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World Cup Watch: Alcantara out, Nasri could quit France

| 15.05.2014
SPORTSBOOK ODDS

Midfielder Thiago Alcantara will miss the World Cup finals for 13/2 chances Spain after further injuring knee ligaments.

The 23-year-old Bayern Munich player, who is the son of Mazinho (a winner of the tournament with Brazil in 1994), requires surgery to repair the damage.

La Roja boss Vicente del Bosque had named Thiago in his preliminary 30-man squad, but the Italian-born former Barcelona man is now out. The news of his recurring injury is also a blow to Bayern ahead of their DFB Pokal final against Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Alcantara’s absence strengthens the chances of Atletico Madrid playmaker Koke and/or uncapped Athletic Bilbao anchor Ander Iturraspe making the final World Cup roster for holders Spain.

Del Bosque must cut six other names, so his squad is whittled down to the 23 he can take to the Brazil finals. Other players sweating on inclusion are Sevilla left back Alberto Moreno, linked with Liverpool; and Premier League pair Juan Mata (Manchester United) and Fernando Torres (Chelsea) after difficult campaigns.

In other news, Manchester City attacking midfielder Samir Nasri is threatening to quit international football. The Premier League title winner under Manuel Pellegrini, 26, was omitted by Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps, along with Etihad teammate Gael Clichy, from the France squad.

Such a snub, which Nasri also endured for the last finals in South Africa, has prompted the player to consider retiring from his country. “It’s a little bit hard to accept,” he said. “I need to take some time now to think about the national team because it’s been twice now that they take away a World Cup from me.”

“You can go around and ask any player if they’re happy to be on the bench, nobody’s going to say yes. I need to think a little bit during the holiday, what will be my future in the national team, because missing two World Cups is really hard for a player.”

Nasri has five goals for France from 41 caps, including one against England at Euro 2012. He has represented Les Bleus at two major tournaments, but these were the last two European championships. The next one is in his homeland in 2016.

Back France in Nasri’s absence to win the World Cup in Brazil at 22/1.

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Author

Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.