Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MESSI rather anonymous. MILITO gives Inter hope

Another day of Champions League action and some Argentine players involved for FC Barcelona and for Inter.

In a game between two teams that share almost the same 'football philosophy', Barcelona started off with 9 shots on goal inside the first 20 minutes, whilst Arsenal chased shadows for most of that first half.

Lionel MESSI had a few chances but never really got his game going. Zlatan IBRAHIMOVIC scored twice and Arsenal replied with goals from Theo WALCOTT and Cesc FABREGAS, who will miss the trip to the Camp Nou after seeing a yellow card.

Gabriel MILITO got introduced to play the final few minutes after Carles PUYOL saw red. With the legendary captain and Gerard PIQUE both suspended for the second leg, it looks like Gabriel MILITO will have a chance to show Diego what he can do playing at the top level of European football.

Speaking about MILITO and top level of European football, Gabriel's brother, Diego, just keep firing those shots in.

Between Champions League and Serie A, Diego Alberto MILITO got to 21 goals this season, the first at his new club.

Against CSKA Moscow, MILITO and company made of Igor AKINFEEV a wall of a goalkeeper. That was until the 65th minute when the former Racing Club, Genoa, and Zaragoza striker received the ball from Wesley SNEJDER just outside the area and sent a powerful shot towards the bottom left corner.

Walter SAMUEL, Esteban CAMBIASSO and Il Capitano Javier ZANETTI also played 90 minutes for the Italian champions.

Now both Inter and Barcelona have the upper hand for the second leg, but they need to capitalize on those chances if they want to meet up in the semifinals and give us a MILITO vs. MILITO showdown (just like when they were playing for Racing and Independiente, the bitter Avellaneda rivals in Argentina).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday News Roundup

Right, Felipe is sleeping and since I got my share of rest earlier too and I'm feeling like writing...

I thought: 'Why not do a Tuesday News Roundup?' After all, a lot has happened today and there are plenty of things we can debate about.


Who? Who? Who? Who? That song's been punishing me since I read the news this morning (more like since that song was ever recorded!), but I thought it would be the most suitable soundtrack to play behind this story. they are saying MARADONA was bitten by his pet dog at home and needed minor surgery (10 stitches) on his upper lip. I'm expected to believe that. Right...right...

Nah...I'm sorry. I'm too cynical these days. I'm going to need a few more lives to believe that (unless the attack is well documented, which of course won't be the case).

I don't want to sink your boat, tough. If you still think a dog attacked Diego, then who am I to contradict you or the media reports we are getting?


You know? It got me thinking. How can a player like Lisandro LOPEZ be ignored the way he is right now? Can you tell me Lisandro wouldn't crack into the World Cup squad of every one of the 32 nations competing in South Africa this summer? Give me one team that wouldn't want to have him amongst their 22/23 players. Justify your answer and then, if your point is strong enough, I'll give it to you.

Even Argentina, with a plethora of amazingly talented forwards, should count Lisandro LOPEZ as one of its 6/7 forwards.

Based on quality, form, present and the level of competitions they are playing at, our forwards shouldn't be found outside the following names: Lionel MESSI, Carlos TEVEZ, Gonzalo HIGUAIN, Diego MILITO, Sergio AGÜERO and Lisandro LOPEZ.

You can present cases for Lucas BARRIOS, Javier SAVIOLA, Ezequiel LAVEZZI, Mauro ZARATE and one of them would complete the list in my opinion.

But no. We will see Lisandro LOPEZ being left out of the World Cup squad and we will see Martín PALERMO (who can't buy a goal lately at a very weak Argentine league and is even getting replaced every now and then by the Boca Juniors manager), getting on the plane to Pretoria and using one spot that shouldn't be his.

Again. I've got nothing against PALERMO and I think his story is probably the most incredible in the history of the game. A film about him should run away with 10 Academy Awards, but this is not the ending I'd like to see for that film. I want my best players to represent me at the World Cup. And I want them to be at the best form of their lives and peaking at the right time.

Tonight Lisandro LOPEZ scored twice (one was from the penalty spot but I don't hear people -journalist- downplay penalty-shot goals when PALERMO scores them. To me, they are worth 1 goal. Just like any other goal scored in football), but just as when he scored on the first ball he touched in Moscow v. Russia, MARADONA won't care about him.


A big controversy that never got too public or too heated. MARADONA was fuming when he heard Bayern made Martín DEMICHELIS return from his surgery earlier than expected. What if he received another blow to his head and miss the entire World Cup because he played before he should have played?

That was MARADONA's fear and I understand him. I also think Bayern wouldn't risk an important asset to them like DEMICHELIS if they weren't sure about his capability of playing tonight against Manchester United.

If anything, I took this game as a chance for Masked-Micho to show how he could do if squared against one of the world's top forwards like Wayne ROONEY.

The initial answer to that question couldn't have been more terrifying! Only one minute into the game and Manchester United won a corner kick. As NANI sent the ball towards the box, Mark VAN BOMMEL deflected it with his head and it rained inside the area where Martín DEMICHELIS was man-marking ROONEY. And then...disaster struck. Micho fell to the floor (no contact from nobody) and ROONEY was left completely open for an easy goal.

After that early blunder, the former River Plate star recovered and played a solid game, dealing with ROONEY and keeping United at bay. In the end Bayern got their reward and they will now travel to Old Trafford having two results (a win and a draw) that will work in their favour.

Yes, DEMICHELIS will be haunted by that early mistake, which could very well prove to be the crucial away goal for United to advance to the semifinals, but that's the cruelty of playing in that position where every mistake counts and could ruin you even when you have performed at a high level.

The fact that he picked up himself so remarkably speak wonders about DEMICHELIS and that is exactly what all our players need from here on. Because they will all make mistakes, the important thing is to see who can overcome those difficulties and who will be petrified or end up in tears.

Diego attacked by his dog!

This is no joke. Diego MARADONA needed surgery on his lip after he was attacked by one of his dogs last night.

He would be released from the Los Arcos clinic today.

Never a dull moment with Diego, no?

Monday, March 29, 2010

What's on the agenda for Argentina before the WC

With the World Cup approaching fast and our debut against Nigeria only 73 days away, there is some news regarding the activity our national team will have between now and the moment of truth.

