The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Scolari sceptical of Ronaldo form

Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian World Cup star Ronaldo will never again play at the level he did before his knee injury, former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said in a published interview. “He needs to work a lot to be 70 per cent, 80 per cent. But he will never again return to the way he was at 18 or 19,” Scolari was quoted as saying on the Brazilian soccer website Lancenet Friday. Ronaldo, 26, disproved sceptics by recovering from two knee operations to lead Brazil to a record fifth World Cup title in Japan last year. The Real Madrid star led all scorers with eight goals, including both in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Germany in the final.

But Scolari, who coached the team, said afterwards that Ronaldo wasn’t physically 100 per cent at the World Cup and probably never would be again.

The two meet later today when Brazil plays an exhibition match against Portugal, now coached by Scolari.

New twist to Cronje crash

Durban: The air crash that led to the death of former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje last year might have been caused by faulty landing instruments, a newspaper reported Saturday.

According to Beeld, investigations have revealed that poor maintenance of instruments arising out of cost-cutting decisions could have contributed to the plane from Johannesburg crashing into a mountain in George, killing Cronje and his two pilots in June 2002.

Paul O’Sullivan, the former security chief of airport companies (ACSA), has said in his signed affidavit that the Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the George airport was faulty for some time before the crash but “no steps were taken to rectify the problems,” Beeld reported.

“Minutes of the meetings will show that although ACSA was told to replace the system, they decided against it in order to save,” O’Sullivan was quoted as saying.

Divorce blues for Maradona

Buenos Aires: Claudia Villafane, wife of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, has filed for divorce after 14 years of marriage, according to television reports Friday.

Villafane’s father Coco said that the problem had been brewing for some time, with reports stating that she began legal proceedings on March 7 and is demanding custody of their two daughers Dalma and Giannina. Maradona’s agent Guillermo Copolla, however, refused to confirm or deny the report. “I won’t say yes or no. Diego knows little or nothing about this. If I can avoid worrying him all the better,” said Coppola.

The 42-year-old hero of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup triumph has been receiving treatment in Cuba for the past three years for drug addiction.

Martyn departure

Sydney: Australian batsman Damien Martyn will miss the start of the West Indies tour because of his finger injury, team officials said Saturday.

Martyn fractured his right index finger while fielding during the World Cup. When the rest of the team flies out to the Caribbean on Monday he will remain in Perth to undergo further scans and treatment.

Martyn said in a statement that he didn’t want to do any long-term damage to the finger.

Mahmud new captain

Dhaka: The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Saturday named Khaled Mahmud as skipp er of the country’s national team ahead of the tri-series starting next month.

A BCB spokesman said after an advisory committee meeting that Khaled Mahmud would succeed Khaled Mashud, who resigned on personal grounds after Bangladesh’s World Cup debacle.

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