Materazzi injured

ROME: Marco Materazzi will almost certainly miss Italy’s upcoming game against France with a thigh injury, and could be out for much longer. Italy host France on September 9 and travel to Ukraine four days later in Group B of European Championship qualifier. Materazzi is also expected to miss several games for Inter Milan. The injury could be costly for Italy since defender Alessandro Nesta recently announced his international retirement. Andrea Barzagli will likely replace Materazzi— AP

Ronaldinho Spanish?

MADRID: Ronaldinho will reportedly get Spanish citizenship next Monday, making him eligible to appear for Barcelona as a European Union player. The Brazil forward will swear allegiance to the Spanish Constitution in Barcelona, Catalan sports daily Mundo Deportivo said. In addition, Barcelona’s Mexican forward Giovani Dos Santos is also expected to gain Spanish citizenship. That would leave Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o and Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure as Barcelona’s non-EU players. Spanish clubs are allowed three non-EU players. — AP