Tuesday, May 30, 2006

World Cup Spotlight: Argentina

We've been here before . . . . In the 2002 World Cup Argentina found themselves in the so-called Group of Death and never made it out of the first round. They beat the impressive Super Eagles of Nigeria 1-0, lost to their bitter rivals England 1-0, and then tied with Sweden 1-1. The disappointing boot out of the tournament was a major shock for the team and country, and the heartache has continued to haunt the South Americans for four long years. Argentina has something to prove this time around. Only problem is, they're facing death again.

Like many of the teams competing in World Cup 2006, Argentina has been plagued with injuries--aging defender Roberto Ayala and eighteen-year old striker Lionel Messi in particular. Kid dynamo Messi has been out of commission since early March with a hamstring injury he received during the second-leg of a Barcelona-Chelsea Champions League match. But if Messi is healthy and focused (this will be his first World Cup) . . . watch out. With Messi and Chelsea-man Hernan Crespo hunting for goals up front, Juan Roman Riquelme (the introspective Villarreal tactician) methodically designing play in the midfield, and the tempestuous Juan Pablo Sorin (another Villarreal man) controlling the back-line, all that talent and their quest for redemption (albeit a humble crusade for a change) may be enough to help Argentina squeak into the round of sixteen. Just don't tell their Group of Death mates the Netherlands, Cote d'Ivoire, or Serbia and Montenegro.

2 comments:

Striker said...

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Derek said...

You've got a nice site as well for all things La Liga.

And we appreciate the kind words! Thanks.