World Cup campaign starts with Sep 2 match: Sabella

August 31st, 2011 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 31 (IANS) New Argentine soccer coach Alejandro Sabella Wednesday said the country’s campaign for the 2014 World Cup will start with the Sep 2 FIFA official international friendly match here with Venezuela but mentioned the team’s inexperience of playing on the artificial turf at the Salt Lake stadium.

“Yes, this is my first game in command of the Argentinean national side. Yes, it is the beginning of our journey,” Sabella said when asked if the much-anticipated match can be called the starting point of Argentina’s World cup campaign.

Sabella also said it was very important for the team to show good results as it would instill confidence among the players.

“Because really it is the beginning of a long trip which I hope would finish with the qualification for the World Cup,” Sabella said. The countdown has already begun for the first-ever FIFA official international friendly match between Argentina and Venezuela in India with Lionel Messi in town.

Soccer superstar Messi will make his debut as full-time captain of the star-studded Argentina team that will take on Venezuela at the Salt Lake stadium.

When asked about the issue of artificial grass in Salt Lake Stadium, Sabella said: “We are not used to playing on artificial grass…for us it is not normal, that is the truth. Such turf is seen in only two or three places.”

Sabella also said that neither the team formation nor the strategy has been decided for the September 2 game.

“I can’t say now. We have not decided any strategy yet. After the training session tomorrow, I will see. I need one or two days to decide,” said Sabella.

Asked about the absence of Carlos Tevez in the team, Sabella said: “He is fat and so he is not in the team. But he will be eligible for selection now that he is playing for Manchester United once again.”

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