After a quiet time with virtually no activity around our national team suddenly we´ve got plenty to talk about in this Copa America year.
We´ve got a new squad to analise, hot newcomers like Fernando GAGO and an “old” symbol, like Javier ZANETTI, recalled after being ignored by PEKERMAN.
But the hottest news, in my opinion, have to be the choice Gonzalo HIGUAIN have just made.
I must confess that I didn´t think of him as a great prospect for the future when I first saw him playing. Let alone a reality of a world class striker he is becoming now, before he even turned 20, plying his trade in Real Madrid and now with less competition as RONALDO is heading for AC Milan.
Tonight we have a crucial game that somehow is really linked with HIGUAIN. Our U20 Albiceleste will be facing Colombia and we need to win to keep alive our chances of qualifying for Beijing 2008. A tournament that could mean the first important competition in which PIPITA could show the World (and the Argentina supporter in particular) what he could bring to the table.
So we´ll be following closely our match against Colombia and in three days the all-important game against Uruguay.
If we win both, we´ve got every chance of ending as one of the best two teams in the tournament and hence qualify for the Olympics.
The situation got a little worrying after we drew with Chile as we are now tied in 5 points with them and Brazil, trailing the leader Uruguay (7 pts). But both Chile and Brazil have a better goal difference and so we need to end the tournament with more points than them or else we could suffer big time.
Good news is that Uruguay and Chile are facing each other tonight so one of them will lose points (maybe both if they draw).
And the fact that we still have to play Uruguay is also encouraging.
Brazil look as favourite now as they have to face Paraguay (lost 2, won 1) and Colombia (lost 3) in their final two matches.
Another thing that worry our national team are the suspension of captain Matias CAHAIS and the injury picked up by star midfielder Ever BANEGA (already being tipped to be Fernando GAGO´s successor in Boca).
We´ll talk more about the senior team and the friendly against France in February in the coming days but right now I think the most important thing is to guarantee our ticket to Beijing 2008 so we can see MESSI, KUN, PIPITA and many more (plus the 3 over-aged players that COCO will be able to pick) to try and get our second Olympic gold medal in a row. And keep Brazil from winning the only major competition they are missing (because we´ve got every one of them and they hate that!).