Rio Ferdinand admits England are heading to South Africa with the sole intention of taking top prize.
The Three Lions are considered to be among the favourites at this summer's World Cup, but have gone 44 long years since they last tasted international glory. Their last two appearances at football's showpiece event have seen them fall at the quarter-final stage, with massive expectations amounting to nothing.
Ferdinand, as national skipper, is determined to ensure there is no repeat of those failings this time around and insists anything less than victory should be considered a failure.


South Korea captain Park Ji-sung has revealed that the upcoming World Cup in South Africa could be his last.
The 29-year-old Manchester United midfielder is aiming to help South Korea emulate their semi-final appearance at the 2002 World Cup in his third tournament for his country, but reckons it will be important to blood young players in the future.
As the most high-profile player in the South Korea squad, Park admits that he is feeling the weight of expectation on his shoulders.


Stand-in Serbia captain Nemanja Vidic had to plead with his country's rioting fans during the second half of their 1-0 defeat to New Zealand.
It was a dismal Saturday afternoon in Austria for Serbia as trouble erupted in the second half of the World Cup warm-up match, with their fans launching burning flares, bottles and missiles onto the pitch.
Several supporters invaded the turf and had to be hauled away by security before Manchester United centre-back Vidic, standing in for Dejan Stankovic as skipper, appealed for calm over the microphone as the match officials and New Zealand team prepared to abandon the match.
There was a several minute delay to the second half as a result of the commotion before the match resumed.


Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson 'will be the key' to selecting his successor at Old Trafford, says chief executive David Gill. Ferguson has been at the helm of United for 23 years, helping them to 34 trophies including 11 League titles and two European crowns.
Gill insists United will seek Ferguson's advice on a successor when the Scot decides to end his long reign, but is adamant the 68-year-old has made no suggestion of retiring anytime soon. Gill revealed when Ferguson does stand down, he will form a selection panel with Sir Bobby Charlton and the club's owners to find a suitable replacement.


A brace from Robin van Persie saw Holland step up their World Cup preparations with a 2-1 friendly win over Mexico on Wednesday.
The Arsenal striker opened the scoring after 17 minutes in Freiburg before doubling the Dutch lead shortly before half-time.
Manchester United new-boy Javier Hernandez pulled one back for the Mexicans after the break but they slipped to a second defeat in the space of a week, having gone down 3-1 against England on Monday.


Portugal's World Cup preparations began with a shock goalless draw against African minnows Cape Verde. Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Ricardo Carvalho and Deco were among those selected in a strong starting XI by Carlos Queiroz but Portugal were unable to break down Cape Verde's stubborn resistance.


South Korea overcame Japan 2-0 in Saitama as both sides continued their preparations for the World Cup. Manchester United's Park Ji-sung and Monaco's Park Chu-young were on target for South Korea, who have been drawn alongside Argentina, Greece and Nigeria in Group B this summer.
Japan meanwhile, who play England in Austria on Sunday, face Cameroon, Demark and Holland in Group E of the South Africa tournament.
Korea can count on the quality of Park Ji-sung and he opened the scoring in the sixth minute, lashing the ball into the bottom left corner from the edge of the penalty area after a bustling run. Park Chu-young came off the bench and won the penalty which he coolly fired into the bottom left corner for the clinching goal at the end of the second half.


Michael Owen has admitted that it feels strange that he will not be involved in England's World Cup campaign this summer. The Manchester United striker, who announced himself to the world with a wonderful goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup in France, will not be a part of this summer's tournament after a hamstring injury in March ruled him out.
The 30-year-old, once a mainstay of the England squad before injuries blighted his career, has not been selected by manager Fabio Capello to play for England since the game against France in 2008, with many speculating his international career may be over. Owen appears not to have given up hope, and has stated that he still felt very much a part of the international set-up.


Cristiano Ronaldo has called on his Portugal team-mates to be at their best, stating that he alone can not win them the World Cup this summer. The Real Madrid winger and Portugal talisman goes into the tournament in outstanding form after scoring 33 goals in 35 games for his club and with a nation's hopes firmly pinned on him to deliver.
Ronaldo is now without doubt his nation's most important player, with inspirational figures such as Luis Figo and Rui Costa retired and the ageing legs of the likes of Simao and Deco not hitting the standards they once were.


Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that many of the club's World Cup stars will miss the start of next season as he gives them some much needed rest. United could have up to eight key players returning from South Africa this summer, including star striker Wayne Rooney and three of Ferguson's first-choice defence in Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic.
Ferguson's announcement of the planned recuperation period comes following a review into why the club suffered so many injuries at Old Trafford during the 2009-2010 season. The inquest, which included a series of consultations with the club's medical staff, concluded that several players were being overworked because of the gruelling demands of club and international football.


Diego Maradona disregarded the vast experience of Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso and 136-cap record holder Javier Zanetti when he named his 30-man provisional World Cup squad on Tuesday. Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago and Barcelona central defender Gabriel Milito are other prominent absentees.
Five English-based players have been included - Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, Newcastle pair Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez and Liverpool duo Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez.
Provisional Squad:
Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon), Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Juan Manuel Insaurralde (Newell's Old Boys), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes), Ariel Garce (Colon), Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Jesus Datolo (Olympiacos), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Liverpool), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina), Juan Mercier (Argentinos Juniors), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Javier Pastore (Palermo), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).


