WORLD CUP – Selection surprises

SPAIN WILL will travel to Germany without Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes who has been a national team regular since 1998, or Barcelona’s in-form keeper Victor Valdes.

Southampton’s Alexander Ostlund has failed to make Sweden’s final 23, while Real Madrid’s in-form Julio Baptista cannot get a place alongside Adriano, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Robinho on Brazil’s squad. Juliano Belletti is also missing.  Australia manager Guus Hiddink may have unearthed a Theo Walcott of his own: 17-year-old Kaz Patafta has been placed on the list of stand-by players waiting in the wings should any of the 23 man squad’s principal players fail to recover from injury. The unknown youngster was ‘discovered’ by a Benfica scout at the Under-17 championships in Peru last year, and has been in Lisbon since January. France manager, Raymond Domenech, has not endeared himself with fans by ignoring the claims of Ludovic Giuly and Sylvain Distin while including Newcastle’s erratic Jean-Alain Boumsong. Poland have dropped Jerzy Dudek and Argentina has dispensed with the services of the popular Daniel Ortega.