The Argentine football association has announced the backroom staff who will assist new head coach José Néstor Pekerman.

Alex Hough

Hugo Tocalli will take over as assistant manager to Pekerman, having previously held position of youth team coach. Néstor Lorenzo – a man best remembered as a member of Argentina’s Italia 90 team – is Pekerman’s third-in-command. Eduardo Urtasún and Gerardo Salorio will be fitness coaches, and Donato Villani keeps his job as team doctor.

The youth teams will all be led by the same man, MiguelAngel Tojo – previously Tocalli’s technical assistant – but who now takes charge of the Under 15’s, Under 17’s and the Under 20’s.

The first test for Argentina’s new set-up will be the home game against Uruguay on the 10th October in the latest round of qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Following the successes of Marcelo Bielsa, who resigned last month, the opening two games for Pekerman and his new set-up next week will be critical.

Argentina are already being touted as favourites for the World Cup, and have garnered praise from all quarters for the attractive football that won them the Olympic Gold, and saw them come just 30 seconds from glory in the Copa America.

The historic Brazilian stadium the Maracanã will be modernized, with the 2014 World Cup in view. The biggest, and arguably the most famous football stadium in world football, has come under increasing criticism over the last decade, after architects deemed the 200,000 capacity shrine to football as unsafe.

The work will begin in 2005 in readiness for the 2007 Pan-American Games, but with the ultimate goal of being the Final venue for the 2014 World Cup.

The project will begin with 15m dollars investment presented by the Rio de Janeiro State Government.

Brazil was unanimously voted as South America’s representative to host the World Cup in 2003 by the delegates of the South American football federation, CONMEBOL.

In order to complete the works on the Rio stadium, it will have to be close between April and June next year. As part of the works, 20,000 seats will be installed to replace standing areas, in line with FIFA requirements. However, to guarantee visibility, the pitch will have to be lowered by almost 1.5metres

Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Rosinha Matheus assured that the project would lead to the Maracanã becoming one of the “most modern stadiums in the world, attending to the needs of comfort and security for the supporters.”

Extra works included in the project will see the car park expanded by 2,200 spaces.

The Maracanã was constructed originally for the 1950 World Cup, in which Brazil lost to Uruguay in the final.

Venezuelan striker Juan García has broken the record for the number of goals scored in the Venezuelan league.

On Sunday García scored the 200th goal of his league career for current side Mineros de Guayana, and in doing so became his country’s highest league scorer ever.

García, 34 years old, scored 2 goals in Guayana’s victory to reach that historic figure, having scored his first goal back in 1988. The veteran was subsequently called up by the Venezuelan national team to face Brazil and Ecuador, due to an injury to Rafael Castellín.

In the course of his 16 year professional career, in spells with Caracas, Nacional de Táchira, and twice with current side Mineros, García has been crowned top goalscorer in Venezuela on four occasions,.

His record does not include goals scored in the Venezuelan Cup or the South American club championships, the Libertadores and Merconorte. García has also scored 26 goals to date for Venezuela, and has scored Venezuela’s only
goal against Brazil so far in the World Cup qualifiers, back in 1993.