news: NEWS    

Gunning for a place

Arsenal’s Robert Pires is hoping to return to the international fold with France for the World Cup Finals. The 32-year-old has been capped 79 times by his country but has not played since criticising coach Raymond Domenech after a win over Cyprus almost a year ago. The midfielder of Portuguese extraction can only hope that recent penalty taking histrionics have not detracted from his chances of taking part in his last major tournament.


Peter Gabriel has been asked to organise the entertainment aspect of the World Cup ceremony on June 8 in Berlin. The former Genesis front-man will not perform himself, but will be involved in “musical input and crazy ideas” for the event that will run under the slogan “A Time To Make Friends”.

Early tests

The Portuguese FA has announced that the Selecção will play two friendly internationals this month. The first opponents on Saturday 12 in Coimbra, will be group eight winners Croatia who may very well meet Luis Felipe Scolari’s men again in Germany. The following Tuesday, November 15, Portugal will travel to Belfast to take on Northern Ireland as part of the Northern Ireland FA’s 125th anniversary celebrations. That game will kick off at 8pm.