Di Stefano faces injunction
Real Madrid great Alfredo di Stefano’s five children have filed an injunction to prevent their 86-year-old father marrying a Costa Rican woman 50 years his junior. One of the greatest players of all time, Argentina-born Di Stefano told El Mundo at the weekend he planned to wed 36-year-old Gina Gonzalez “because I want to and I have been a widower for eight years.” Di Stefano, now honorary Real president, acknowledged his children might be against the marriage, and they have filed papers at a Madrid court to have him declared mentally and physically incapable. They also want to protect his assets, according to a statement from the five children carried in local media. “We believe his current state of vulnerability, together with his obvious media profile, could result in abusive conduct toward him,” the statement said. “It is precisely this that we intend to avert by means of the legal protection we are seeking, while at the same time trying to protect the image and honor, both of our father and, in general, of our family.” Known as La Saeta Rubia (the blond arrow), his achievements as a player helped turn Real, whom he joined in 1953, into one of the world’s leading sides. He guided them to five successive European Cups between 1955-1956 and 1959-1960, scoring in each of the finals.
Maracana test canceled
Brazil will be exploring untested ground when they host England in a friendly at the newly refurbished Maracana next month. A test event scheduled for May 15 at the giant stadium, venue for the Confederations Cup next month and the World Cup next year, was canceled by the Rio de Janeiro government on Tuesday. When the venue was officially reopened at the end of April, four months behind schedule, it functioned at only 30 percent of its capabilities, only two entrances were used and it still resembled a building site on the outside. The June 2 match against England, when the stadium will be open to its new full capacity of 78,000, will be the only test before it hosts three matches during the June 15 to June 30 Confederations Cup.
Gerrard to go under the knife
Steven Gerrard will undergo surgery on his left shoulder this week, ruling him out of Liverpool’s final two games of the Premier League season and England’s upcoming friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil. “The captain’s injury has progressively worsened in recent weeks and requires an operation to cure it,” Liverpool said on Tuesday, adding that Gerrard should be fit for the start of pre-season training. Liverpool’s final two league games are against Fulham on Sunday and Queens Park Rangers on May 19. England coach Roy Hodgson must find a new captain for the home friendly against the Republic of Ireland on May 29 and the trip to play Brazil on June 2. The 33-year-old has been playing through the injury, starting in every league game this season. He has missed only 17 minutes — when he was substituted against Newcastle United in the 6-0 win last month.
Coupe semi-final postponed
The Coupe de France semi-final scheduled for Tuesday between ES Troyes AC and Girondins de Bordeaux was postponed due to the risk of flooding, the French soccer federation said. Troyes is situated in the Aube department, one of three in the Champagne-Ardenne region issued with a weather warning on Tuesday. The rearranged fixture is to be played on May 14.