Brazil’s Augusto, Gil sing praises of Chinese football

Rio de Janeiro, March 22 (IANS) Renato Augusto and Gil have praised the quality of football in China, predicting more top Brazilian players will follow their footsteps by joining Chinese clubs in the near future.

The duo have been included by coach Dunga in Brazil’s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay, reports Xinhua.

Gil on Monday said he is feeling as sharp as ever after joining Shandong Luneng from Corinthians in January.

“Those who know me know how hard I work,” the 28-year-old central defender said. “I didn’t go to China to retire. I continue to play with the same seriousness.”

Augusto, who also left Corinthians to join Beijing Guoan in January, is determined to show his worth to the national team in the coming days.

“I didn’t go to China for holiday,” he said. “I am working hard on my fitness and I’m feeling fit. I’ll be ready if Dunga calls on me.

“Chinese football is only going to get stronger. I arrived there and was positively surprised by the level. It’s a high level and it will only get better. Don’t be surprised if other players based in China get called up to play for Brazil.”

Brazil’s squad gathered at their Granja Comary base in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janeiro on Monday.

The Selecao will play Uruguay in Recife on March 25 before facing Paraguay in Asuncion four days later.

Dunga’s side is currently third in the South American zone World Cup qualifying standings with seven points from four matches. Ecuador lead with with 12 points, three points ahead of second-placed Uruguay.

Ajax coach suffers rupture in Achilles tendon during training

Amsterdam, March 22 (IANS) Dutch football great and AFC Ajax’s head coach Frank de Boer has suffered a torn Achilles tendon in his right leg, while playing a “foot volley” game in training here.

The 45-year-old coach on Monday suffered the injury when he was struggling to retrieve a ball, as he fell and could not move without the help of his assistants, reports Efe.

De Boer, whose team won the last Eredivisie game against rival PSV Eindhoven, will undergo an emergency surgery and could be absent in the match against PEC Zwolle on April 3.

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