With the friendly against Canada in Buenos Aires (May 24) confirmed, the latest news speak of an exhibition game in Dubai against a team from the United Arab Emirates.

A possible friendly against South Africa (May 29) was discarded because of this new itinerary.

The friendly against Canada at The Monumental will be a part of the festivities to celebrate Argentina's 200th anniversary (25 May, 1810 was the day the first government formed by Argentines took charge of power in a country that was ruled by the Spanish).

The match, which will kick-off at 4:30 PM local time, will have a festive tone and will see a half-time show a la SuperBowl with local rock legends Charly GARCIA, Fito PAEZ, Gustavo CERATI, pop-icon Diego TORRES and some international stars such as Shakira and (if you heard the news) an out-of-the-closet Ricky MARTIN.

It will also serve as a farewell party for the Albiceleste from the home crowd before embarking into their World Cup adventure.

Right after that friendly with Canada, Argentina will travel to Dubai and after the friendly there will go straight to Pretoria to set up the headquarters ahead of the most important tournament of all.

Carlitos Steers Citizen against the Latics

For the past two weeks it's was Lionel MESSI (twice) and Gonzalo HIGUAIN and now add Carlos TEVEZ into the list of hat trick heroes for the month of March.


Manchester City hopes of securing a place in next season's Champions League took a bright turn when Carlitos inspired them to a 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic, despite having to work hard for most part of the game.


They broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute when TEVEZ tapped into an empty net after goalkeeper Vladimir STOJKOVIC missed Patrick VIERA's high ball. In just three minutes later he added his second and this secured City's win but they kept pushing for more.  No surprising indeed that City's third goal came from the little fella and he completed his trick in the 85th minute.


Overall I must say that I'm happy for TEVEZ as it's been a while since we've seen him in such of form. Now here is a simple question; among the possible names of forward that might head to South Africa, where would you ranked TEVEZ in your list alongside MESSI, HIGUAIN, Diego MILITO or Kun AGUERO (you may add Martin PALERMO if you want to).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pipita Scores In Madrid Derby, Manu Hammers Celtic

Kun AGUERO and Atletico got the dream start they wanted, but it just wasn't enough to salvage anything as Real kept they're unbeaten record against city rival since 1999.

It was Kun who fed the ball to Jose Antonio REYES who scored to put them in the lead. However it was international teammate Gonzalo HIGUAIN who was smiling in the end. His goal courtesy of some defensive mixed up from Atletico in the 62nd minute gave the home side a 3-1 lead. In the end, despite of pulling back Real manage to hang on to a 3-2 win.

Also in the game, nice to see Fernando GAGO starting for Real while on the opposite side Eduardo SALVIO took to the field as a second half substitute.

Mario SANTANA scored with a left footed strike for Fiorentina in their 4-1 win over Udinese in the Italian Serie A. In the Belgian Jupiler League, Matias SUAREZ was on target for the Anderlecht as they hammered Zulte-Waregem 6-0.

Finally in the Greek Super League, Ignacio SCOCCO was the saviour for AEK Athens after scoring a 90th minute equalizer against Panionios. Sebastian LETO was on target for Panathinaikos in their 3-0 win over Atromitos.

NBA News -Manu Rout Celtic In Boston

Across the Atlantic, Manu GINOBILI and the Spurs made another all important statement on the east with a big 94-73 win against the Boston Celtics; their worst of the season. This follows their previous win against non other than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Manu was proved to be again the life and soul of this win posting 28 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists and 1 steals. Among his notable highlight was the one hand buzzer beating shot from 25 foot and his block on Kevin GARNETT which send KG landing on his back to the floor hard.

From what I've noticed, Andres NOCIONI looks to be a lost ever since returning from injury. But tonight he had his moment but it just wasn't enough to stop Le Bron and the Cavaliers as the Sacramento Kings went down 90-97. Off the bench, he posted 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal.

Mundo Albiceleste Podcast is now on iTunes

Ever since we started our podcast last year, I’ve been ask many times by others whether can they subscribe to us via iTunes. Well it’s been a long time coming but finally it’s here.

Mundo Albiceleste Podcast is now available for you on the biggest music store on the web. As you can see, we’ve been doing a recap on all of our previous 24 episodes and this was to ensure all of them are available for to subscribe. Here is the URL link: -

I must admit that we’re still new to this therefore we would appreciate any feedback coming from you guys on how we can make this better. One thing for sure is that iTunes is considered the dominant podcast client. We hope through this we can get more exposure and reach out to more fans of Argentina worldwide.

So go ahead and start subscribing to us with your portable MP3 player, iPod, iPhone or any other hardware device that is accessible to you. Spread the word around and thank you for all the support for Mundo Albiceleste.

Inter Goes Down But Milito Strikes Again.

Looks like the finale on Serie A is getting tighter than ever after league leaders Inter Milan went down 1-2 to As Roma in Rome.

Daniele DE ROSSI opened the scoring in the 17th minute but the visitors came close to equalizer through Walter SAMUEL and Diego MILITO but were denied by the crossbar. The moment finally came in the 66th minute when MILITO fired in from close range after being fed by Wesley SNEIJDER.

However the Roman side restores their lead immediately through Luca TONI. Luck was not on Inter’s side again when MILITO was denied after his shot rebounded off the near post.

The other Albiceleste scorer from Saturday’s fixture came in the French Ligue 1, with César DELGADO became the hero for Lyon 2-0 wins against Grenoble finishing off a wonderful move in added time.

Also a big congratulation to both Gabriel HEINZE and Lucho GONZALEZ for helping their club Olympic Marseille winning the Coupe de la Ligue against Bordeaux.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

2010 Podcast Recap - Diego Meant Business

John, Roy and Seba discuss the most important aspects of the match against Germany and trigger a debate. Based on what we saw in Uruguay in the last round of the World Cup Qualifier and our showing against Germany last night the question is up in the air. Will Argentina play defensively from now on?

Click here to download.

2010 Podcast Recap - Ze Germans Are Waiting

Seba, Roy and John to discuss every aspect surrounding our national team while we wait for Argentina to take on Germany on Wednesday in Munich, including the Nike undercover campaign. Also, plenty of new things going on in Mundo.

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2010 Podcast Recap - Germany Podcast Part 1

John and Roy take a short look at the recent friendly match against Germany. We discuss who made the list and who didn't, from BANEGA to GAGO along with a hint of a special announcement which you all would already know by now.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 21

Mundo Albiceleste does a Year in Review in our very own "Season's Greetings" Podcast.

