World Cup news – day 1…

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Andriy Shevchenko scored on his comeback from a knee injury last night as Ukraine beat Luxembourg 3-0 in their final warm-up match before the tournament. Chelsea’s record signing came on for the last 30 minutes of the game and looked to have suffered no ill effects from the injury that kept him out of the end of the Serie A season with former club AC Milan.

Germany will open the tournament this afternoon without captain Michael Ballack. Chelsea’s other ‘name’ signing of the summer suffered a calf injury in the friendly against Colombia last week and has not trained since. Robert Huth, expected to complete his move to Middlesbrough within the next few days, should make the bench for the hosts.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called for Europe’s top leagues to be reduced to 18 teams in order to allow more time for international games. FIFA’s European congress has proposed that the change be made for the 2007-8 season. The proposal, which would affect England, France, Italy and Spain has been dismissed by the Premier League.