[BRAZIL 2014] France coach Didier Deschamps said star Franck Ribery had until Friday to return to practice after suffering from back problems. Ribery, third in the voting for the 2013 Ballon d'Or, indeed trained but was hurting so much he had to stop. Shortly afterward, he became the latest star to withdraw from the World Cup.
"This morning before the collective training session," said Deschamps, "he had to stop. The pain was too strong. We have made checks
in the beginning of the afternoon, checks that confirmed the situation has aggravated and he is today not capable of training for a few weeks, let alone play a game."
There were signs of
trouble for Ribery, a veteran of the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, when he had to come off in the German Cup final after entering the game as a substitute.
Ribery is one three French players
who have had to drop out. Backup goalkeeper Steve Mandanda pulled out when he was injured in the final game of the Ligue 1 season. Attacking midfielder Clement Grenier also withdrew on Friday with a groin problem.
Morgan Schneiderlin and Remy Cabella will replace Ribery and Grenier on the France roster, pending FIFA approval.
Only Ribery was expected to start in France, though the Bleus have Real Sociedad's
Antoine Griezmann and Newcastle United forward Loic Remy in reserve. Both have played very well in France's first two
Germany Update ...
REUS INJURED. Miroslav Klose broke Gerd Mueller's 40-year record when he notched his 69th goal in Germany's 6-1 win over Armenia, but the
Group G seeds' final tune-up was marred by an ankle injury to Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus that required he be taken to a hospital for tests.
Germany coach Joachim Loew said he was hoping for the best but added that "it looked bad." Later in the evening, the tabloid Bild reported that Reus was
out of the World Cup with ligament damage.
Klose's goal was one of five in the final 17 minutes for Germany. Mario Goetze scored twice, and Lukas Podolski and Benedikt Hoewedes also had goals.
Weidenfeller; Hoewedes, Hummels, Mertesacker, Boateng (Grosskreutz 67); Kroos, Lahm (Ozil 46), Khedira (Schweinsteiger 59); Reus (Podolski 44), Schuerrle
(Goetze 75), Mueller (Klose 67).
PRE-WORLD CUP, Friday/Saturday:
June 6 in Foxboro, Mass.
Portugal 1 Mexico 0
June 6 in Harrison, N.J.
Greece 2 Bolivia 1
June 6 in Tampa, Fla.
Japan 4 Zambia 3
June 6 in Salvador
June 6 in Buenos Aires
Colombia 3 Jordan 0
June 6 in Sao Paulo
Brazil 1 Serbia 0
June 6 in Moscow
Russia 2 Morocco 0
June 6 in Mainz
6 Armenia 1
June 7 in Jacksonville, Fla.
USA vs. Nigeria
June 7 in Buenos Aires
Argentina vs. Slovenia
June 7 in Brussels
Belgium vs. Tunisia
June 7 in Yaounde
Cameroon vs. Moldova
June 7 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
England vs. Honduras
June 7 in Landover, Md.
vs. El Salvador
June 7 in Foxboro, Mass.
Costa Rica vs. Ireland
(Soccer on TV: Weekend Schedule)
Injury Report ...
SHIROKOV OUT. A lingering back injury forced Russia captain Roman Shirokov to pull out of the World Cup. He'll go to Finland on Monday for surgery. He will be replaced by 21-year-old Pavel
Mogilevets, one of Russia's top young midfielders. He plays for Rubin Kazan on loan from Zenit St. Petersburg, Shirokov's club.