Lavolpe relishing Argentina friendly
Costa Rica head coach Ricardo Lavolpe is anxiously looking forward to beating Argentina in tomorrow's friendly. Argentina-born Lavolpe, who coached Mexico in the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, has made copious notes on how to beat Argentina.
He told Argentinian TV station TyC Sports: "If I have to win through dead balls, I would work a hundred hours for that." Lavolpe has also hit back at Argentina boss Sergio Batista, who had criticised him when Lavolpe coached Boca Juniors in 2006 and Velez Sarsfield in 2007.
Lavolpe added: "In the past he said I had to get used to Argentinian football. He forgot I played and grew up in Argentinian football. He was in a bunker and now he is the coach of the Argentinian national team."
Batista was pleased with Argentina's form in the first half of their 1-1 draw with the United States, saying: "The first 45 minutes were brilliant. I hope we can play the way Barcelona play. I hope, but we need time. The national team has its own identity and great, talented players."
The Barcelona star said: "All of us wanted to beat the United States, but we must focus on the Copa America. That is the important goal. We must keep this idea. The more we play together, the better. There is a short time ahead of the main goal."
The match is sold out and Costa Rican FA president Eduardo Li has called for Batista to ensure Messi plays. Li said: "If Messi does not play, it would be impolite behaviour (from Argentina).
"Messi's arrival in Costa Rica is like Pele's visit 40 years ago. We are all excited. This is a unique event for the Costa Rican national team and the whole country too."