Gabriel Heinze – Marseille, Javier Mascherano – Liverpool, Angel Di Maria – Benfica, Gonzalo Higuain – Real Madrid, Sergio Aguero – Althletic Madrid, Juan Sebastian Veron – Estudiantes, Martin Demichelis – Bayern Munich,Â Mario Bolatti – Fiorentina, Carlos Tavez – Manchester City, Diego Milito – Inter, Lionel Messi – Barcelona.
Going by current form, stardomÂ andÂ performances in their various clubs, these names should intimidate opponents when the World Cup kicks off. And these high performing Argentines start with Nigeria on June 12 in Johannesburg. Tongues are already wagging and tension is in the air.
But Eagles spokesman Idah Peterside said yesterday that fear has no place in Eagles camp at Richards Bay, Durban.
â€œThe players are in high spirit.
They are ready for the match. Thereâ€™s no doubt that Argentina are hot with those intimidating names. But I think that we will give them a good match. I say this because of what I have seen of Lagerback and the players. Lagerback is very tactical. He has made some tactical changes in the team and people should stop talking about Argentina slaughtering Eagles. It will be a game.
Nobody will kill anybody. A winner might emerge, a draw is possible. The match will be played and we will move on to the next game.Â One thing I want to tell Nigerians is that the Eagles have improved. And they will see that when we play Argentina. Whatever happens, they will see that the team has improved.
They are looking forward to the game. The coaches have been working hard and the President (Sani Lulu) has been talking to them and psyching them up. If we lose, it will not be because of fear or intimidation, but we are not thinking of defeat. We are hoping for a good result and we are very positive going by the determination of the players and their readiness to take on Argentina.â€
The Richards Bay community hosted the team on arrival Wednesday.Â â€œKids and adults lined up with our flags to welcome us. It was warm. We arrived Durban at 2 pm, trained same day about three hours after arrival, and gathered for the warm reception. We have since settled and are now focussing on the match with Argentina.â€