In Depth

Gerrard tells Redknapp to name and shame; Ronaldo hair riddle

World Cup whispers: Ghana call the police; does Ronaldo haircut hide a message?

GERRARD TELLS REDKNAPP TO NAME NAMES

Steven Gerrard has come out fighting after Harry Redknapp claimed that, when he was Spurs manager, players would beg him to help them avoid England duty. When the claims were put to England captain Gerrard, still smarting from England's early exit from the World Cup, he said: "I'll tell you what - I'd be interested to find out who those players are. If Harry is making a comment like that he should name them and embarrass them. No-one in this group wants to go home - no one."

...AS REDKNAPP KEEPS ON TALKING

Harry Redknapp was many people's choice to take over as England manager in 2012, when Roy Hodgson was appointed. But his media profile has been almost as high as Hodgson's during the tournament, as he passes comment on England from afar. In addition to claiming that his players cried off England duty, he has declared that England have no chance of winning the tournament in 2022, and says only Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez have the ability to take over from Hodgson when he leaves.

RONALDO HAIR MYSTERY

Cristiano Ronaldo's new hairdo, featuring a zig-zag pattern shaved into the side of his head, drew much derision from fans when he unveiled it against the US. However, critics may have to eat their words if the story behind the cut turns out to be true. Earlier this year Ronaldo paid for a ten-month old boy, called Erik Ortiz Cruz, to have brain surgery. It is claimed that his haircut mimics the scar that Cruz now sports. Ronaldo does not talk about his charity work so the truth may remain a mystery.

GHANA CALL POLICE OVER FIXING CLAIMS

The Ghana FA has called in police after the Daily Telegraph published claims that the country was willing to play in games that others were preparing to fix. The Telegraph story, part of an investigation with Channel 4, claimed that Kwesi Nyantakyi the president of Ghana's FA agreed for the team to play in international matches organised by senior football figures, and officiated by corrupt referees. Nyantakyi has denied the reports, but the GFA has asked the police to investigate two people.

MARTINEZ LOSES WORLD CUP PASS

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has had his World Cup privileges revoked after he let someone else use his accreditation to attend a Dutch training session. Fifa's World Cup passes are strictly non-transferable and Martinez's error means he'll be banned from all stadium and training ground venues for the rest of the tournament. The 40-year-old Spaniard is covering the World Cup as a pundit for ESPN, and it's understood he received an invitation to the Dutch camp from fellow-analyst Ruud van Nistelrooy.

FABREGAS IN DEL BOSQUE 'BUST UP'

They were thrashed 5-1 by Holland in the first game of their dire World Cup campaign, and now the Spanish may have caught the Dutch disease, if reports of bust-ups in the squad are to be believed. The Daily Mail has video of what it says is new Chelsea signing Cesc Fabregas being thrown out of a training session for not trying hard enough. Even stranger is the fact that he rides off on a mountain bike.

UNCONVINCING BELGIUM INTO LAST 16

Despite another disappointing performance, a 1-0 win over Russia courtesy of a late goal from Divock Origi was enough to send Belgium through to the last 16. Vincent Kompany had confessed that Belgium would sacrifice style for a result, and for the opening 70 minutes there was deadlock. But with ten minutes to go a Kevin Mirallas free-kick struck the post and brought the tie to life. Six minutes later an out-of-sorts Eden Hazard made his first meaningful contribution as he set up Origi for the late winner.

O'NEILL GOES FOR THE JUGULAR

Martin O'Neill works alongside Roy Keane as Ireland manager, and if he can keep him in check its no surprise that he can hold his own against other ITV presenters and pundits. After watching France beat Switzerland the former Nottingham Forest midfielder, who won two European Cups, was forced to slap down Adrian Chiles for a quip about his glasses, before reminding his fellow pundits that he was not to be trifled with on or off the pitch.

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