Thursday, January 25, 2007


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!).


Seba said...

On a curious note, I would like to explain why Gonzalo HIGUAIN is nicknamed PIPITA.

PIPA is a pipe (those used to smoke).

PIPA is Gonzalo´s father´s nickname.

Jorge HIGUAIN was a tough central defender that played for River Plate and ended up also playing in France (Brest).

It was back then when Gonzalo was born in France.

But the story is about Jorge´s nickname. Big-nosed men in Argentina are called NARIGON (like BILARDO) but some of them could also be referred to as PIPA (for the shape of their noses).

That´s it. Jorge has a big, curved, unique nose that got him the nickname and now his son inherited it.

Same story with Santiago "Indiecito" SOLARI, son of Eduardo "Indio" SOLARI. But I don´t know why they called him INDIO in the first place! :)

andaman said...

Thank you seba. You read my mind cause I was wondering why Gonzalo's nickname is Pipita. I love this blog. You get to know so many other interesting things. It's a good decision he made at choosing Argentina. He's only 19 and still has time to refine more his skills but I like his confidence on the pitch. He seemed so relaxed and unpressured by it all (similar to the feeling you get when watching Messi or Kun, these boys are cool).

Seba said...

Andaman...thank you for your compliments!

On another note, Julio GRONDONA, president of the AFA (Argentine Football Association) said that on March 1, Coco BASILE will submit a list of 24 players and he added that COCO will have no restrictions or limits of any kind.

This comes in the middle of a controversy with several club´s chairmen and managers commenting on how difficult it´ll be for them to release players for the national team during the season (with local league and Copa Libertadores in action).

With this...the AFA president (apparentely) gives COCO a boost for him to call anyone he wants at any time.

BASILE´s idea is to have a group of players to work with during the week starting in March.

He wants to have the chance to be with them, work with them and start passing on his message.

That´s not possible if the players only gather for 3 days before a friendly match.

We´ll see what is what really happens.

I doubt the Argentine clubs will release their key players at any time. I hope I´m wrong.

john said...

South American Under-20 Championship

Great News!!!

Uruguay and Chile drew 1-1. Which means now the whole group is wide open. Can anyone update on what's happening in our match against Colombia?


alwin said...

Hi All,

Argentina Drew 0-0 with Colombia.

Here how the Group lines up

1.Uruguay Pld-4 Pts-7
2.Chile Pld-4 Pts-6
3.Argentina Pld-4 Pts-6
4.Brasil Pld-3 Pts-5
5.Paraguay Pld-3 Pts-3
6.Colombia Pld-4 Pts-1

Looks like Colombia might have just dented our hopes again, initial stage we lost 2-1 to them and now we only got a point when everyone else beat them. The destiny is not fully on our own hands, we need to beat Uruguay by a big margin and hope Paraguay can prevent Chile from winning.


Anonymous said...

Updated table (everyone has played 4 games)

Brazil 8
Uruguay 7
Chile 6
Argentina 6
Paraguay 3
Colombia 1

If we were to beat Uruguay and Chile were to tie or lose to Paraguay I believe that we would be in the World Cup and have a shot at the Olympics regardless of the Brazil v Colombia result. Right? We will also have Cahais back (doesn't he only have a one match suspension?) though we will lose Fazio this time. As long as we focus and organize our attack and get a fair referee I believe that we have a chance. Remember it's not over yet. Vamos Argentina!


Seba said...

Spot on Andaman...

We need to beat Uruguay. That´s the first thing.

Then, any of these results combined with our win will send us to the Olympics.

Colombia beating Brazil.
Paraguay beating Chile.
Paraguay-Chile to draw.

I can´t believe how many chances we´ve missed in the three games we drew in this second round. We should have been already qualified for both tournaments if it wasn´t for that.

And to make us pay a higher price, Brazil scored the winner in the last minute!

It´s not that we need a proper miracle to go to the Olympics, but it is going to take something similar to that!

Anonymous said...

Squueeeee!!!!!!!!!!! We won! You said, Seba, that we needed something close to a mircle. Well we got it alright. I don't know about anyone else but I'm still recovering. I thought the game was over and then that beautiful corner. At the moment I don't care that we didn't pressure enough early on. I'm so happy!!!! Vamos Argentina!!!


alwin said...

Hi There,

Congratulations to the U-20's. Next mission LES BLUES and then the COPA AMERICA.


john said...

Vamos!!! Vamos!!!

You all have no idea how happy I am to hear this wonderful news. Now lets keep the gold medal.


john said...

Vamos!!! Vamos!!!

You all have no idea how happy I am to hear this wonderful news. Now lets keep the gold medal.