John and Roy cover everything from the U20 South American tournament in January to Lionel MESSI winning the Ballon D'Or and World Player of the Year in December. We also preview the Catalunya/Argentina match.

We discuss possible transfers concerning Argentine's in January(there's even a mention of the forgotten Maxi LOPEZ!), possible 2010 friendly's and more.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 20

Seba and John discuss what the real draw gave Argentina and the rest of the teams that are going to play in South Africa 2010. Join John and Seba for the analysis of every group and a look at possible surprises and mouth-watering potential clashes in the second round.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 19

John, Seba and Roy play a little game and have our very own Mundo Albiceleste World Cup Draw!

John in Malaysia picks up the names of the teams. Roy in Canada allocates them into their respective groups and Seba in Argentina does you the information as the groups take their shape and teams know their destiny.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 18

Roy, Seba and John are joined by Joel Richards who was a lucky eye-witness of the battle of the Centenario. He tells us how it was to be close to the pitch. Roy had more problems with his connection than HEINZE everytime he is on the ball, so unfortunately...we had to replace him by halftime.

Johnny, John and Seba started looking at the teams they'd like to face and those they'd like to avoid in the next World Cup, while Diego's comments are discussed throughout the entire show.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 17

John, Roy and Seba are joined by Johnny who shares with us his experience under the rain at the Monumental and Lucas, who somehow missed that last-gasp PALERMO goal. We preview the final 2010 South American World Cup Qualifying match; Argentina vs. Uruguay in Montevideo.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 16

John, Roy and Seba are joined by Johnny, who will be watching the game at the Monumental stadium to discuss the team news and the possible scenarios we could see on Saturday as Argentina takes on Peru.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 15

Mundo Albiceleste's team is joined by Lucas in Australia and there is no topic left out of a very heated conversation after Argentina lost to Paraguay.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 14

John, Roy and Seba discuss what happened in Rosaria and look for explanations as well as possible ways out of this mess for MARADONA and our national team. We take a look on the keys that let Brazil walk away from the Gigante de Arroyito with three points in their bags and a ticket to South Africa.

We look ahead to see whether Argentina will be able to get something out of their trip to Asunción on Wednesday against Paraguay.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 13

The whole team is back together as John, Roy and Seba discuss all things Argentina-Brazil. We analyse the lineup, the players, the potential scenarios that could develop and we predict not only this match, but also the entire round of WCQ that will be play this weekend.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 12

We are joined by Joel RICHARDS and by Johnny as we discuss the friendly win over Russia. We start having a look at the upcoming clásico against Brazil. We also try to understand what was that celebration between DATOLO and Diego about.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 11

We are joined by Joel RICHARDS, who discusses the players that Diego MARADONA will be taking with him to Moscow to face Russia and also those who the greatest player of all time has left out.

We reflect on the change of venue and the move to Rosario to face Brazil. We touch on a few aspects about that upcoming all-important derby between Argentina and they boys in yellow and green.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 10

Seba and John are joined by Johnny, one of our most loyal readers. We discuss Carlitos' move to the Eastlands as well as other moves in the summer transfer market involving Argentine players.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 9

We got together with Sam Kelly from Hasta El Gol Siempre to discuss the incredible conclusion of the Torneo Clausura in which we witnessed one of modern football most shocking refereeing performances.

What's going on at Boca Juniors and River Plate? Are their glory days over? What's in store for their future.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 8

Seba and our very good friend from Hasta El Gol Siempre, Sam KELLY, discuss the domestic Argentine league. We also discuss Estudiantes' campaign in the Copa Libertadores and he tries to explain the difficult system used to calculate relegations in Argentina.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 7

We pay a visit to our Brazilian friend Rafael, who gives us his views on his national team's fortunes at the Confederation Cups (we recorded this before Brazil defeated South Africa -very luckily, I might add- and prior to the Brazil/USA final).

Rafael helps us examine our next WCQ rival from the inside. John, Rafael and Seba recall their favourite (and worst) memories from previous matches between Argentina and Brazil.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 6

This edition of the podcast features Seba in Buenos Aires, John in Malaysia and Dave in New York.

Another crash from Diego's team in the altitude. We analyse the game, we discuss some of our players' performances, we talk about the other matches in our region. First preview for the match against Brazil in September.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 5

John and Seba discuss the importance of the three points Argentina won against Colombia.

We also talk about what is wrong with our tactics, formations and performances. A look at the other matches in South America's WCQ and a preview of what to expect from Argentina on Wednesday against Ecuador in Quito's altitude.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 4

We discuss the upcoming match against Colombia.

Some news about Juan Román RIQUELME, DEL POTRO's Roland Garros campaign and the Youth team at the Toulon Tournament. A short interview with one of the greatest ambassadors for Argentine sports in the whole world.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 3

Review of 6-1 loss in the altitude of Bolivia.

John and Seba are joined by two journalists friends. Martín from Argentina and Rafael from Brazil. Discussion of what went wrong, what should have been done to avoid such a heavy defeat and what comes ahead in Argentina's road to South Africa 2010.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 2

Discuss Argentina's performance against Venezuela. Take a look at the other results from the South American WCQ Group. Preview our match against Bolivia in the feared altitude of La Paz.

Two new voices joining in the debate and sharing their views with us.

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Mundo Albiceleste Podcast Revisited - Episode 1

We're celebrating Mundo Albiceleste podcast one year anniversary. For this, we’ve decided to put short post about all our previous episodes so that new readers will be able to listen them. But wait! That’s not all as we’ve also got something else.

In this first episode, Seba and John discuss the news ahead of Diego's official debut as manager against Venezuela on Saturday. Discuss the three little guys up-front, how will our defense look and what will happen in our first competitive match without RIQUELME.

Analyze Venezuela's youngsters and we take a look at the rest of the fixtures in this round of South American World Cup qualifiers.

Click here to download.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Messi, Barcelona hero... Argentina ____?

