Morgado-Sanchez: Italy and Argentina are the best of friends
Pitting Italy against Argentina, the second semi-final of the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004 is sure to be an emotional occasion. No fewer than eight of the Albiceleste's players currently ply their trade in the Italian championship, and almost all have had stints there in the past. For the Azzurro's Morgado and Argentina's captain Carlos Sanchez, the pleasure will be even greater as they play together for Montesilvano, where they are coached by one Fabian Lopez, the assistant to Albiceleste boss, Fernando Larrañaga. With this battle for a place in the final a matter of hours away, FIFA.com set up a meeting between these two clubmates.
FIFA.com: How do you feel about meeting up here? And how will you handle the other reunions that will take place on the pitch on Friday?
Morgado: It makes me really happy; having two players and a coach involved in a World Championship semi-final shows our club off very well. Personally speaking, it will be a great honour to face Carlos in a match like this.
Carlos Sanchez: First and foremost, I am very proud to play for one of the four best teams in the world, and even more so to be playing against Italy. As for facing Dudu (Morgado's nickname)… I am desperate to win, but I won't be able to get it out of my mind that he'll be opposite me. I'll treat his team with great respect.
Carlos, what do you think of the start made by the Squadra Azzurra?
Carlos Sanchez: Italy are quite simply in the process of confirming the form they showed at the European Championship. They are one of the top teams in the world, and if you'd asked me before the tournament which teams would make the last four, I would definitely have said Italy. They're a big team, beyond any shadow of a doubt.
Dudu, what do you think of Argentina?
Morgado: They're a side I know very well. I've been playing alongside Argentinian players for three years now, so I know what makes them tick. We respect Argentina enormously and know that they are an extremely difficult team to beat. They have excellent players in attack as well as in defence, and we're going to have to play even better than we have so far in order to win.
You know each other very well. Could you describe each other's main qualities?
Morgado: Carlos is a player who can attack and defend equally well. He is truly complete and would be difficult to improve on.
Carlos Sanchez: He has that special quality that all top strikers have: a cool head. I know few players as calm as him in front of goal. Like all the Italian players, he really is very dangerous.
So if anyone knows how to stop him, you do…
Carlos Sanchez: Against a player like him, there's no magic formula. He can turn a game on its head any time. All you can do is stay 100% focused and mark him very tightly.
What do you think will be the decisive factor in this match?
Morgado: Concentration, simply because they know how to defend well and like to play on the counter. You can't afford to let the mind wander against Argentina, as they can hurt you very badly in an instant. So it's crucial to pay attention for the whole of the game.
Carlos Sanchez: I believe good defending will be the most important weapon, as we have to deny them the space to develop their attacks.
Finally, will you be supporting the other's team if they go through to the final?
Carlos Sanchez: In all honesty, I will be gutted if we don't make it all the way after coming so far. But it's true that if Italy reach the final, I will be right behind them. I would be really happy if Argentina became champions of the world, but if Italy do it, I will be almost as delighted.
Morgado: It would be a real body blow to lose this semi-final. It just doesn't bear thinking about. But I've got so many mates in this Argentine side that, if they win the game, I will still be happy for them.
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