Argentina begin preparations to face Spain

Left to right: Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, and Diego Milito apparently sharing a tracksuit top with a player I can't identify...

The highest-profile of the friendlies being played next week during the international break is almost certainly the one in Buenos Aires on Tuesday 7th September, when Argentina will host new world champions Spain in the Estadio Monumental. It’ll be the first time since 1987 that a highly-ranked European side (back then it was West Germany) has visited Buenos Aires, and the first time in 1999 (Lithuania) that any European team at all will have done so. Argentina’s squad are now together in the country, including the two big re-incorporations: Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso. Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito has also talked about his own feelings on re-joining the squad.

They had different approaches to their waits for Sergio Batista’s squad list to be announced, judging by their words to the press on arrival at Ezeiza airport. Cambiasso was just eager to get involved in the national team set-up again; ‘The call-up made me happy. Every time a list is due to be announced, I’m waiting for it and hoping all the time that I’ll be included… it’s also great that the [Argentine] people will get the chance to see a big European team live.’ Zanetti was clearly delighted as well, but hadn’t been quite so expectant. ‘I’m happy and content to be able to be involved in this match, I didn’t expect it. I’m one more player who’s come to join the squad. It’s a great opportunity,’ said the man who is Argentina’s current record holder for international appearances.

Milito has had a different challenge in getting into the selección again. In El Gráfico last month he gave an interview saying that ‘his World Cup’ had been the battle to regain fitness, and that now he’d finally managed that he didn’t mind missing the tournament in South Africa too much in comparison. ‘I couldn’t be happier with this call-up,’ he told the press on Wednesday, though. ‘There was a while when I was doubting whether I was going to return to the national side again, above all because of the amount of time I spent out due to the injury. Of course that makes this an amazing moment, to be here again.’

The side trained all together for the first time on Wednesday, but there were no indications from the practice session as to the likely starting lineup. The (semi) sensibly-priced tickets are all already sold out, with nearly a week still to go.

You can follow the daily ins and outs during the 2010 Apertura, as well Argentine clubs in the Copa Sudamericana, the country’s vast foreign legion and the latest news from the selección during the 2010-2011 season direct from Buenos Aires with HEGS on Twitter. If you’ve not signed up yet you can do so here.

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8 thoughts on “Argentina begin preparations to face Spain

    1. I thought it might be Samuel, yeah (it would make it all Inter players together of course, too), but didn’t want to say so without his face.

      I will be there, yes, largely because two holidaying football bloggers really wanted to go and had to use my credit card to book the tickets. At AR$220 a pop, I’m expecting an incredibly entertaining spectacle.

  1. i hope 2 see plaenty of pictures and maybe the odd video on flickr from u sam… i hope u guys enjoy the spectacle that we all anticipate. have a good time and enjoy i hope to pick it up on a stream or 2 from blighty.

    1. Why a stream, Atul? It’s being shown in the UK on ITV4.

      You won’t see any videos from me on Flickr, I’m one of Flickr’s many members who feel they should’ve kept it for photography only. I might (might) put a video up on Daily Motion or YouTube.

  2. u have made my day sam can’t believe itv4 gonna b showing it. been down the supermarket and got a crate of beer ready for el fiesta!!! Also can’t believe the game sold out as i have just done the sums for your tickets roughly around £35 each and u said it was sold out surely there are cheaper tickets than this, because don’t wanna be disrespecting anyone but doubt the majority of fans who go to footy in argentina can afford them sorts of prices when they are used to payin around 30 pesos from what i remember (2008).

    1. I’m getting that from someone on Twitter who still lives in the UK, Atul, so I’d check your TV guide to make sure first.

      And yes, there were cheaper tickets available than the AR$220 ones my friends and I have, but they went very quickly obviously. And you’re right – for the majority of football-going fans here, they’re very, very expensive.

  3. That’s all fine and dandy. I’m stuck with streaming from someone showing the ESPN Deportes feed I guess. All the sport channels I have in Canada are showing tennis.

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