Sports Mole's live news coverage from day 25 of the World Cup in Brazil.
By Jack Prescott, Rugby Editor Filed: Monday, July 7, 2014 at 13:59 UK
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 17:22 UK
Welcome to Sports Mole's live news coverage from day 25 of the World Cup.
We will be bringing you all of the latest news and gossip from Brazil as the tournament reaches the semi-finals.
The action continues on Tuesday with the hosts taking on Germany, while the Netherlands meet Argentina on Wednesday.
2.01pmAfternoon all! Pascal Lemesre here for an hour until Jack's back from his break at 3.
2.03pmIt's a sad state of affairs knowing that there are only four games left to play at the tournament, but we will be with you for the next few hours with all of the latest news and gossip coming out of Brazil. The semi-finals start on Tuesday with the hosts taking on Germany, while the Netherlands play Argentina on Wednesday. However, let's start things off by taking a look at some of the headlines from overnight...
2.17pmOne of the biggest blows for Argentina is the loss of Angel di Maria. One of the form players going into the tournament, the Real Madrid man hasn't been at his best, but his absence will be felt. However, the Albiceleste are able to welcome back Manchester City man Sergio Aguero.
2.59pmHe may have been criticised by some for his stuttering, broken-English punditry on ITV, but Fabio Cannavaro could be landing himself a big new job as Real Madrid's assistant coach next season. More here.
3.01pmAnyway, time for me to have my lunch break so I'll be passing you back to Jack for the next few hours. Over to you JP...
3.07pmThank you, Pascal. Right, let's start off with some news from the Germany camp. Coach Joachim Low has promised to give Brazil a "real fight" when the two teams meet in the semi-finals tomorrow evening. Strong words...
3.20pmMore from that man Low now, with the Germany coach wishing Neymar a speedy recovery following the news that Brazil's talisman will be sidelines for the rest of the tournament. He's probably smirking deep down.
3.35pmBrazil defender David Luiz has praised Germany ahead of Tuesday's World Cup semi-final between the teams. The two nations face off in Belo Horizonte tomorrow night with a place in Sunday's final at stake.
3.54pmAhead of the Netherlands's semi-final with Argentina on Tuesday, it's always worth revisiting this stunning goal from Dennis Bergkamp back in 1998. Still gets the hairs standing on the back of one's neck to this day...
4.08pmSpeaking of Wednesday's semi-final encounter between the Netherlands and Argentina, why not check out our preview for the game? You can find it right here.
4.22pmFormer Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann has insisted that the current team can still improve at the World Cup. Die Mannschaft have the chance to reach their first final since 2002 on Tuesday when they play hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
4.35pmDavid Luiz has insisted that he is ready to captain Brazil for their World Cup semi-final against Germany on Tuesday. The defender is expected to lead the team in the absence of Thiago Silva, who is suspended for the encounter in Belo Horizonte.
4.40pmSpeaking of David Luiz, let's take a look at that rip-roaring free kick that he scored against Colombia one more time. Say what you will about the shaggy-haired defender, but he certainly knows how to find the top corner.
4.43pmBREAKING NEWS: Some really sad news coming out of the footballing world now with Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano having passed away at the age of 88. You can read more about that breaking story here.
4.55pmNigeria defender Elderson Echiejile has recovered from the muscle injury that ruled him out of the World Cup. The 26-year-old was expected to be part of the Super Eagles squad out in Brazil before suffering a muscle tear during a pre-tournament friendly with Greece.
5.10pmHoward Webb is one of 15 referees who have been retained by FIFA for the remainder of the World Cup. The 42-year-old Yorkshireman has taken charge of two matches so far at the tournament.
5.24pmBrazil have failed with their appeal to overturn captain Thiago Silva's yellow card against Colombia. As a result, the defender will now miss his team's World Cup semi-final against Germany on Tuesday.
5.38pmFIFA have confirmed that Colombia's Juan Camilo Zuniga will face no punishment for his challenge that ruled Neymar out of the World Cup. As with the previous news about Thiago Silva's yellow card being upheld, that's sure to go down well with the host nation...
