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Argentina Filled with Young Power

Posted June. 09, 2003 21:43,   


No more losing Game!

Argentina`s national soccer team, which constitutes one of the two pillars of the South American soccer along with Brazil, arrived in Korea yesterday afternoon. They are visiting South Korea to have an A-match against the South Korean national team tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. They checked in at Grand Hilton Hotel, and plan to start training from today in earnest.

Argentina, despite its failure to move onto the semifinal in the 2002 World Cup, shows off its power suitable for its world 5th ranking. Sunday, it beat Japan 4-1. This will be the second time Korea takes on Argentina. The two nations last took on each other in the 1986 World Cup preliminaries. But Argentina won the game 3-1.

In preparation for the upcoming 2006 Germany World Cup, Argentina has retired big world stars like Gavriel Batistuta and filled up its lineup with new and young players such as Javier Pedro Savilola and Pablo Cesar Aimar.

Frist, Saviola recorded the hat trick twice in the 2001 World Youth Championship, and won the MVP title. He is called the successor to Batistuta. Therefore, the Korean national team should keep an eye on him. In the Sunday game against Japan, he made one assist and one goal.

Aimar is called Little Maradona, and has a similar physical structure: 170 cm high and 62 kg heavy. But his passing technique has given him a secured position on the national team. In the pro league, he has already earned fame. For example, in this season, he has scored six goals.

After the 2002 World Cup, Argentina has taken on seven national teams, six of which it won. It was Saviola and Aimar who spearheaded the lead. In addition, Argentina has other star players like GK Pablo Cavellero.

Argentina is the toughest foe to the South Korean national team since its coach Umberto Coelho took its helm. As shown in the game against Uruguay, South Korea`s weak defense and the disappointing successful shooting rate will pose great problems to the team.

Since Coelho has only one day to make preparation for the match, he is expected to concentrate on beefing up the defense. Kim Nam-il and Kim Tae-young will man-to-man defend Aimar and Saviola. Then, Lee Young-pyo and Song Jong-kook will support the defense as wing backs.

To buttress the creaky attack power, Coelho is put one of Choi Yong-soo, Yoo Sang-chul and Cho Jae-jin up on the front-line. Coelho is also weighing the possible benefits from putting Lee Chun-soo in the right wing position.

In terms of individual capacity, Argentina players exceed their counterparts. SBS sports commentator Shin Moo-sun says, "Mr. Coelho should not give much attention to the result. All he has to do is show us the color of his soccer. I wish I could see a dramatic strategy of South Korea win over the individual limit."

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com