With all the buzz surrounding Messi this past week and comments coming in left and right, I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

Over the past 10-15 years, we've seen many great players come and go. The Brazilian RONALDO, Zinedine ZIDANE, Luis FIGO, RONALDINHO and others. However, none of them was an Argentinian, who at the tender age of 22, has mezmerised the futboling world. After an absolutely amazing week consisting of 8 goals in 3 games, people are already calling MESSI the greatest player of all time or atleast better than MARADONA(which for me means the greatest player of all time). I'm a huge MESSI fan and have been following him since he made his debut for Barcelona, but to call him the greatest of all time or better than MARADONA is a no for me. Can he end up being better than MARADONA? Yes. Can he become the greatest of all time? Yes. IS he better than MARADONA? No.

For us Argentina fans, we've seen a bunch of players being labelled "The next MARADONA". It happened with TEVEZ, AIMAR, RIQUELME and a few others. But no one has come as close as MESSI. Game after game for Barcelona he's scored goals and provided assists and at times single handidly won matches for them. In short, he's Barcelona's hero. However, if one was to take a quick glance at Lionel's statistics with Barcelona and that with the National Team, you wouldn't say it's the same player. People constantly argue and bash this kid from Rosario because he isn't scoring goals for fun with Argentina, but let's take a look at the Top 10 goalscoring lists for the Albicelestes.

1. Gabriel BATISTUTA
56 Goals, 78 Matches

2. Hernan CRESPO
36 Goals, 64 Matches

34 Goals, 91 Matches

4. Luis ARTIME
24 Goals, 25 Matches

5. Leopoldo LUQUE
22 Goals, 45 Matches

22 Goals, 70 Matches

21 Goals, 29 Matches

7. Herminio MASANTONIO
21 Goals, 19 Matches

9. Mario KEMPES
20 Goals, 43 Matches

10. Norberto MENDEZ
19 Goals, 31 Matches

10. José Manuel MORENO
19 Goals, 34 Matches

10. René PONTONI
19 Goals, 19 Matches

2007 was a big year for La Pulga in terms of goal scoring with the NT. And I'm crediting that to the formation Basile used(well basically continued from what Pekerman started) as well as the players around him. I know statistics don't always show the truth, but 6 goals in 2007 with the National Team isn't bad at all. At times, he's come up pretty clutch for us, scoring when needed(Uruguay at home, Venezuela away and Colombia away, even if we did lose that match). Not to mention against Spain where the defence was absolutely horrible(even if it was a penalty, he was calm under whatever pressure there was and scored it).

We can all sit here, chat and pass the bucket when it comes to debating on MESSI not showing up with the National Team, but MESSI is only 6 goals away from entering the Top 10 goalscoring in the history of the NT and he's only 22. Only 6... and he isn't even an out and out striker. What about the other #10's that we've had or players that were supposed to lead this team to glory? ORTEGA, D'ALESSANDRO, AIMAR, RIQUELME, anyone? Fact is, none of them can single handidly(or were single handidly able) to lead the team to glory like MARADONA did. Nor should they have to do it alone. They need to have the right players and the right formations to succeed. Right now, Messi isn't surrounded with that.

Guaranteed if TEVEZ doesn't get red carded in those two games which cost us valuable points and if he scores that penalty against Ecuador, all this talk about MESSI not showing up with the National Team wouldn't be where it's at today. Not because MESSI isn't underachieving, but because those mistakes by TEVEZ made it that much more difficult for the team to qualify for the World Cup. So naturally, the blame goes to the person who's supposed to be your best player. It was the case with VERON in 2002, RIQUELME and now MESSI. Let's not forget MESSI is the #10 and with this #10 comes great responsibility and pressure. The pressure got to ORTEGA, it got to RIQUELME and so on. Did MESSI ask to be the #10? Last I heard, he initially said no, but later accepted. So of course he deserves some of the blame, but to be in the position he is in now(in terms of pressure) at that age, people need to realise it's incredibly tough. Especially when you have your own fans turning against you(no one here on the blog in particular, just people in Argentina).

Is the pressure getting to MESSI? No doubt, but it doesn't mean he doesn't care about doing well with the National Team. Some people here in the past have talked about MESSI's passion and commitment for the National Team. I'm pretty sure if he didn't care about the team, he wouldn't have taken time off during the beginning of the season to go to Argentina and train for the match against Brazil. I'm sure if he didn't care, he wouldn't have went to the Olympics. And I'm sure that if he didn't care, he would have accepted Spain's offer to play for them instead of playing for Argentina. Go back and watch the match against Germany from this month(as boring as it was) and you'll see MESSI getting frustrated with the game when he almost gets himself red carded. The first was a yellow card for a harsh and late tackle in the second half. Or how about when he jumped to try and stop/control the ball with his hands? I'm sure if he didn't mind not doing well with Argentina he wouldn't have risked getting himself red carded.

Some people need to wake up and realise that whether they like it or not, our best shot at the moment for us to win the World Cup is for MESSI to flip the switch, grab this team from the hell hole it's in(or from the lowest point this team has been in ages... whichever analogy you prefer) and lead it to victory.

Another Happy Hat-Trick Sunday For Lionel

Yes! Everyone in Mundo are already talking about it so without further due, here is the match highlight from Barcelona’s Sunday encounter against Real Zaragoza. Most certainly, he is Albiceleste player of the week.

Elsewhere, we move to Italy’s Seria A; first it was Hugo Armando CAMPAGNARO who scored for Napoli against AC Milan as the match ended in a 1-1 draw. Then, another players who is on a hot streak at the moment. Maxi LOPEZ was again on target for Catania this netting the equalizer against Chievo.

Whilst in the English Premiership, Carlos TEVEZ was again on the score sheet for Manchester City as the Citizen came away with 2-1 win over Europa League high fliers Fulham. In Greece, Ismael BLANCO was on target for AEK Athens, scoring the only goal in their win over PAOK Salonika.

Our Albiceleste players were also on target in the land of our fierce rival Brazil. German HERRERA scored twice for Botafago in their 2-2 draw against Flamengo. Then there was Andres D’ALESSANDRO scoring for Internacional against Pelotas with match also ending in a 2-2 draw.

On Fire Manu Could Not Save the Spurs

It was heartbreaking night for Manu GINOBILI as he described the defeat against the Atlanta Hawks on tough and disappointing one for him and the Spurs. San Antonio put up a brave performance against the Hawks but went down 114-119. Manu match a season high performance with 38 points plus 1 rebound, 6 assists and 1 steal.