Ronaldinho and Adriano will both miss the World Cup in South Africa after being omitted from the 23-man Brazil squad named by Dunga on Tuesday. Wolfsburg striker Grafite is the surprise inclusion at the expense of Flamengo's Adriano, while Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is one of the three keepers named.
AC Milan's Alexandre Pato has also failed to win selection after a less-than-impressive season in Italy. Former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson, has made it into the squad after rediscovering his best form back in Brazil with Flamengo.
Provisional Squad
Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Doni (Roma), Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham), Maicon (Inter Milan), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Lucio (Inter Milan), Juan (Roma), Luisao (Roma), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Gilberto (Cruzeiro), Michel Bastos (Lyon), Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Felipe Melo (Juventus), Josue (Wolfsburg), Elano (Galatasaray), Ramires (Benfica), Kleberson (Flamengo), Kaka (Real Madrid), Julio Baptista (Roma), Robinho (Santos/Manchester City), Nilmar (Villarreal), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Grafite (Wolfsburg).



Ruud van Nistelrooy's international career appears to be over after the veteran striker missed out on Bert van Marwijk's 30-man preliminary World Cup squad.
But Van Marwijk said today he did not believe Van Nistelrooy will, at this stage of his career, recover to be able to find the sort of level that saw him score 33 goals in 64 international appearances.
Provisional Squad
Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Sander Boschker (FC Twente), Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht); Vurnon Anita (Ajax), Khalid Boulahrouz (VfB Stuttgart), Edson Braafheid (Celtic), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (HSV), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax) en Andre Ooijer (PSV); Otman Bakkal (PSV), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munchen), Wout Brama (FC Twente), Orlando Engelaar (PSV), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), David Mendes da Silva (AZ), Stijn Schaars (AZ), Wesley Sneijder (Inter), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax) en Ibrahim Afellay (PSV); Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Jeremain Lens (AZ), Eljero Elia (HSV), Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munchen).


David Beckham will be handed a World Cup coaching role with England, as long as he proves that he is recuperating well from the Achilles injury that has prevented him playing at the finals.
Beckham has been ruled out of playing until November at the earliest, but as soon as he ruptured his Achilles, England coach Fabio Capello invited him to be part of the backroom staff in South Africa.
However, any position is dependent on Beckham being in an advanced stage of rehabilitation and he will need to pass a fitness test to prove that he can aid Capello and his coaching staff.


Jamie Carragher and Joe Cole have been included in Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man squad for this summer's World Cup in South Africa. It will be reduced to 23 players by June 1.
Liverpool stalwart Carragher, who announced his retirement in 2007, returns to provide cover in defence with Gary Neville overlooked entirely. Chelsea midfielder Cole has been plagued by injury for large parts of this season but his goal against Manchester United helped convince Capello he is worth another look.
Provisional Squad:
David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham United), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Matthew Upson (West Ham United), Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur), Leighton Baines (Everton), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), James Milner (Aston Villa), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham Hotspur), Scott Parker (West Ham United), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Darren Bent (Sunderland), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur).


Pepe has been included in Portugal's provisional 24-man squad ahead of the World Cup, despite having been sidelined by a knee injury since December. The Real Madrid defender was a stand-out in a scrappy Portuguese qualifying campaign to ensure his place.
Coach Carlos Queiroz had previously indicated he had "one or two'' doubts about the fitness of certain players. Portugal reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Germany four years ago, but face a difficult task to get out of their group in South Africa after being draw against Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea.
Provisional Squad:
Beto (Porto), Daniel Fernandes (Iraklis), Eduardo (Braga), Fabio Coentrao (Benfica), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Ze Castro (Deportivo La Coruna), Bruno Alves (Porto), Rolando (Porto), Ricardo Costa (Lille), Duda (Malaga), Pepe (Real Madrid), Miguel (Valencia), Tiago (Atletico Madrid), Deco (Chelsea), Raul Meireles (Porto), Nani (Manchester United), Miguel Veloso (Sporting Lisbon), Pedro Mendes (Sporting Lisbon), Simao Sabrosa (Atletico Madrid), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen), Liedson (Sporting Lisbon), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Danny (Zenit St Petersburg).


Wayne Rooney has called on Sir Alex Ferguson to sign two big-name players this summer as Manchester United face up to the prospect of losing the league title.
Many feel the failure to make high-profile signings following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez has cost United this season, and Rooney is hoping Ferguson can bring in another top-quality striker for next year.
Alongside Didier Drogba, Rooney is currently joint top of the Premier League goal-scoring charts with 26 goals, and he knows that - even if he does get more support in attack next year - he will be expected to deliver a similar total again.


Mexico's World Cup hopefuls did little to give their heaving sea of red and green-clad fans something to celebrate in the first match at the new Meadowlands Stadium on Friday as they played out an anti-climactic scoreless draw with Ecuador.
With Ecuador failing to qualify and Mexico experimenting in the countdown to the World Cup, it was perhaps unsurprising the match, the first at the new home of New York's two NFL teams, the Giants and the Jets, failed to reach any great heights.
Neither side created many clear scoring opportunities, with Manchester United-bound striker Javier Hernandez heavily marked after squandering an early chance, and they settled for a stalemate in front of almost 80,000 fans, who had turned the match into a noisy carnival with horns and whistles.