Mid-Day Ticker: Neville questions Capello, Barca eyes star duo and more

Mid-Day Ticker: Neville questions Capello, Barca eyes star duo and more

European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Neville questions Capello, Barca eyes star duo and more

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By AVI CREDITOR

Critics questioning a manager's selections for a World Cup roster is hardly uncommon this time of year, but one of England's strongest critics is one of the country's former stalwarts.

Manchester United's Gary Neville lobbed some questions at Fabio Capello's picks, saying that he should have chosen more than just Glen Johnson at right back and that it was a desperate move to try and lure Paul Scholes out of international retirement.

Neville, who expressed a bit of disappointment not to be included in the 30-man roster, also asserted that club teammate Wes Brown should be in the mix.

Here are a few more soccer stories to get you through the day:

BARCELONA TARGETS FABREGAS, VILLA

The Cesc Fabregas-to-Barcelona stories never cease to go back-and-forth, but the latest version has the Spanish champions adding both Fabregas and David Villa to the fold for next year's run.

Team vice president Rafael Yuste told a Spanish radio station that negotiations for Valencia's Villa are "progressing well."

Fabregas, meanwhile, has reportedly told Arsene Wenger that he wants to leave Arsenal for Barcelona.

Yuste maintains that both players have expressed their desires to come to Camp Nou this summer.

BENFICA RELEASES ROSTER FOR NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

Benfica will be bringing a decent squad to this side of the Atlantic Ocean for friendlies with the New England Revolution and Panathinaikos (in Toronto).

Though Paraguay's Oscar Cardozo, Argentina's Angel Di Maria and Brazil's Luisao and Ramires will not be on the roster, Javier Saviola will be suiting up for the Portuguese champions, along with the likes of David Luiz, Nuno Gomes and Weldon.

Benfica will play at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday before traveling to Canada to face their Greek opponents on Sunday.

BOATENG APOLOGIZES TO BALLACK

Kevin-Prince Boateng, whose FA Cup final tackle on Michael Ballack has prevented the German captain from competing in the World Cup, has apologized for his misstep, saying that it was "not intentional" and "pretty stupid."

Conspiracy theorists might claim that it was a calculated attack, considering that Boateng, who is half-German-half-Ghanaian, will play for Ghana, one of Germany's group-stage opponents. Boateng's half brother, Jerome, is on Germany's preliminary roster for the World Cup.

The storyline will undoubtedly be rehashed when Ghana and Germany meet on June 23 in their final match of the group stage.

LIPPI CUTS GROSSO

Fabio Grosso will not get the chance to reprise his 2006 World Cup heroics, as he's been cut from Marcello Lippi's preliminary roster.

Grosso, whose penalty kick clinched the World Cup for the defending champions, hadn't been in top form during his club season with Juventus, and he'll miss out on the trip to South Africa.

CAHILL GETS NEW EVERTON DEAL

Australian playmaker Tim Cahill signed a new four-year deal with Everton that will keep him at Goodison Park through the 2013-2014 season.

Cahill, who still had two years remaining on his contract, has been a mainstay in the Everton midfield since joining the team in 2004. Before he returns to the Toffees he'll try and guide the Socceroos through the treacherous Group D (Australia, Germany, Serbia, Ghana) in next month's World Cup.

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What do you think of Neville's comments? Would a Barcelona team with Fabregas and Villa unquestionably be the best in the world? Surprised that Grosso didn't make the Italian team?

Share your thoughts below.

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