Andres NOCIONI had 10 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal for the Sacramento Kings in their 102-89 win over Los Angeles Clippers. In a very quiet night for Luis SCOLA, he only manage 4 points and 1 rebound as the Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks 116-112.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

La Pantera Keeps Hot Streak Going

Though they were goals from Diego MILITO and Gonzalo HIGUAIN for their respective clubs on Saturday, the man of the day was nonetheless Lucas BARRIOS. Just like what he did last weekend, he scored for Borussia Dortmund in their 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

MILITO was on target for Inter from the penalty spot, but they could not capitalize from their Champions League as they were held to a 1-1 draw against Palermo. Trouble time for the Special One’s boys? In another Serie A, Mario SANTANO (what a nice backheel!) scored for Fiorentina in their 3-0 win over Rodrigo PALACIO’s Geonoa.

In Spain’s La Liga, El Pipita HIGUAIN continues his hot streak with a goal for Real Madrid against Sporting Gijon as the All White finished off with a 3-1 win. Down the tier in Segunda Division, Marco RUBEN was on target for Villareal B in their 3-1 win over Real Union.

Speaking of second tier, not to forget that Jonas GUTIERREZ scored for Championship league leaders Newcastle United as they came from behind to draw 2-2 with Bristol City.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

MESSI Takes Centre Stage Against Stuttgart

Lionel MESSI produces another master class performance in the Champions League against VfB Stuttgart after scoring twice and assisting one as Barcelona went rampage by winning 4-0 (5-1 on aggregate).

He strike brilliant opener in the 12th minute after unleashing unstoppable shot from the half way line into the top corner . Ten minutes later he came provider as his first time pass inside was slotted coolly by PEDRO. In the hour mark, he was on the score sheet again this time drilling with another left footed shot past Jens LEHMANN from 20 yards out. In total, he has scored 4 goals in the Champions League and 31 goals in all competition.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Manu Turns The Heat In Miami

San Antonio Spurs almost threw away a comfortable 25 point lead against the Miami Heat as Dwayne WADE and company were making a great comeback to steal the game from the visiting side. Then came the magical moment from Manu GINOBILI.

With 7:58 minutes left, he shoot a long three pointer from the left side which changed everything. He added another three a minute later, subsequently this ended Miami hopes as Spurs won the game 88-76.

For his part, Manu was simply unbelievable tonight posting 22 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. In recent games, he is showing that he is back to his very best and shooting at least 50 percent in his last seven games.

Still the main question remains, whether the Spurs front office will offer him an extension or will he ended up becoming a free agent. From what I can tell, every Spurs fan will not except the fact of seeing him wearing another jersey. We will keep you posted on that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Leo & Pipita Celebrates Happy Hat-Trick Sunday

It is likely that the two of them will start up front for our National Team during the World Cup in South Africa. Well at least, after last Sunday; both are already flexing their muscle for their respective team as this season’s La Liga will go into intense finale in the two months.

Lionel MESSI to go first when Barcelona took on Valencia. Having manage to whether the storm in the first half, Barca turn it on in the second half with a hat-trick performance the little Flea. His first, an instant classic goals after taking possession from 30 yards, dancing past three players before clinical shot to give his side the lead. His next two were fine efforts from close range.

Next up, was Real Madrid villain of the week. After having being in the spotlight for all misleading reason, we all look forward to see what was Gonzalo HIGUAIN fate this weekend. As a true fan of Argentina, I don’t give a dammed at all how good was the first goal. The only thing that mattered for me in this game, is the fact that Pipita responded to all the critics with a hat trick as Real came away with 4-1 win over Valladolid. Period.

In Italy Serie A, Rodrigo PALACIO was on target for Genoa in their 5-3 win over Cagliari while Sergio ALMIRON had a goal in Bari’s 2-0 win over Lazio. In Portugal, Leandro GRIMI struck for Sporting Lisbon in their 3-0 win over Guimaraes. Lastly in Greece, Javier CAMPORA was the hero for Aris Salonika after scoring twice for them against city rivals PAOK.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

La Pantera Does It Again & The Luis Show in Houston

Lucas BARRIOS keeps adding his impressive goals coring tally for Borussia Dortmund as they came away with a 4-1 win for Vfl Bochum. Nicknamed La Pantera, he scored twice in a space of three minutes thus increasing his tally to 17 goals in all competition.

In Spain’s La Liga, Sevilla and Deportivo La Coruna settled for a 1-1 draw with Federico FAZIO scoring for the home side. He converted a nice flicked header after receiving a pass from Diego PEROTTI free kick. Whilst in the Italian Serie A, Ezequiel LAVEZZI scored for Napoli when they took on Fiorentina but his side when on to loose the match 1-3.

Lisandro LOPEZ helped Euro high flyers Lyon to salvage a point in their 1-1 draw against St Etienne, scoring an easy equalizer in the 79th minute. While Alberto COSTA also scored an equalizer for his side Montpellier in their 1-1 draw with Auxerre.

Finally in Greece, Ismael BLANCO scored from the spot for AEK Athens in their 3-0 win over Kavala.

Luis SCOLA post career high win over Nets

The Houston Rockets needed all the wins they can get from no onwards in order to keep their playa offs hopes alive. They currently now lie in 10th place with 5 ½ games behind the final spot. They got one today against the New Jersey Nets with 116-108 win.

That wasn’t the only reason for anyone to celebrate in Houston as on top of this, Luis SCOLA was immense for his side posting a career high of 44 points tonight, plus 12 rebounds (his five straight double-double and 26th this season), 3 assists, 2 steals and one block shot.

SCOLA hit 20 of 25 shots with many of them coming from open lay ups and highest Rockets point scorer since Tracy McGRADY since November 2007. Guess after tonight, the next question would be Tracy who?

If the Rockets can get a performance like this from SCOLA replicated every night and in return provide the much needed support, then there is hope for them to make it into post season.

In other games, Manu GINOBILI posted 14 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists & 2 steals for the San Antonio Spurs in their 118-88 win over the LA Clippers. Fabricio OBERTO had 2 points, 2 rebounds & 1 assist for the Washington Wizards in their 95-109 lost to the Orlando Magic.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Milito Scores in Inter’s loss to Maxi’s Catania

While the interesting discussion about Pipita’s performance for Real keeps getting bigger; two other players were on the score sheet in Friday’s Serie A match between Catania and Inter Milan.

