The Dirty Dozen

Looking forward to the World Cup? The thrills, the spills, the tricks, the saves, the fans (and thankfully no vuvuzelas!)

We are too, and can't wait for it to get started in June. Until the action starts we're just going to be stuck with endless speculation and previews, and we probably love all this pre-match hype more than the actual games themselves!

We've teamed up with the guys at Betfair to see who you should all be looking out for on the pitch - these guys will add some 'bite' to the proceedings...


US international Landon Donovan has said that he could be making a permanent switch to the Brazilian league to continue his career, but has also said that such a possibility appears remote.

Donovan is regarded as one of the finest players for the US national team, but he is slowly coming to the end of his career. He has had several loans spells in recent times, with Everton being the most successful destination of all. However, many feel that he has not fulfilled his talent, which is obvious.


In the past few weeks Lionel Messi has been bombarded with rumors concerning his unhappiness in Barcelona as it was reported that the Argentinean wanted to have an increase in his salary and desired a renewed contract as the Brazilian Neymar who arrived some months ago to the Spanish team one of the biggest salaries.

Some weeks later, it was believed that Messi had a dispute with the vice-president Javier Faus after being denied with an improved contract and deal.

"Faus is a person who does not know anything about football," Messi told RAC1.

"He tries to run Barcelona like a business, but this is a football club. Barcelona are the best club in the world and should also have the best directors in the world’’.
Messi also shut down claims about him wanting to have a renewed contract as the Argentinean superstar said that it was nothing but rumors as he has never asked for a new contract with the team or any of his representatives.


Landon Donovan recently took a year-long sabbatical in order to get over his burnout issue. The striker had been playing continuously for the last few years, which had been affecting his quality.

He has only recently returned to first team action, but US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has said that the LA Galaxy star should consider playing at a European club during the MLS off-season in order to retain his fitness levels. This will be the World Cup year and the US are expected to be part of it. There is a lot of competition for places in the US national team.


AC Milan have not made any huge signings in this transfer window. Andrea Poli and Riccardo Saponara are the two players brought in to the club during the summer.

Despite the lack of transfer activity, Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri remains confident that the team will be able to achieve a good season. He has said that the players could benefit from playing as a team. He is in favour of this tactic over bringing in a big-money signing, although this could be largely down to the financial difficulties faced by Milan in the last few years.

This has forced them to sell the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kaka. Even though they have brought in the likes of Mario Balotelli, the team looks understrength when compared with the likes of Juventus, who have won the title in the last two seasons.