Soccer World Cup - National TeamMonday, June 9, 2014
Argentina travels today
Players decide to remove boastful banner from team base
Lionel Messi and his teammates will arrive today at Belo Horizonte, where the Argentina players decided to remove the a on a gate which read “Welcome future champions.”
The Argentine national team, with the dream of clinching its third World Cup, will travel today to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where it will make its debut, on June 15, against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The players will have their last training session at the country at the Ezeiza facilities at 9am, and after lunch, they will catch a charter flight.
A lot of fans are expected to be cheering up Lionel Messi and his teammates at the AFA facilities and also at the Ministro Pistarini International Airport.
The World Cup starts in two days at the Itaquerão stadium in Sao Paulo, but Alejandro Sabella will have five days to prepare the team and recover the injured players before Argentina’s debut.
On Saturday, in the 11th minute of the friendly match against Slovenia, Lucas Biglia had to be substituted as he crashed with an opponent and suffered an injury, which he said was not serious. Javier Mascherano also had to be replaced as he was hit hardly in his ribs.
Pablo Zabaleta, with a left ankle pain, Gonzalo Higuaín, with a right ankle pain, and Ezequiel Garay, with a muscle pain, did not play the friendlies (against Trinidad and Tobago and Slovenia).
Rodrigo Palacio was who suffered the worst injury. The forward suffered a sprained right ankle during the match against Trinidad and Tobago, while Martín Demichelis had to leave the match due to a right ankle pain.
Argentina will share Group F with Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria.
The players apparently aren’t ready to proclaim themselves as World Cup winners just yet, even though that was the boastful message that was put up at their World Cup base in Brazil.
Argentine media visiting the “Cidade do Galo” (Rooster City) sports compound in Belo Horizonte ahead of the team’s arrival found a triumphalist sign on the gate saying “Welcome future champions.”
Juan Carlos Crespi, an Argentine soccer association official, acknowledged late Saturday it was his idea and that it didn’t go down well with captain Messi and coach Sabella, both modest men.
Their concerns appear to have been duly noted. Photos yesterday by Argentine newspaper Clarín showed the sign had been taken down and replaced by a simple “Welcome.”
Herald with agencies