Thursday, June 04, 2009

A recap after a busy day at Ezeiza

I spent the last two days going to the Ezeiza AFA Headquarters. On Wednesday, the training session in which the starting XI for Saturday took the field to play against a youth team from local club Tristán Suárez (Argentina won 9-0 with HEINZE even scoring a couple!), was not open to the media. So I watched just a few movements from the other side of the fence. Then Nicolás OTAMENDI, Fernando GAGO and Juan Sebastián VERÓN were the players designated to address the media at a press conference.

They all said everyone in the squad is looking forward for a chance to leave the La Paz massacre behind and win all three points against Colombia on Saturday. It wasn't a very attractive or interesting press conference, to be honest.

Thursday was a different matter. The training session was open. I had the chance to watch the entire match between a second-string Argentina side against another team from Tristán Suárez (those lucky boys! I was thinking: "To play for the Tristán Suárez youth teams must be better than to play at Boca or River these days! You get to face all your idols and kiss MARADONA after the training session is over!").

The result (not the most important thing) was 7-0. Nicolás BURDISSO and Maxi RODRIGUEZ scored twice each. Lisandro LOPEZ, Emiliano PAPA and Gonzalo BERGESSIO added one each.

After the training session, MARADONA gave a very interesting press conference and he said the players who took part of the game against Tristán Suárez Youth on Thursday are very very likely to play in Quito (depending on how the match against Colombia ends and how many players will be suspended because of a second yellow).

I'm sure you all want to know what was the formation and the names of that team:

Juan Pablo CARRIZO;
Javier ZANETTI, Nicolás BURDISSO, Nicolás OTAMENDI and Emiliano PAPA (in a defensive unit that was half-Internazionale, half-Velez Sarsfield);
Sebastián BATTAGLIA doing the MASCHERANO job, Christian GIMENEZ and Maxi RODRIGUEZ playing on the flanks, Daniel "Rolfi" MONTENEGRO as the play-maker and Diego MILITO and Lisandro LOPEZ up front.

The scary moment of the afternoon came when Diego MILITO shot the ball and one of the young Tristán Suárez defenders tried to block that shot with his leg. MILITO was unlucky and hit both the ball and the defender's right boot's studs. I was already thinking of a bunch of Inter Milan lawyers making phone calls to Tristán Suárez and asking for explanations on how could a young unknown guy break their new signing's leg! But Diego returned to the pitch and kept playing.

As usual MARADONA threw some darts in every direction!

Earlier this week, Sergio BATISTA (currently working with the U21 in Toulon) said he was sad because there was no dialogue between him and MARADONA. When asked about Checho's comments, Diego said: "What is wrong with Checho? Is he having his period? What should I do to make him happy? Kiss him?"

The biggest of his complaints, however, came when he was asked about the pitch at the Estadio Monumental, where The Jonas Brothers (not related to Jonás GUTIERREZ as far as I know!) and the Argentine cult band "Los Piojos" (a band that funnily enough had a song called "Maradó" -in honour of Diego MARADONA-) played there in the last 15 days. Diego said he sent some people to check how the field was and the reports said the pitch is a mess.

"I can assure you the field where I learn to play football at Villa Fiorito when I was a boy in the shanty town, was better than the pitch at River Plate today"

"We're bringing players like MESSI, TEVEZ, AGÜERO, GAGO, MASCHERANO...and we are risking them by playing them in a pitch in these conditions. I have no problems with River Plate making their bit of business with concerts and events, but I think they should check with the AFA and think about our national team before they book a concert with a big band. I think GRONDONA let the turtle escape" (an expression that is one of Diego's trade-mark phrases. He means someone was really slow to react).

Finally, he said that some time ago he told a very frustrated MESSI -who had lost in the Champions League semifinals last season- that for him to win big and important trophies was "just a matter of time". And that's exactly what he reminded Lio of when they met again this week.

MESSI confirmed this when it was his time to give a press conference after his boss. He was joined by Christian GIMENEZ and Jonás GUTIERREZ.

MESSI said the players came up with the idea of staying at the Ezeiza head-quarters from Wednesday until it is time to face Colombia (usually the retreats start on Thursdays) and they are very aware that there are a lot of things at stake in these next two matches. He added: "If the pitch at El Monumental is not OK, it'll surely play against us".

In other news, tickets are selling really fast and the next edition of our podcast should be up sometime during Friday (after suffering with some unexpected technical difficulties).

Finally...a rumour:

FC Barcelona would try to secure the signing of Javier MASCHERANO from Liverpool for next season.

Will MESSI and MASCHE play for club and country in 2009-2010?


Lopez,India said...


Thanks for giving all this details. You guys are really amazing.
The upcoming match against Colombia is very important in World Cup prospective. 3 points will up the morale and it will help to gain more 3 points against Equator.
Lets Hope for the best......

The final score will be
Argentina 3 Colombia 0


When you have the best player in the world, you have to beat Columbia.

~ Vote at ~

messidona19 said...

If Barcelona buy Mascherano then they'll be the most complete midfield and attack ever!! As for the team for the match against Ecuador, leaving Messi and alll of the big players out is a BIG mistake! At least put a few second string players and play 5 big players that played against Colombia(Messi,Mascherano,Zanetti,Andujar,Demichelis).
Best of luck for the match against Colombia and waiting for the next podcast.

p2bn said...

I just hope we win otherwise i just cant imagine the fallout. Hopefully I will get one hour off the work to watch the match in full otherwise will miss most of it. Anyways thanks seba for the report, you are one lucky guy but we are more lucky to have you.

Vamos Argentina

johnny said...

Thanks Seba. I always appreciate Maradona's comments translated to english. Whatever anyone can say about Diego, he is always entertaining and unique. Ha Ha, a kiss for Checho, that ought to put a muzzle on him.

Sebastian said...

Welcome back, Johnny! Great to have you with us again.

Just to make sure it's clear: it's not like the second-string team will play in Ecuador and the likes of MESSI, MASCHERANO or TEVEZ will be ignored.

Diego planned just in case something goes horribly wrong and we suffer from a lot of suspensions and unwanted stuff.

If MESSI is not suspended, getting a yellow against Colombia, then I'd put all the money I have on him starting at Ecuador too.

But we won't know what our team to travel to Quito will look like.

There'll be plenty of time to discuss it in our future podcasts.