Diego Maradona’s selección trained with an audience for the first time since arriving in South Africa on Thursday, inviting the press to watch. They opened more than just the gates to the complex though, with several players commenting on the atmosphere in the camp after the session. Seba Verón talked about the pleasure of sharing his room with Lionel Messi, whilst Carlos Tevez gave the press an image which probably made them wish they hadn’t come after all, talking about the pleasure of having a room all to himself; ‘No-one’s sharing with me because when I’m in my room I like to be naked.’ Tevez was playing for both teams (no euphemisms intended) in the practice when the press were allowed in to watch. Pretty much the only thing that wasn’t revealed was the formation with what Argentina will start against Nigeria next Saturday.
Verón was asked what it was like sharing a room with Messi, with whom he famously gets on well, but who is of course thirteen years younger than him. ‘It’s fine,’ Seba replied. ‘He snores a lot, but we can solve that. Maybe with a cushion…’ He also commented that, ‘we needed this time together, to form ourselves as a group. It’s been a monotonous week, but we’ve passed it well… living together is going well, and the objective is to have a great World Cup.’ How is a great World Cup defined? According to Verón’s room-mate Messi, only one way; ‘To have a good World Cup means winning it.’
The media only saw the last 15 minutes of the training match the squad played, but during that Carlos Tevez formed part of the attack for both sides – as soon as one defence got the ball, he’d change direction and take up a position in that team’s attack. Maradona is clearly giving a lot of consideration to how best to utilise the Manchester City man in (presumably) an attacking trio. Not such good news was that Diego Milito had to leave the session with a knock to his knee, but although it caused understandable alarm to the medical team, it’s not thought to be serious. Ariel Garcé, meanwhile, continued to train alone – not because Maradona’s realised he shouldn’t be there, but because of an ongoing niggle in his right calf.
Sergio Romero, meanwhile, proved he’s a fully paid-up member of the goalkeepers’ union by getting his excuses in early like any self-respecting ‘keeper. ‘The ball causes you problems, plenty of them. It needs to be looked at and studied, we’re looking for all the variations. We’ve got to adapt to the new ball, the defenders have to as well because more than once it’s changed its flight and they’ve missed their attempt to head it.’
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Photo pinched from ole.clarin.com