Nigeria football enthusiasts looking forward to seeing top Argentine stars in action for the June International friendly against the Eagles, would have to settle for less as Argentina will field a B string team at the National Stadium Abuja.
The players chosen by coach Sergio Bastista for the June 1 cracker are mostly under-25 players based in Europe. They are been given the chance to prove themselves worthy being in the Argentine team for the Copa America. Some of the players are making their international debut.
The organisers of the international had made Nigerians fans believe that top performers like Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel D' Maria, Javier Mascherano, Carlos Tevez and others would be coming. However, according to Argentine Football officials they attach much importance to the game as it would help their players and their preparation for the Copa America.
On the other hand Eagles coach Samson Siasia stated that he was looking forward to the match. This is because in all his encounter with the Argentines he had been on the losing side as a player and a coach.
" It is going to be a very serious match and we need good preparation. It is going to be a big challenge and I like big challenges," Siasia said.
South Africa-based former international Mohammed Lawal noted that the match could be a dicey for the Eagles notwithstanding the calibre of players coming. He urged the Eagles to be focused on beating the Argentines not matter what team they are bringing.
" What is important is that we play to win no matter which team they bring. Because this will boost the confidence of the players."
Oscar USTARI (Getafe)
Augustin MARCHESIN (Lanús)
Mateo MUSACCHIO (Villarreal)
Nicolas OTAMENDI (Porto)
Ezequiel GARAY (Real Madrid)
Pablo ZABALETA (Manchester City)
Marcos ANGELERI (Sunderland)
Federico FAZIO (Sevilla)
Emiliano INSUA (Galatasaray)
Tino COSTA (Valencia)
Nicolas BERTOLO (Zaragoza)
Mario BOLATTI (Internacional)
Fernando BELLUSCHI (Porto)
Alejandro CABRAL (Legia Varsovia)
Diego PEROTTI (Sevilla)
Mauro FORMICA (Blackburn)
Pablo PIATTI (Almería)
Marco RUBEN (Villarreal)
Jonathan CRISTALDO (FC Metalist Kharkiv)
Nicolas GAITAN (Benfica)
Messi will be better than Maradona, Pele - Ardiles
World Cup winning player Osvaldo Ardiles has stated that Lionel Messi will be the best ever.
"I think there is only one player you can compare with Messi and that is Diego Maradona, and in many ways they are very similar."
"For some time I thought that Diego could never be surpassed, and nor could Pele, but no longer. I would now say that Messi will go down in history as the number one player of all time, the best that there ever was.
"The big difference is that Maradona played in Argentina, then in Italy, while Pele stayed in Brazil, and during their time the pressures were less intense than they are now.
"Messi is under pressure all the time, and has to play in incredibly high-intensity games all of the time, the Champions League being the perfect example.
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