Argentina talisman Javier MASCHERANO spoke at a press conference on Wednesday.
The assistant captain of the team spoke about his role in the team, the World Cup and much more. Here’s what he had to say:
“ROMERO’s injury is very sensitive, not only on a footballing level but on a human level. He’s been our starting goalkeeper for the past 10 years. These are things in football which could happen. We have to wish GUZMAN the best and move forward.
“We have suffered but there’s optimism from the day the coach took over that he has the trust of the 23 players. Many times football is capricious and incomprehensible. We are aware that a World Cup is not simple but we have to go and compete.
“It’s clear that for me, this is my last chance. Hopefully we can be at the top. The most important thing is to show that Argentina is competitive. I never would have imagined the career I’ve had with Argentina. I know what I can bring and I know what I am missing. My only concern in the past 15 years has been to be at the top.
“We can’t be guided by thoughts that are coming from the outside. We know that there are things we have to improve but that doesn’t have to play against us. With the National Team, you have to constantly go through a test. I’m going to do my best and the coach will decide.
“It’s clear that Argentina have often been in unfavorable conditions against top opponents but it’s been able to bring us forward. It’s a competitive gene which the team has.
“Argentina is always competitive. The Argentine player always has something extra and it’s for that reason he is wanted by many (teams) around the world. The preparation has started early in order to reach the World Cup in the best way possible.
“Everyone who comes to help us is welcome. Pablo (AIMAR) can not only be important for us in the tactical department but also on the human side. It’s essential to build a good group with a good atmosphere. The coach is going to need all 23 players, not just the 11 (starters).
“I’m a soldier. I’m available for when the coach needs me. That’s my role today. I’ve competed my entire life and my job is to make the coach’s job as difficult as possible.
“Argentina’s idea will be to play through possession, to have a structure and to avoid transitions. That’s what 80% of the teams do to hurt you.”