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World Soccer Headlines

Champions League in another facelift

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Posted: Tuesday May 23, 2000 02:58 PM

 

(CNN text) -- The format of the Champions League will be altered yet again for the 2001-2002 season, UEFA has announced.

Vice-president Egidius Braun said: 'The aim is a reduction of the games. The question is how we can achieve that.'

Many clubs have complained about the burden of the current format, which requires clubs to play 12 group games just to reach the quarter-final stage.

One option would be to have a knockout round instead of a second group stage.

VALENCIA 'DESERVE TO BE CHAMPIONS' Hector Cuper is convinced Valencia have the means and motivation to become European champions and is demanding one final effort from his players against Real Madrid in Paris on Wednesday.

'We deserve to be champions,' said the Argentine coach. 'It is now up to the players to demonstrate the same form that has got us here and find that extra special something for the final.'

Cuper has no injury worries but left back Amedeo Carboni is suspended. Joachim Bjorklund should replace him.

DEL BOSQUE EXTENDS STAY AT REAL MADRID

Real Madrid's preparations for Wednesday's European Cup final against Valencia in Paris have been boosted by the news that coach Vicente Del Bosque will be staying in charge next season.

Club president Lorenzo Sanz, who only appointed Del Bosque as caretaker coach following the dismissal of John Toshack in November, said: 'Vicente is officially carrying on as coach.

'We wanted to announce it on Tuesday so that nobody could say that the decision was based on the match tomorrow.'

BRISSON RESIGNS AS LENS COACH

Francois Brisson has resigned as coach of French side Lens but will stay on in another role, club president Gerveais Martel has revealed.

Brisson replaced Daniel Leclercq early last season and guided Lens to fifth in the First Division and a place in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.

Martel said Metz coach Joel Muller had already turned down the job. Marseille coach Rolland Courbis has confirmed he has been in contact with Lens, but said talks have been inconclusive so far.

KATANEC UNVEILS EURO 2000 SQUAD

Slovenia coach Srecko Katanec has named his 22-man squad for the European Championship, which runs from 10 June in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Slovenia, making their debut in the tournament, are in Group C alongside Yugoslavia, Norway and Spain.

Squad: Dabanovic, Nemec, Simeunovic, Bulajic, Galic, Knavs, Milinovic, Milanic, Acimovic, Ceh, Gajser, Istinic, Karic, Pavlin, Pavlovic, Novak, Zahovic, Zlogar, Osterc, Rudonja, Siljak, Udovic.

ROMARIO RULED OUT BY BRAZIL

Brazilian striker Romario has suffered a heel injury and misses this week's friendly internationals against Wales on Tuesday and England four days later.

The 34-year-old has scored 52 goals in 71 appearances for his country and was poised to return to the side after an impressive season with Vasco da Gama. 'I'm really disappointed,' he said.

  • Inter Milan's Brazilian star Ronaldo has been in Paris for his first check since having knee surgery last month. He is not expected to play this year.

    SOCIEDAD SIGN TURKEY'S KORKUT

    Turkish international midfielder Tayfun Korkut has joined Spanish Primera Liga club Real Sociedad from Fenerbahce on a three-year contract.

    Korkut, capped 23 times and in Turkey's preliminary Euro 2000 squad, will not count towards the club's quota of non-European Union players because he has a German passport.

    Nigerian midfielder Mutiu Adepoju is to leave Sociedad after his deal expired. 'I've had several offers including some clubs in England,' he said.

    BRAUN DISMISSES CALL FOR PLAY-OFFS

    German Federation supremo Egidius Braun has dismissed a motion by Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer calling for a play-off title match if two teams finish level on points.

    Beckenbauer called for a play-off system similar to that used in Italy after Bayern had retained the title on goal difference from Bayer Leverkusen.

    'It is an interesting idea but not just in my opinion,' said Braun. 'Football lives on goals and if they make the difference in the end that is good.'

    NEWS IN BRIEF

  • Ruud Krol will join Johan Neeskens in assisting Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard at next month's Euro 2000 finals, the Football Association has revealed. Krol, who won 83 caps for the Netherlands and has previously coached Belgian club Mechelen and the Egyptian national team, will be in charge of NEC Nijmegen next season.

  • Bayer Leverkusen's Christoph Daum has been voted best coach of the season and his Brazilian midfielder Emerson best player in a poll by Kicker magazine.

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