Tributes to former Japan international Matsuda, dead at 34

Japanese football has been paying tribute to former international defender Naoki Matsuda who has died at the age of 34 after to recover conciousness following a heart attack during training.

Matsuda, who played 40 times for Japan, collapsed on Tuesday following a 15-minute run during training with Matsumoto Yamaga, a team in the Japan Football League, the third tier of Japanese football.

“I can’t believe it,” said former Shunsuke Nakamura, a former team-mate at Yokohama. “He was dynamic in every aspect and he was a kind of big brother for everyone in a positive sense.”

Quote of the day: Josep Guardiola

“I am not surprised by Chivas’s performance. Mexican football is very dynamic and entertaining.”

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was the first to praise Mexican football after his side were beaten 4-1 by Chivas in a friendly last night.

Goal of the day: Marco Fabian, Chivas

Marco Fabian’s second goal for Chivas against Barcelona last night.

Deal of the day: Oriol Romeu, Barcelona to Chelsea

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed the signing of Spanish Under-20 midfielder Oriol Romeu from Barcelona, although no fee was disclosed.

Romeu has yet to agree personal terms but Villas-Boas said Romeu, who is currently in Colombia at the Under-20 World Cup, was “one of the most interesting, bright young players in the number six position”.

Prevosto sacked by FFF, deal done with Domenech

A busy day at the French Football Federation, where deputy director general Andre Prevosto, has been sacked and a compensation agreement has been agreed with former national coach Raymond Domenech.

“I no longer wished to continue working with Mr. Prevosto so we have offered him a severance package that will allow him to leave immediately,” said the FFF president Noel Le Graet.

Prevosto, who was in charge of the FFF’s amateur football department, was suspended for six days earlier this year after it was discovered that he had kept recordings of conversations of a meeting between the federation’s top management, including France coach Laurent Blanc, in which they secretly discussed and approved “unofficial discriminatory quotas” to limit the number of black and Arab players.

Domenech will receive 975,000 euros (£846,000) in compensation following his departure as coach last summer. Domenech had demanded 2.9 million euros from an employment tribunal.

New names in Germany squad

Germany coach Joachim Low has called up newcomers Ilkay Guendogan and Marco Reus for next week’s friendly against Brazil while giving a rest to Real Madrid midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.

Guendogan is a 20-year-old midfielder of Turkish background—like Ozil— who moved from Nuremberg to Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Promising 21-year-old Reus from Borussia Monchengladbach is the other uncapped call-up.

Question of the day: Does Uche know what he has let himself in for?

Nigeria forward Kalu Uche has joined Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax from Spanish second-division side Almeria.

Neuchatel say that Uche, who scored two goals for Nigeria at the 2010 World Cu, has signed a two-year contract, but did not disclose the transfer fee.

Neuchatel have attracted headlines for all the wrong reason since Chechen businessman Bulat Chagaev took over the club in May. Coaches and administrative staff have been sacked, forcing fans to purchase hand-written tickets, while Rodrigo Galatto, a Brazilian goalkeeper signed from Malaga, was fired immediately after making his debut.

Neuchatel are currently bottom of the Swiss league after losing their first three matches of the season.

Partizan crash out of Champions League qualifiers

Serbian champions Partizan Belgrade were the major casualties of the Champions League third qualifying round, losing to Belgium’s Genk.

Also out were Dynamo Kiev, beaten by Russia’s Rubin Kazan, and Standard Liege, who lost out to Swiss side Zurich.

Cypriot champions APOEL reached the play-off stages for the first time following their victory over Slovan Bratislava.

Better later than never for Diego

Diego Maradona is scheduled to arrive in Dubai later today to take charge of Al Wasl. He was first announced as Al Wasl’s new coach in May.

Nuno Gomes back in Portugal squad

Veteran striker Nuno Gomes, now aged 35 and playing for Braga, has been called up by Portugal for the first time in almost two years ahead of the friendly against Luxembourg in Faro on August 10.