran midfielder Shinji Ono is making a case for selection to Japan's World Cup squad with some impressive performances for J-League leaders, Shimizu S-Pulse. Ono had two assists in Wednesday's 4-2 win over Kyoto, a result that gave Shimizu a four-point lead atop the standings after 10 games.

The former Asian Player of the Year, who helped Feyenoord win the UEFA Cup in 2002, is back in Japan after a playing for German side Bochum in 2009.

World Cup a 'shot in the arm' for SA: Tutu

Cape Town: Hosting the football World Cup is a ‘shot in the arm’ for South Africa, as it still struggles to overcome deep-seated divisions, according to one of the country's moral heavyweights, Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu.

In an exclusive interview with the German Press Agency (DPA) on Wednesday, the 78-year-old Nobel peace laureate said he hoped the tournament would help repair the damage caused by a recent spate of divisive political rhetoric.

“It just gave us a good shot in the arm because we haven't had, you know, this ... feeling good about ourselves too much. There have been things that didn't make you feel too thrilled,” said the outspoken bishop, who won the Nobel Prize in 1984 for his doctrine of peaceful resistance to apartheid.

Russia’s Salenko to sell his Golden Boot

Kiev: The 1994 World Cup's joint top goalscorer Oleg Salenko is prepared to sell his Golden Boot award for $500,000 (Rs 2.3 crore) to pay off his debts, local media reported on Thursday.

“I received a good offer from the United Arab Emirates,” Kiev-based Salenko was quoted as saying by Blik newspaper.

“I had a small business but after the global crisis everything is down and I need to pay off some debts,” added the former
Russia striker, who played for various clubs including Zenit, Dynamo Kiev, Valencia and Rangers before retiring in 2001.

“I'm not totally broke or anything like that, but the offer was hard to resist. I was told wealthy Arab sheikhs would take good care of the award by putting it in a local museum.” Salenko notched a World Cup record five goals in Russia's 6-1 thrashing of Cameroon in the 1994 finals in the US.

First Published: May 06, 2010 23:23 IST