Argentina not thinking of revenge against Nigeria

Reuters, Monday 5 Sep 2011

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella has dismissed talk of revenge when his side take on Nigeria in a friendly in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Tuesday

Argentina vs Nigeria
Argentina's striker Lionel Messi (L) vies with Nigeria's midfielder Lukman Haruna (15), Nigeria's defender Taye Taiwo (3) during their Group B first round 2010 World Cup football match on June 12, 2010 (Photo: AFP)

Argentina lost 4-1 to Nigeria in Abuja in June when their former coach Sergio Batista fielded a very inexperienced side.

“I don’t think about any revenge, it’s no good for human beings, it’s no good for anyone, we will try to win but I don’t think we will go for revenge,” Sabella told a news conference on Monday.

“It’s different game because we came here with a stronger team, but we will see tomorrow,” he said.

“I don’t know what they kind of team they field tomorrow. They play yesterday (Sunday) against Madagascar.” Sabella said referring to Nigeria’s 2-0 win in an African Nations Cup qualifying match.

Hundreds of fans cheered the Argentina squad when they arrived at Dhaka airport from the Indian city of Kolkata where they defeated Venezuela 1-0 in a friendly on Friday.

Twice World Player of the Year Lionel Messi was the centre of attention and the prospect of watching the Barcelona forward sparked huge excitement in Bangladesh, a country ranked only 139th in the world but still very passionate about football.

Sabella handed Messi the captain’s armband after replacing Batista as coach.

“I think there is a time when Argentina have been very strong going forward, the first thing I have to sort out is to achieve some balance between attack and defence,” said Sabella.

“We must let him (Messi) be happy. We must let him be completely free on the pitch.

“There are different kind of captains, one for personality and another because they are great players.

Argentina, knocked out of the Copa America on home soil in July at the quarter-final stage, needed a goal from defender Nikolas Otamendi to beat Venezuela in Sabella’s first game in charge.

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