However the league leaders had a shocked defeat as the home side won the game 3-1. Diego MILITO gave Inter the lead in the 54th minute with a simple tap in. However Catania’s on form striker, Maxi LOPEZ equalized for them in the 75th minute; scoring his third goal in Serie A since arriving in January.

The match also saw a total of 8 Argentine players starting for both sides; Mariano ANDUJAR, Matias SILVESTRE, Pablo ALVAREZ, Mariano IZCO & Maxi LOPEZ for Catania and Esteban CAMBIASSO, Javier ZANETTI & Diego MILITO for Inter

The trouble with Pipita

Awake at 5:48 AM after feeding Felipe, the youngest Albiceleste fan I know, I find my self wanting to discuss one situation with you.

I've seen it sparked some debate in the comments' box of our previous post and so I want to hear more about the Gonzalo HIGUAIN situation and how from one day to the other he seems to be the main culprit signalled by all the pro-Real Madrid Spanish media and, it has to be said, some of Pipita's team-mates.

I missed the match between Real Madrid and Olympique Lyonnais, but I watched some highlights (more than 6 minutes of it) on YouTube.

My initial reaction was of honest disbelief when I saw some of the chances Pipita missed that night. I remember having watched highlights of the Real Madrid 3-2 win over Sevilla this weekend and I recall having thought the same as Pipita crashed two shots against the woodwork and missed some other opportunities (though he was instrumental for Madrid to come from behind in that match and reach La Liga's first position together with Barcelona).

For all the goals Gonzalo HIGUAIN scores, lets face it, he is going to miss more than a fair share of chances.

And here's when my point start (before you all start pointing your 'you-say-that-because-you-are-a-Diego-MILITO-lover' fingers at me): HIGUAIN is one of the bravest players I've seen and he's been Real Madrid's more reliable player so far this season.

When the parade of new signings of the like of KAKA, Cristiano RONALDO and Karim BENZEMA started walking around the Santiago Bernabeu, we all thought Pipita was doomed.

"Why start him over players the White House had bought at such high prices?" "Surely he is going to be benched now. After all...he is only 22" and a few other thoughts along those lines were going through our minds.

But HIGUAIN didn't let the critics or the high-profile competition get to him. He galvanized against all that and he worked as hard as anybody to make sure that striker role belonged to him, even when he was ignored by his national team manager.

With 25 games of La Liga gone, Pipita (16) is only behind Lionel MESSI (19) and David VILLA (17) in the goalscoring charts in Spain.

He is ahead of Cristiano RONALDO (14), KAKA (7 -though we know he is not exactly a striker and he has been injured-) and Karim BENZEMA (7 goals).

Sure, any striker is going to go through a rough patch and any striker is going to have an off day, but that doesn't mean young Pipita is going to have to shoulder the burden of this heavy Real Madrid early elimination in the year the Champions League final is going to be played at the Bernabeu.

I'm reading reports now that suggest Cristiano RONALDO is angry with HIGUAIN because the Argentine didn't pass the ball to him and I can't believe it! If those reports are true then I really don't get it. We are talking about Cristiano RONALDO. Incredibly talented but do you remember his first few seasons at Old Trafford? He needed a ball all for himself to be able to play. He wouldn't pass it for his life.

I would understand if players get frustrated but by no means I'm going to agree with Cristiano or any other Real Madrid player or member of the coaching staff or even boot-licking journalist take it on Pipita.

We, as Argentina fans, should at the very least be happy Pipita won't be burned out come World Cup time. He will have more time to rest as he will be solely dedicated to play in La Liga and his legs will be fresher.

Our only worry is that he gets benched (which could happen at a club where the pressure is so high), but I'm confident he won't. He'll bounce back from this low point and he will do it by showing everyone what he does best: scoring goals for fun.

Monday, March 08, 2010

NALBANDIAN The Hero In Stockholm

His return couldn’t have come in a better time after lengthy lay off in order to rehabilitate his injury. Still nothing was certain as he was still carrying a leg injury right until Thursday. Today David NALBANDIAN was the hero of our Davis Cup team, winning the deciding tie to clinch a 3-2 win for Argentina over Sweden.

Argentina went into Day 3 with a 2-1 lead, but all that was levelled after Robin SODERLING had defeated Leonardo MAYER 7-5, 7-6 & 7-5. With this result, everything was set for remarkable finale as NALBANDIAN step in to take on Andreas VINCIGUERRA.

It was huge risk take by team captain Tito VASQUEZ but which ultimately paid off. NALBANDIAN produced a tight performance to beat VINCIGUERRA7-5, 6-3, 4-6 & 6-4, booking Argentina’s place in the quarter-finals of the World Group with a visit to Russia in July to look forward to.


Goals from Maxi LOPEZ, SAVIOLA and More

Maxi LOPEZ seems to be enjoying life in Italy after scoring for Catania in their 2-2 draw with Cagliari. While in the French league, Alberto COSTA was the saviour for Montpellier after scoring a last minute equalizer against Bordeaux.

Javier SAVIOLA continues his good form in Portugal, as he scored for Benfica in their 3-1 win over Pacos de Ferreira. In Greece, Sebastian LETO was on target for Panathinaikos in their 3-1 win over Levadiakos.

Luis SCOLA Again with a Double-Double

Once again, he is proving to be extremely vital for the Houston Rockets in the absence on their big star as Luis SCOLA was on hand for another NBA double-double. He posted 20 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the Rockets as they went down to the Detroit Pistons 107-110.

Sacramento Kings lost to the Oklahoma City Thunders 102-108 with Andres NOCIONI posting just 6 points & 1 steal.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Messi, Scola, David Cup & More

Firstly, thank you to everyone for all the good wishes for our friend Seba on the birth of his first son. It was indeed a perfect moment for him and Racing as they came away with a 2-1 win over Boca Juniors.

Ten men Barcelona came back twice to draw 2-2 with Almeria with Lionel MESSI being their saviour for scoring both goals. His first came just three minutes before half time when he beat Almeria keeper, Diego ALVES with a well taken free kick. He was there save them again, this time finishing from close range after GUILHERME failed to clear a cross from PEDRO in the 66th minute.

In other leagues, Matias SUAREZ scored for Anderlecht in their 2-0 win over Royal Charleroi in their Belgian Jupiter League.

