Samson Siasia, The Super Eagles Head Coach, dismissed the fake Argentinean team-list that had the World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez omitted from the team that would play against Nigeria in the June 1 international friendly match at the Abuja National Stadium.
The coach disclosed that the match has drawn the attention of the entire African continent, and every Global soccer follower would want to see how Nigeria will battle the football super power stressing that both countries can’t afford not to player their best players.
“Messi and Tevez are not the most important players in Argentina so we are not complacent about their rumoured absence,” Siasia said.
“Argentina will never raise a substandard team against Nigeria because they too want to maintain their record of the unbeaten runs. We are focused and will give the match all it takes. Argentina is one of the world’s most successful football nations. Any team they field will be of world class quality because the depth of talent available to them is second to none. Whether they are the more well known international players or the phenomenal rising stars coming through, Argentina are amongst the best in the world.
No matter who comes, we can be absolutely sure that they will be among the very best in the world and we would underestimate them at our peril. As such, we will be well prepared and fielding our very best team. It will be a match for the history books and we will show what we are made of.
Argentina have not lost a match in recent time and that is an indication that that we have to prepare well for the match. They are a strong side and we can’t afford to let our fans down. I can understand that Messi will play in the UEFA Champions League on May 28 while Tevez has been out for a couple of weeks due to injury and Batista will not want to risk using them. After the WAFU Cup, our efforts will be geared toward good preparations to at least revenge all the past defeat from Argentina.”
Siasia does not see anything wrong in testing new players in a friendly match insisting that any team from Argentina has the potent instinct to surprise and shock any team in the world adding that the Super Eagles team list will also have some local and foreign-based stars.
Sources close to the coach say new players like Chibuzor Okonkwo and Ekigo Ehiosun maybe given opportunities in the epic match.
Siasia, we gathered, will send his team list for the historic match to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday and will be followed immediately by letters of invitation to the players.
In related news, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has denied releasing the team list for the June 1 international friendly match against Nigeria. The purported list has excluded Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Diego Milito but AFA representative, Hernan Tofoni said that his Association is yet to make public the list of players for the match.
Hernan said that AFA accepted invitation to be part of the Guinness the Match based on the respect they have for Nigeria and the match is important to their build-up for the COPA America Cup.
“Nigeria and Argentina are two great football nations with great people who have great passion for the games,” Hernan said. “We can’t afford to be complacent because we have beaten Nigeria three times in the past. The Eagles are a great team and they are playing at home. Argentina is number five in the world right now so we have to play with our best players. They will be supported by the massive crowd and we don’t want to let our fans down. This is an opportunity for us to continue our dominance over Nigeria.”
Sam Alladyce’s Speaks…..
Sam Alladyce in a similar vein stated “Guinness the Match between Argentina and the Super Eagles is a mouth watering prospect. Just like the rest of us, I don’t know who’s playing as yet, but I do know that with the depth of talent available in a country with the football heritage of Argentina, it will be nothing short of a world class side. Outside of the usual candidates, think of Zabaleta and his goal for City last week. Otomendi had a tremendous FIFA World Cup and is playing in the UEFA Cup Finals. Mateo Musacchio is playing well for Villa Real. The point is that whoever will play, they will prove to be more than worthy opponents, a real handful. What’s more, the level of young talent that the Argentines have coming through is phenomenal. There are some truly exciting players – I’m thinking specifically of Insua and Musacchio – Players that will look back and see this match as formative in their international careers. I’ve said it from the outset when I came over to Lagos – this is going to be one heck of a match!”
Guinness, organizers of the epic match have also reacted saying that both team lists would be made public 10 days to the match.