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Ronaldo Smiles, Romario Cries

Posted May. 08, 2002 09:38,   


▽Brazil = The offense is to be led by a dual-play of Ronaldo, who finally escaped the long tunnel of injury, and Rivaldo (FC Barcelona). Ronaldo’s 3rd consecutive World Cup participation was already expected at the A-match with Portugal last month.

Midfielder Emerson (AS Roma) is the captain. Carlos (Real Madrid) and Cafu’s (AS Roma) `mighty side-wings` are in good shape too. However, veteran striker Romario (Vasco da Gama) is excluded from the list.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari turned down the public demand for Romario’s return to the national team by saying, “Players are selected by the coach, not by the supporters.”

▽Germany = Coach Rudi Voeller’s selected players are generally as expected. The only exception is that Carsten Jancker was selected as striker over this season’s co-lead in the score list with 18 goals, Martin Max (1860 Bayern Munich). Voeller commented, “I trust in Jancker’s competence shown through the past major matches.” Oliver Khan (Bayern Munich), known as the `world’s best goalkeeper`, is to display his fantastic defense during this World Cup as well. Midfielder Michael Ballack (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) and Ghana-born striker Gerald Asamoah (Schalke 04) are also included in the squad.

▽Argentina = List of the 12 players, who finished their team matches, was first announced. While the offensive line of Gabriel Batistuta (AS Roma), Herman Crespo, and Claudio Lopez (both Lazio) was decided early, Claudio Caniggia’s (Rangers) name in the forward list is to be noticed. 35 year-old Caniggia is to wear the national uniform in 6 years.

▽Denmark = Ebbe Sand (Schalke 04) and Jon Dahl Tomasson (Feyenoord) are to take the two-top offense. 39 year-old defender Jan Heintze (PSV Eindhoven) is to the captain of the squad. He is a veteran, who has played a total of 82 A-matches (inter-national team matches). Along with Heintze, the Danish defense is full of well-experienced veterans like Thomas Helveg and Martin Laursen (both AC Milan).

Sung-Won Joo swon@donga.com