6.00pmFormer Germany international Dietmar Hamann has claimed that the absence of Neymar will force Brazil to prove that they are not just a one-man team. With the Germans up next for the host nation in the semi-finals of the World Cup, Hamann has questioned whether they will be able to cope with the loss of the 22-year-old.
6.09pmFIFA president Sepp Blatter is among a number of figures from the world of football to have paid tribute to Alfredo Di Stefano following the Real Madrid legend's passing at the age of 88:
Sad to learn of Di Stefano's passing, the most complete player I've seen. My favourite player. A legend is gone. RIP pic.twitter.com/DilI05SyEI
6.22pmCeltic goalkeeper Fraser Forster has insisted that he "learned a lot" from being part of the England squad at the World Cup despite the team's early exit. Forster won his second senior cap during a warm-up game against Honduras, though he failed to make an appearances at the tournament itself as the Three Lions went out at the group stage.
6.35pmA bit of transfer news now with something of a tenuous World Cup link. Former England defender Ashley Cole has joined Roma, signing a two-year contract with the Serie A club. You can read more about the veteran full-back's move to Italy here.
6.48pmGermany coach Joachim Low has expressed his excitement ahead of his team's World Cup semi-final against Brazil. The two footballing giants meet in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday night with the winner facing either the Netherlands or Argentina in Sunday's final.
6.56pmThought that too many players have been getting away with fouls at the World Cup? Well, FIFA have denied claims that referees at the World Cup have been told to be lenient with yellow and red cards in order to make matches more entertaining.
6.58pmThat's all from me for now, but I'm pleased to say that Mark Langshaw will be with you through until 10pm with all of the latest news and gossip from Brazil. Enjoy!
7.01pmMany thanks, Jack. I'll be with you until 10pm this evening as we look ahead to this week's semi-final matches, with hosts Brazil taking on Germany tomorrow and the Netherlands facing Argentina on Wednesday. We'll also bring you all the latest news and gossip from Brazil.
7.15pmOutgoing Algeria manager Vahid Halilhodzic has hit out at sections of the media after announcing his departure as national team coach, claiming that some journalists made life difficult for him and his family.
7.53pmGermany ace Bastian Schweinsteiger had a few choice words to say about Brazil's tackling during this tournament, but he insists that he has nothing but respect for Luiz Felipe Scolari and his assistant Carlos Alberto Parreira.
8.06pmMore on Brazil's semi-final showdown with Germany now as Willian has insisted that he should not be compared to Neymar despite being tipped to deputise for the injured Barcelona ace in the last-four clash.
8.09pmAnd a piece of transfer news with tenuous links to the World Cup has broken as evidence suggests that Barcelona have already begun selling Luis Suarez shirts.
8.35pmFormer Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton was due to commentate on the World Cup for Irish channel RTE, but reports suggest that he was flown home to be treated for hypertension. We wish him a speedy recovery.
8.55pmA lot has been made of Neymar's absence for tomorrow evening's game, but one man who believes that it will not phase Brazil is former Middlesbrough star Juninho, who claims that his country has enough quality to overcome the Germans.
9.12pmCosta Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas has been one of the stars of the tournament, and Everton legend Neville Southall believes that his fellow shot stopper would be well suited to the English Premier League.
9.33pmNetherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul has warned Argentina that he is doing his homework on their penalty takers ahead of the semi-final between the two nations. We can expect mind games aplenty if that one goes the distance.
9.52pmArgentina defender Pablo Zabaleta believes that the national team's travelling supporters have help spur his side on to the semi-finals of the tournament, hailing them as "fantastic".
9.55pmBefore I clock off for the evening, I'd like to remind you that you can check out our preview of Brazil's semi-final clash with Germany here, and an advance look at Argentina vs Netherlands here.
9.57pmAnd that brings our live World Cup coverage to a close for another evening, but be sure to join Sports Mole tomorrow for live coverage of Brazil vs Germany and news updates from the Brazil throughout the day. Goodnight all!