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Top Five: Lionel Messi fails

The Toe Poke 38 minutes ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 4, 2006

Olisadebe throws in towel on World Cup chances

WARSAW, April 4 (Reuters) - Nigerian-born striker Emmanuel Olisadebe has given up hope of a place in Poland's World Cup squad four years after he was Europe's top scorer in the national team's advance to the 2002 finals.

'I've stopped dreaming about the finals,' Olisadebe told Polish tabloid daily Fakt. 'It's straightforward - I know that I'm not going to Germany. I thought I could make it if I played in the English league, but I haven't even had the chance.'

Olisadebe was fast-tracked to Polish citizenship and scored eight goals in Poland's qualification for the finals in Japan and South Korea in 2002.

He has been plagued by knee trouble since and spent most of this season on the bench with his club Portsmouth. Despite regular call-ups, the 27-year-old has played just twice for the national team in three years.