Hi there, it’s been incredibly busy for me during the last couple of weeks. I hope you are still visiting and standing by.
Our friendly against Brazil is around the corner now. COCO is in England and so are a lot of the players he has called up to begin his second era as Argentina manager.
For me it’ll be a special occasion because when Argentina and Brazil will be playing at the Emirates Stadium in London, I’ll be on “enemy’s territory”!!! Yes, because of job-related issues, I’ll be watching the match somewhere in the city of Rio de Janeiro!
It’ll be quite an experience and I’ll try to survive if we manage to win! haha!
Will let you know how it goes and will hopefully upload some pictures.
A lot is going on these days, so here are some brief news about football and basketball:
INJURIES, INJURIES AND MORE INJURIES
Poor old COCO BASILE will have some problems to field his favourite eleven, even from those players he chose for this special occasion.
Maxi RODRIGUEZ won’t make the trip to London. He got injured and he is being treated by Atletico de Madrid’s staff.
Juan Roman RIQUELME is also having some troubles. He sprained his ankle during training with Villarreal and he is a major doubt.
Cesar DELGADO, who plays for Cruz Azul, also missed the trip to London because of a minor injury.
That added to a complicated week Carlos TEVEZ and Javier MASCHERANO are living, it could lead to up to 4 World Cup stars out for Sunday.
However, the ex Corinthians duo are believed to have signed a contract with West Ham United and if everthing goes right they could be performing against Brazil.
COCO IS CONFIDENT
Moments before departing from Buenos Aires on his way to London, Alfio BASILE said: “I want to score 4 on them and I want to keep a clean sheet”.
“It’s not much you can do with such a little time to work with the players”, he added. “We’ll focus on the dead ball situation and I’ll talk to the players about where I want them to be positioned. Not much else. But my main goal is for our team to pass the ball around”.
Being asked about having many short players he replied: “I like players who know how to play. And they play brilliant football that’s why I like them”.
PROBABLE TEAM TO FACE BRAZIL
PONZIO or ZABALETA (at right back)
Gabriel MILITO and Walter SAMUEL (as central defenders, with a chance for Fabricio FUENTES and Fabricio COLOCCINI there)
Clemente RODRIGUEZ (at left back)
Javier MASCHERANO (if he plays) or Leandro SOMOZA (at central midfield)
Lucho GONZALEZ and Federico INSUA (right and left midfield)
Juan Roman RIQUELME (playmaker behind the striking partnership). If RIQUELME sits out of the game, then INSUA will become the playmaker and Daniel BILOS will play on the left hand side of the midfield.
Carlos TEVEZ (if he doesn’t play, it’ll be KUN AGÜERO’s or Javier SAVIOLA’s place)
Apart from the mentioned TEVEZ and MASCHERANO’s move to West Ham United, there are other Argentina stars changing teams.
Leandro CUFRE has joined AC Monaco from AC Roma.
Juan Pablo SORIN will play in Germany (his sixth league in different countries). He’ll have the chance to show Coco BASILE what he can give to Argentina by playing for Hamburg in both, the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
Fabricio FUENTES. One of the central defenders that will surely make his debut for Argentina on Sunday against Brazil has secured a move to Villarreal from Atlas, Mexico. He becomes the seventh argentine playing for the Yellow Submarine.
Javier SAVIOLA will finally stay at FC Barcelona. He decided that he will fight for a place in the team, despite starting out behind Eto’o, Messi, Ronaldinho, Gudjohnsen, Giuly and Esquerro in the pecking order.
Roberto AYALA is determined to leave Valencia and he could move to Real Madrid or Villarreal. That is yet to be decided.
ESPAÑA IN OUR WAY TO THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FINALS
Tomorrow morning (according to the Argentine timezone), the Olympic Champions will take on the impressive Spain for a place in the basketball world championships finals in Japan.
OK, history is on their side. We have a record of 2 wins and 16 defeats against in our overall head-to-head encounters. And we have defeated them for the last time 12 years ago!
Both teams are undefeated (7-0) and they know each other very well. The key for Argentina will be to impossed the rythm of the game and use the experience gained over the last four years with a second place in Indianapolis 2002 and the Olympic Gold.
Spain could fall into their typical disappointment (like they do over and over again in football) and never lived up to the expectations created. And Argentina could again raise to the occasion (like when we defeated Team USA at the Worlds and Olympic tournaments) against all odds.