Sunday, September 2, 2007

Under-17 World Cup and Eto'os injury


The FIFA Under-17 World Cup is turning into an African talent show, with both Ghana and Nigeria advancing to the semifinals of the all-star event.

The Nigerian Golden Eagles will face Germany in Wednesday's semi-finals after the Europeans thrashed their rivals England 4-1 in a quarter-final match on Sunday. Nigeria defeated Argentina, 2-0.

Ghana and Spain will meet in the other semi-final, Ghana advancing with a 2-0 victory over Peru and Spain defeating France 1-1 and 5-4 on penalties.

Good luck to the African squads as they advance towards the finish line!

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Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o is to be sidelined for three months after undergoing surgery on his right thigh on Saturday.

Eto'o, who plays for Barcelona, partially tore his thigh tendon during a friendly against Inter Milan on Wednesday.

He is likely to miss virtually all the Champions League group stage as they face Lyon, Stuttgart and Rangers in Group E.

Doctor Ramon Cugat, who performed an hour-long operation on Eto'o, said the striker couldn't resume training for "at least two months".

Cugat said surgery was necessary because the muscle bore most weight when a player took a shot.

"A professional player cannot risk this muscle. Without it, he cannot function properly," Cugat said.

The three-time African player of the year spent five months on the sidelines last season due to a right knee injury.

The Cameroon striker's absence will at least solve coach Frank Rijkaard's selection headache for a while.

Rijkaard has the task this season of deciding between a quartet of top forwards - Eto'o, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and recent signing Thierry Henry.

In Barcelona's opening game of the season against Racing Santander last Sunday, Rijkaard left Henry on the bench until he replaced Messi in the second half.

The game ended scoreless.

Good luck to Eto'o, one of Africa's shining stars, in his recovery.

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