As I keep on writing the basketball world championships preview (it’ll soon be ready) and I’m yet to start an article about the coming Apertura Tournament, here are a few pieces of news about Argentina.
NO BAFANA-BAFANA THIS TIME:
The friendly match against South Africa, originally scheduled for August 15th, then postponed, then scheduled again was officially cancelled. That decision came due to a lack of time to organise it. As BASILE is prepared to take over in Argentina, Carlos Alberto PARREIRA, Brazil’s manager in USA 94 and Germany 2006 have signed a pre-contract with the South African FA and will most probably become the manager of the host of the next World Cup.
In the agenda there is a visit to Europe OR the USA for two friendly matches in September. No rival has been confirmed yet.
BASILE IS NEXT, BUT WHEN?
A great controversy is on the menu these days between Boca Juniors and the AFA. BASILE feels he is in between the devil and the deep blue sea as his club, with which he has a contract until December, and the AFA continue to argue regarding the right time for BASILE to make the transition. The AFA want him immediately, while Boca Juniors feel they have not time to look for another manager with the Apertura tournament around the corner. They will even consider to ask the AFA for a postponement of their first couple of matches of that tournament if they can’t find a solution.
“I WISH I COULD PLAY WITH TEVEZ AND KUN”
In an interview published this Friday by OLE (a sports newspaper from Buenos Aires), Lionel MESSI said he is still sorry for playing little time in Germany. He also said he can’t wait for the season to get started with FC Barcelona and that he would love to play for Argentina alongside his friend Sergio “KUN” AGÜERO. MESSI said: “Football is more beautiful when you play it short passes. I know BASILE has an attacking mentality and I love that.”
A RABBITT STAYING IN BARCELONA?
MESSI could have another co-countryman playing in his club after the departure of Maxi LOPEZ (now playing at Mallorca). Javier SAVIOLA is yet to find a club who want to buy him and he is training with Catalan club. Txiki BEGIRISTAIN, an important directive in Barcelona, said that if by the 31st of July, SAVIOLA didn’t find a club to play for, he will stay and he will probably play some minutes this season. He will have a tough competition for places with the likes of RONALDINHO, MESSI, ETO’O, EZQUERRO, GIULY and GUDJOHNSEN ahead of him in the pecking order.
SORIN MOVING TO ENGLAND?
Bolton Wanderers and Villarreal reached an agreement on Argentina’s skipper Juan Pablo SORIN. It is yet to be determined if the English club can pay what SORIN is asking. If the deal comes through, it will be SORIN’s sixth different country in his career after playing in Argentina, Italy, Spain, Brazil and France.
UNOFFICIAL DEBUT FOR ABBONDANZIERI
Argentina’s goalkeeper during the last World Cup have played in a friendly match for his new club Getafe. They have won 3-2 against the little club Gimnástica Segoviana. Alongside PATO ABBONDANZIERI, Lucas LITCH ex Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata in Argentina, also made his debut for Getafe.
ARGENTINA WINS FIRST FRIENDLY
With all the key players taking part of the match, Argentina defeated Venezuela 96-82 at Mar del Plata. It was the first friendly in the preparation for the World Championships in Japan (starting on August 19th against France). Manu GINOBILI scored 20 points and the crowd was really excited to see the Olympic Champions in action for the first time in Argentina after that incredible victory in Athens 2004.
This weekend Argentina will play a friendly Super-4 tournament with Brazil, New Zeland and Venezuela.