Diego Maradona insists he is 'very much alive' after health scare

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Diego Maradona said he was perfectly fine

Diego Maradona was shocked by how his World Cup health scare on Tuesday was reported and insists: “I am very much alive.”

The 57-year-old, who captained Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, said he had been suffering from neck pain as he attended his country’s game against Nigeria earlier this week.

But he denied reports he had been hospitalised and demonstrated his good health with an appearance on Telesur’s ‘De La Mano del 10’ programme.

He said: “I was shocked that (reports suggested) there had been a stretcher, an ambulance. Nothing happened.

“We were all together, the Telesur team and my team, and we could not believe how social networks started to make a big lie, which made no sense, go viral like that.

“It makes me a bit angry, because my sister, yesterday she made me whistle on the phone to see if I was okay, and I went (whistles).

“‘What else do you want me to do?’ I asked her.

“My brother in Italy, my nephew in the United States worried, because of course the bad news travels much faster than the good news.

“I am very much alive, and very well taken care of.”

Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 to progress to the last 16 of the World Cup, where they will face France on Saturday.

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Germany did not deserve to go through, says goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

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Frustrated: Manuel Neuer

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has admitted Germany “screwed up together” as they crashed out of the 2018 World Cup.

Neuer, who received plenty of personal criticism for playing out on the wing in the final moments of the defeat to South Korea on Wednesday, also stated his intention to continue playing for the national team.

“You have to say we do not deserve (to go through), ” he said in quotes reported on the German federation’s official website dfb.de.

“In the second round everybody would have liked to play against us. How are we going to be dangerous to an opponent if we do not get our performance (right)?

“We gave a bad picture in the three games. I can not answer why that happened. We have to take responsibility. We screwed up, (and) we screwed up together.”

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Former coach Ange Postecoglou wants Australia to shed the underdog tag

David Cooper 28/06/2018
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Disappointment: Mile Jedinak's side exited the group stage in Russia

Former Australia coach Ange Postecoglou believes they must stop considering themselves as an ‘underdog’ after their World Cup exit.

Australia crashed out of Russia after their 2-0 defeat to Peru on Tuesday, meaning they have only won two out of their 16 World Cup games going back to their debut in 1974.

Postecoglou was replaced by Dutchman Bert van Marwijk following their qualification and he insists the Australians must change their approach.

“If our way forward is to rely on our defensive stability and competitiveness, then let that be our blueprint,” he wrote on the PlayersVoice website.

“But we must shed our inferiority complex. The problem with always being the underdog is that it is a sign you haven’t improved.”

He said: “What has happened and transpired since I left the position shows me my instincts were right.

“We still want to be the underdog. We want everyone to know that eight times out of 10 we will be beaten by the very best, but that does not mean we can’t knock them off. After all we are Australians and we fear no one.

“We can’t fear failure or being exposed. The Socceroo name alone should give us that strength. We should build on the shoulders of those before us, otherwise we have failed in our responsibilities.”

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