PSL roars back into action!

After a break for the FIFA internatinal window, the PSL is back in action this weekend with some mouth-watering fixtures! Have your say on our Forum!

'We're our biggest enemy'

2010-06-15 10:44
Johannesburg - Argentina star Lionel Messi believes his own team are the biggest obstacle between themselves and World Cup glory.

Messi's team started their Group B campaign on Saturday by beating Nigeria 1-0 and Diego Maradona's team looked impressive with their free-flowing style.

However, the Argentinians failed to convert the style into substance and allowed the Super Eagles opportunities to get back into the match.

Messi says his team-mates are the only thing standing in the way of them winning the tournament and has warned his colleagues to remain professional in their pursuit of the trophy.

"Argentina should only be afraid of Argentina," said Messi.

"I say this with maximum respect to all the other teams but we have quality and talent.

"We must remain concentrated and go forward as we have been doing, training with care and staying united. We really should not be afraid of anybody."

Maradona's animated style on the touchlines during the win in Johannesburg courted attention from the media as the 1986 World Cup hero displayed a passionate approach to managing his side.

And Messi says the coach's influence on his players has been profound, adding: "Maradona is an exceptional motivator and to have him as a manager is an honour for us.

"He's close to us, he's one of us and he helps with his extraordinary experience. The attitude of the players has changed - and our team has an enormous margin of improvement."

Argentina's passage to South Africa in qualifying was hardly convincing under Maradona's reign, with his team scraping through thanks to a final round victory.

That led to concerns Messi and his fellow stars would flatter to deceive on the biggest stage, however the Barcelona attacker said the approach of his team had been transformed since the beginning of the competition.

The 22-year-old said: "Everything has changed from the qualifiers. The approach has changed completely and the behaviour of the players.

"Before we weren't a group and we often played badly. We couldn't get the win and we were subjected to criticism.

"We are motivated, we train hard and we see the fruit of our work. We are a different Argentina." 

More In This Category

Thierry Henry would never consider playing for France again even if new coach and former teammate Laurent Blanc asked him to.
An emotional Diego Maradona says he was betrayed as Argentina coach by national team director Carlos Bilardo.
Carlos Alberto Parreira has left South Africa at the end of his contract with Bafana Bafana, headed for his home in Rio de Janeiro.
Ghana defender John Mensah has refuted claims of a spat with the Ghana Football Association over unpaid Soccer World Cup bonuses.
Comments
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk