White Heart samba

Wales will play a friendly international against five times world champions, Brazil in London on September 5. The match at Tottenham’s White Heart Lane will take place two days after John Toshack’s opening Euro 2008 qualifier in the Czech Republic and Brazil’s exhibition match with Argentina at Arsenal’s new Emirates Stadium.

New order

Steve McClaren began his term as England manager by appointing John Terry as new captain, while leaving predecessor David Beckham out of the squad that will have faced Greece at Old Trafford on Wednesday. It is now uncertain whether Beckham will be able to add to his 94 caps, as the Sven-Göran Eriksson era is left behind. Steven Gerrard was named vice-captain of the new look team that includes eight changes from the ill-fated World Cup adventure.

Community Shield    

FA Cup winners Liverpool beat globetrotting champions Chelsea 2-1 in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium showpiece, to bring the first piece of silverware of the budding season back to Anfield. Peter Crouch hit the winner, after Andriy Shevchenko had cancelled out Jon-Arne Riise’s sixth minute opener.

Home win

Former Benfica manager, Jupp Heynckes, returned to the bench of the club he left 19 years ago and celebrated, as Borussia Mönchengladbach recorded a 2-0 win on the opening day of the German Bundesliga. Champions Bayern Munich also enjoyed a successful start to the new season, beating highly-touted Dortmund by the same score, while both Leverkusen and Nuremburg went one better, seeing off their opponents 3-0. Fancied FC Schalke 04 and Hamburg only achieved disappointing 1-1 home draws against Frankfurt and Bielefeld respectively.

Coca-Cola highs and lows

The chairman Niall Quinn may have to sack the manager Niall Quinn as Sunderland lost their third successive Championship game 2-3 to Plymouth over the weekend. New Crystal Palace boss Peter Taylor on the other hand, not burdened by such dual responsibility, watched his team beat Leeds with a late Clinton Morrison volley to maintain the Eagles’ 100 per cent record at the top of the table.