Friday's World Cup round-up - New BBC column

South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena says his side will have no nerves when they walk out in front of an expectant 85,000-strong home crowd at the Soccer City stadium for their World Cup opener against Mexico on Friday.
Mokoena recently became the first South African to earn 100 caps
"We are looking forward to the game," said Mokoena. "We've been through the feelings of how it's going to be.
"It's going to be important that we go out relaxed, but of course not too relaxed, and enjoy it.
"It's about us, it's about what we want and about making our country proud. The moment of truth has arrived."

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and South African healer Bishop Isaac Nonyane have pooled resources in a bid to get injury-plagued Australia winger Harry Kewell fit for the World Cup.
An injury to Kewell's groin has dominated Australia's build-up to the tournament, with coach Pim Verbeek desperate to have his key forward fit for Sunday's opener against Germany. 
Subsequently, Rudd offered a goodwill greeting on Friday at the insistence of Nonyane, who said the prime minister's best wishes would oust the "malicious spirits" plaguing the striker. 

France captain Patrice Evra believes a tough start to his career in England with Manchester United has been crucial in preparing him to lead his country out during the World Cup.
Evra, who endured a difficult six months after joining United from Monaco in January 2006 but has since blossomed into one of the best left-backs in the world, has been given the armband for his country with previous incumbent Thierry Henry likely to start on the bench during the tournament.
"It's difficult to talk about oneself," said Evra. "I've put in some hard work to get to this point - I haven't had any gifts given to me. I am determined.
"My first six months in Manchester were difficult but I believed in myself and my abilities and I think that is what makes a difference. I think my psychology helped me build and develop my career."

South Africa is ready to stage a "Ferrari" of a World Cup, according to Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke.
"If you compare, if you take the number of stadiums we got in the past World Cups and the number of great stadiums we have here in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, definitely South Africa is above all the countries," he said. 
"South Africa is a new benchmark in the organisation of the World Cup. 
"But now the main question is, it's great to have the nicest car, it's great to have the latest Ferrari in your hands, but you need to know how to drive it, and that's where we are." 

Lionel Messi's Argentina team-mates have been keen to ease the weight of expectation on the diminutive playmaker ahead of this weekend's World Cup opener against Nigeria.
The 22-year-old reigning Fifa world player of the year looks certain to be the centre of attention in South Africa.

But veteran midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron said: "He (Messi) is feeling well and is eager to have a great World Cup, but I don't think it's right to make him responsible for everything that can happen in the World Cup.
"There are 23 players in the squad with the everybody sharing the responsibility."

Uruguayan Diego Forlan hopes to use the World Cup as a means to secure a move back to the Premier League.
Diego Forland took 27 games to score his first goal for Manchester United
The former Manchester United striker endured a difficult time during his first spell in England between 2002 and 2004 where it took him 27 games to score his first goal, but he has since rebuilt his reputation as a prolific goalscorer in Spain with Atletico Madrid. 
"If a big chance to return to England came up, I would have to look at it," said Forlan. "I loved my time in English football - the people, the fans, the football, everything." 

USA defender Oguchi Onyewu has said his team will pose England problems in their opening match of the World Cup on Saturday.
"Against any team, we can compete and get a result. We have proven that in the last few years," he said.
"The USA are not a world power but can cause trouble to any team on any given day."

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has read out a morale-boosting message from England manager Fabio Capello to troops in Afghanistan.
"While the players receive incredible support from the country, as we are about to kick off in the World Cup, it's important you know how much all your efforts mean to all the players and staff with the England team," Capello said. 

"Your brave service to your country means so much to the players and we all have complete respect for the incredible sacrifices that you and your families have made."