SCOLA Rides The Struggling Rockets To Victory

The Houston Rockets needed a major boost following their recent struggles and against the Minnesota Timberwolves they found an answer in Luis SCOLA. Their 112-98 win help them to revive their chances in the playoff race. SCOLA posted another double-double in his career posting 25 points, a career high 21 rebounds, 2 assists and one shot block for the night.

The San Antonio Spurs are riding high at the moment and kept that momentum going with a 102-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Manu GINOBILI continues their sparkplug from the bench with 17 points, 1 rebound, 6 assists & 1 steal to his credit.

The city were treated to a surprise win from their beloved Bucks after sensationally defeating Le Bron’s Cleveland Cavaliers 92-85. The got plenty of contribution from everywhere including 16 points, career high 13 rebounds plus 1 assist & 2 steals from Carlos DELFINO.

Davis Cup - Triumphant Return from the Old Warrior NALBANDIAN

Argentina bounced back to take the lead against Sweden in their tie 2-1 after a sparkling performance from David NALBANDIAN on his return to the team. He was paired up Horacio ZEBALLOS in their double match up against Robin SODERLING & Robert LINDSTEDT and won the game 6-2, 7-6 & 7-6.

A day earlier, the tie was settle to 1-1 draw. Eduardo SCHWANK lost to SODERLING in straight sets but Leonardo MAYER became the hero for the racquet kings after defeating Joachim JOHANSSON in four sets.

Argentina will just need one more victory to win this tie. The match on Day 3 will be MAYER taking on SODERLING and SCHWANK facing JOHANSSON.

Adidas launches it own Albiceleste website

Thanks to our friend GK for sharing this with us. Adidas has just launched a specially design website for Argentina World Cup campaign. Here you can find videos, pictures, desktop wallpaper and many more. Though it is in Spanish but still I would highly recommend fans of Argentina to visit and check it out.


Amigos! Just a short post to announce that on Friday, at 3:40 PM, weighing 4,095kg, my first son, Felipe, was born in Buenos Aires.

He had some trouble breathing when he first came out, but now he's in good shape and breathing on his own. He just needs to be in observation for a while, but we're confident he'll be released no later than Sunday.

Right, I knew I could count on all of you here to be with me during the World Cup, but now I found myself another partner to watch the World Cup with!

What are the odds that Felipe's first words will be Diego MILITO? hahaha! Nah...I don't think so, but just in case, I'll check on bwin or some place like that.

That's the news I wanted to share with you!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Mundo Albiceleste Pod - Diego meant business

In what was perhaps the last proper test against a proper rival before the World Cup, Argentina defeated Germany 1-0 in Munich and the Mundo Albiceleste team got together the morning after for another edition of our podcast show.

John, Roy and Seba discuss the most important aspects of the game and trigger a debate. Based on what we saw in Uruguay in the last round of the World Cup Qualifier and our showing against Germany last night the question is up in the air:

Will Argentina play defensively from now on?

As a matter of fact, we've got more than one question floating in the air and Mundo Albiceleste team tries to answer some of them and struggles to do so with others.

Maybe you can give it a listen and join in the debate.

To download the Podcast, click here.

DEMICHELIS' surgery, a success

For much as we don't like Michael BALLACK, you have to admit the guy was looking at the ball and trying to head it as it was coming towards our area. DEMICHELIS, on the other hand, was marking another player and his face got right in the patch of BALLACK's knee and as a result, the Bayern Munich Argentina defender had to leave the game and was set for surgery on Thursday.

Argentina's doctor, Donato VILLANI, stayed in Munich after the game and has said that the surgery was a success.

"He will have to stay in the hospital for a couple of days as a precaution, because even when the surgery was a small procedure, it included general anaesthesia and was performed in the head area. But he is OK. He will have to stay away from football for about three weeks. We are thinking he may be back playing in April"

Here's hoping for a quick recovery for MICHO!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Mixed fortunes for our Group B rivals

Not only did Argentina face Germany on Wednesday. All our rivals from Group B were in action too.

I said 'mixed fortunes' in the headline but to be honest, three out of the four teams in our Group (of course, Argentina included) have won and only Greece got defeated.

The Greeks are surely worried after losing 2-0 to Senegal, a team that is not even qualified for the World Cup.

Here are the goals of that game:

Nigeria also faced a team that didn't make it to the World Cup. They surely played the weakest opposition of the whole of the Group B teams in action and they easily defeated the Democratic Republic of Congo 5-2. So far, I couldn't find the goals on YouTube. If any of you find a link, please post it on the comments' box and we'll then edit this post so we can see those goals.

Finally, South Korea pulled out a surprising result in Loftus Road, the home of Queens Park Rangers in London. They defeated Didier DROGBA and the Ivory Coast 2-0.

Surely a warning sign from the red army.

Here's some footage from that game. It could be that it was really one-sided, or it could be that this comes from a Korean TV channel so they only show Korean scoring opportunities. It could be both! The truth is they beat the Ivory Coast and that's not an easy task.

Argentina vs. Germany - Dave P. Player Ratings

Great victory are my ratings:

Great team victory tonight for Argentina. Happy to get a little revenge over Germany even-though the match means pretty much nothing, but good to beat a top national team. This game was very interesting, it was good to see Veron play alongside Messi and Higuain, and the defense consisting of 4 CB's worked out extremely well. In the first half we kept possession very well, unlike any game I have seen from us in a long tine. We were moving it well between our defenders and midfielders with confidence, and whenever we lost the ball our defense was 100% organized and solid. In terms of offense we did not have much, as always Di Maria was our main attacking spark, who set up our only gol from Higuain.

In the second half it was more of the same we were content with possession, especially with the lead. Veron never ventured too far forward to get involved in the attack so whenever Higuain or Messi had the ball they had about 4 Germans surrounding them and not teammates to pass too, which was frustrating. But the main take away from this game is that our defense played excellent, and we kept possession with confidence completely shutting down any chances the Germans had. Overall a very good victory and some key defensive performances that give me more confidence in our back line as we get close to SA. Here are the ratings.....

Romero 7: Great game versus a top oppoenet today for our starting GK. Early on did not have much to deal with but he was always quick off his line to the ball. In the 8th min had bad communication with Heinze who headed it backwards but was quick to react. Just like when Otamendi passed it back to him he was very fast to sprint of his line and beat Podolski to the ball. Very confident in the air with every ball into the box and very safe hands in the air. Our defensive line was very solid and Romero only had to save 2 or 3 shots, but was there every time. Great positioning on set pieces and great clean sheet.

