Monday, June 04, 2007

News round-up

The day before our second and last friendly in this European tour, against Algeria at the Camp Nou of Barcelona, Alfio BASILE said he’ll wait until the last moment to confirm our lineup while he announced that he will use most of the players from Saturday.

COCO will wait because he wants to check on the players’ fitness as he is looking to avoid conflicts, especially with the Spanish clubs.

Why is this? Because a lot of our players are key members of their Spanish teams and they all have to play crucial La Liga matches next weekend.

MESSI, AIMAR, The Militos (could be a name for a rock band! Haha!), GAGO and AYALA are all huge parts of teams fighting for the title or to get to next season’s Champions League or UEFA Cup.

After what happened with Maxi RODRIGUEZ (injured knee in a friendly against Spain, had to sit out for most of the season), I guess COCO wants to be as politically correct as he possibly can with the clubs.

Clubs I said?
OK, then…so who is going to take one of the hottest products in the market?

Carlitos TEVEZ said: “I don’t know where I’ll play next season. I still haven’t decide yet. I’m just thinking in our National Team.”

Then he said a funny thing about his goal against Switzerland: “I surprised everyone. Even myself! I think I finished quite well considering it was with my head!”.

Another hot product that teams all over Europe are desperate to put their hands in is Gabriel MILITO. The solid central defender (once accused by Real Madrid of having a career-ending injury on his knee when he was set to pass a medical at the Bernabeu), is now a priority for Serie B champions Juventus.

The Vecchia Signora are ready to splash as much as 16 million Euros for the Real Zaragoza defender, who is also being chased by FC Barcelona (along with his brother Diego).

The only problem could be the pay-off clause is set on 30 million Euros and that price could scare Juventus.

Watching our rivals:

United States (our first rivals in the Copa America) easily defeated China 4-1 in a friendly match as the Americans prepare for the CONCACAF Gold Cup (that will be played before the Copa America).

DaMarcus BEASLEY, Brazilian born Benny FEILHABER, Clint DEMPSEYand Oguchi ONYEWU scored for the United States. ZHANG Yaokun had equalised for China in the first half.

Match highlights and information here:

Colombia, another of our group C rivals in the Copa America, are playing the Kirin Cup.
They defeated Montenegro 1-0 with a goal from River Plate’s Radamel FALCAO.

They will face Japan tomorrow in what will be the tournament decider.

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