World Cup briefing: Peru captain Paolo Guerrero cleared to play after drugs ban
Spanish ‘villain’ Sergio Ramos releases a World Cup song and Manuel Neuer looks set to be Germany’s No.1
Peru’s Guerrero set to play in Russia
Peru captain Paolo Guerrero is free to play in the World Cup after a Swiss tribunal lifted his 14-month drug ban.
In October last year Guerrero tested positive for prohibited substance cocaine but has always insisted that it was ingested after drinking contaminated tea.
The Guardian reports that Switzerland’s supreme court has granted an “interim order to freeze” the 14-month ban. In a statement the court said: “Paolo Guerrero can take part in the World Cup.”
While Guerrero can appear in Russia he has not yet been formally cleared of doping and could serve the remainder of the suspension.
After the ruling the Peru skipper said: “This decision does justice, at least partially, and I’m grateful to the Swiss court.”
Sergio Ramos releases World Cup song
Spain and Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has released a new World Cup song - but don’t expect it to be top of the pops in Liverpool or Egypt.
In last weekend’s Champions League final Ramos’s tussle with Mohamed Salah left the Egyptian striker with a shoulder injury that has threatened his participation in Russia.
The BBC says that in a bid to change his “villainous, bad boy persona” Ramos is becoming “football’s answer to Justin Bieber” with the release of a World Cup tune alongside Spanish singer Demarco Flamenco.
Titled ‘Otra Estrella en tu Corazon’ (translation: ‘Another star in your heart’) the ditty includes the lyrics: “Come on, Spain, raise your voice; scream loudly, shout that goal. Thinking big we will achieve the best, fighting together, towards the star with honour. We have to try. May La Roja shine once more.”
Bierhoff: Neuer will be Germany’s No.1
If Manuel Neuer proves his fitness and makes Germany’s World Cup squad then the Bayern Munich keeper will start for the reigning champions in Russia.
Neuer, 32, has been out of action since September and is battling to be included when Joachim Low confirms his final 23-man squad on Monday.
Quoted by ESPN, Germany national team manager Oliver Bierhoff said: “Manuel will go to the World Cup as our No.1. If he makes the squad then Marc-Andre [ter Stegen] will be No.2. Manuel is already full on track. He does not need to get back on it. All the players have left a big impression here and it is a very difficult decision.”