Otamendi 7: In the beginning of this game everyone was questioing how Otamendi would do, and he played very well. He setteled in the game quickly and was never found out of position. He worked hard to get forward a few times and hustle back to his postion. Had 2 or 3 last second tackles to stop counter attacks by the Germans. Made one sloppy move in the back which Samuel cleaned up getting a Yellow card. But Otamendi has proven he deserves a spot on the NT and in South Africa. A Very composed performance by the youngster.

Demichelis 7.5: Excellent performance by the heart of our central defense. Demi was everywhere with his typical no nonsense tackles and brick wall mentality. He came out in the first half full of energy which set the tone for our defense the rest of our game. Demi saved Heinze from a sloppy miss up in the back, and was smart in getting a yellow card or else Germany would have had a 1 on 1. Whenever there was a counter Demi was their to stop the ball or slow down the attack to get more players back behind the ball. Unfortunate to get injuried with a BALLACK knee to the eye, hopefully he will be ok. Looking forward to more gritty performances by Demi.

Burdisso (sub in 56 min or Demichelis) 7: Subbed in for Demichelis’ injury, and slotted in perfectly. Was in perfect position playing alongside Samuel and carried on playing like Demi. Great timed tackles, and there was a time when he got beat but sprinted back only to win the ball back and clear it out of danger. Burdisso is getting better and with his time at ROMA has proven he is a solid defensive player. Unlucky not to get a touch on Veron’s ball in the last 5 mins to score.

Samuel 7: Welcome back to the NT Walter. Like the rest of our defense a very solid performance from the Wall. Had many good one on one tackles on Klose and Podoloski, organized the back line well and never caught out of postion, a very obedianet defensive display. He understands how to use his body perfectly to maneuver attackers off the ball. In the second half was more quiet but went about his job very effeicently made no mistakes.

Heinze 6: Not much to say about Heinze for this game, had a few good tackles but with the Germans not really attacking down the wings he did not have much to do defensively. He did attempt to get forward a few times but nothing came out of it. Made one mistake that could have costed us but Demichelis was their to save him. Good game by Heinze overall. Was injuried in the 47th min. Hopefully it is nothing serious, but I know many of you guys hope it is = (.

Clemente (sub in 47 min for Heinze) 5.5: Came in for Heinze once he was injuried. Pushed forward immediately and showcased his fast pace. He looked to play with his teammate Veron and did this well, however, he was caught out of postion 3 times I counted. There were a few crosses when he let his player get in behind him. Decent performance but I feel Heinze was more confident at LB.

Jonas 8: Wow what can I say, everytime he puts on the Argentina colors he transforms into a work horse. In the beginning of the game he pushed forward to look for Messi and Higuain however, we were lacking in attack creativity as usual. Like always he got back in defense and helped out Otamendi. As the game moved into the second half he was everywhere. He stopped atleast 10 German attacks, winning the ball from Lahm and other midfielders. Jonas is a solid workhorse and deserves his spot on the NT with the "never stop working" attitude he has. One of the best tracking back performances I have seen by a outside midfielder. Absolute beast.

Mascherano 7: The captain has be out of form in his past couple NT performances, however, I am glad to say that he is back to his bulldog ways after watching him tonight. Masche hustled all night shutting down the German attack as well as Ballack. He is another one of the main reasons why our defense was so organized tonight. He did nothing in the attack end of things, however he really made the Germans look terrible in their own attack by busting up passes and tackling balls away which is what he was put on the field to do, solid performance.

Verón 6.5: Played great alongside Mascherano and was always looking for an intricate pass up front but never really played any dangerous attacking balls. He did combine well a few times with Di Maria and Messi, however, there were many times when he would force the ball to a spot on the pitch which would cause a 50/50 battle. In the second half he slowed down completely with pushing forward and was content with holding possession which he did very well. Good match by Veron but would have liked to see more movement and combination with our
attacking players. Maybe sub in Pastore for him because he was getting very tired after 70 mins.

Di María 7.5: Angél is an attacking gem. He was always looking to push forward but never recklessly. He has immense pace and showed it well against the Germans tonight, he beat many of them with touches of magic and would look to combine with Messi and Higuain. There was a moment when Higuain played him in but was offside and missed his opportunity. Then there was his other opportunity where he beat two germans on the top of the box to have his open shot get touched by Adler and deflect off the crossbar. Great attacking presence, and got his assist with a beautiful over the top counter attacking ball that set Higuain in to score. In the second half we were possessing more so he did not see as much action but still Di Maria is full of tricks and attacking prowess. There were times where he looked like the Barcelona Messi that we see week in and week out, great game.

Higuaín 5.5: What can I say, he always seems to find the back of the net when you think that he is having a bad game. In the first half he probably touched the ball only 4 or 5 times, but one was a good ball to Di Maria, and another consisted of a very eloquent move around the German keeper to a precise finish. Higuain looked to combine well with Di maria, but not really well with Messi. There was a time when he was pushing forward and Messi was to his left, but he took it himself and got stuffed. As the game went on you could see that he was getting frustrated. He has all the smarts to be a brilliant striker, and great body awareness but was not getting supplied the ball. Great game winner by El Pipita and looking forward to seeing him shine in South Africa.

Tevez (sub in 62 min for Higuain) N/A: Subbed in with about 30 mins to showcase himself but did nothing. He was running hard everywhere, but when you don't get any balls played to you and your striking partner (Messi) is frustrated and tired then nothing really happens. Good to see him run hard for 30 mins though.

Messi 5: Pretty quiet night for Messi on the NT is beginning to sound like a broken record, but it is true. Messi played ok tonight, with all his talent he always makes 3 or 4 mesmerizing runs where he beats
3 or 4 players. But all these runs ended in being fouled or not having anyone to lay the ball of too. There was one great little combination between Messi, Higuain, and Di Maria which lacked a finishing touch but when it happened it looked amazing. Messi all game was checking back behind the half line to receive the ball, like past games he has no one to combine with other than Veron, but he is playing to deep to
get involved with the attack. Waiting for that one game where Messi will shine and score 1 or 2 goles. Overall a frustating performance from Messi.