Tuesday - Jun 29, 2010, 08:27am (GMT+5.5)
Johannesburg (IANS) Argentina's latest poster boy Gonzalo Higuain stands a strong chance to surpass his coach, the legendary Diego Maradona, in this World Cup.
In four matches, Higuain has scored four goals and is among the seven Argentines, including Maradona (1986), to score four goals in one edition. The others are Guillermo Stabile (1930), Mario Kempes and Leopoldo Luque (1978), Jorge Valdano (1986) and Gabriel Batistuta (1994 and 1998).
Higuain has been in great form in this tournament and is the current top scorer as well. He scored a hat-trick against South Korea in the group stage and with Argentina in the quarterfinal, Higuain can well surpass his coach.
Higuain's meteoric rise in the national team since making his debut for la Albiceleste in last October has prompted Maradona to compare this Real Madrid forward with the likes of Batistuta and Hernan Crespo.
Higuain also scored on his international debut against Peru to help Maradona's side qualify for the World Cup finals.
"Higuain has qualities of both Bati and Crespo. He has a spectacular future and is living his best moments, I called him at the right time," said Maradona.
Argentina's win against Mexico at the Soccer City here Sunday was their 10 consecutive win in the World Cup and also their best in the history of the tournament. Their last defeat in the World Cup was in 2002 when they lost 1-0 to England.
For Mexico it was the fifth time in a row that they have been eliminated from the round of 16. In 2002, they were eliminated by Argentina, in 1998 by Germany and 1994 by Bulgaria on penalties.
Tevez - I knew I was offside
Argentina striker admits he was 'selfish'
By Mike Barton Last updated: 28th June 2010
Carlos Tevez has admitted he knew that he was offside in the run-up to his opening goal of Argentina's 3-1 victory over Mexico on Sunday.
The Manchester City striker scored two goals in Diego Maradona's team's victory, with his second undoubtedly proving his quality with a fine finish.
His first goal, which gave the Argentines the lead midway through the first half, was a cause for controversy as Lionel Messi pounced on a rebound to chip the ball to Tevez to head in, despite standing in an offside position.
Replays on a big screen in the stadium showed footage of the goal, including Tevez's position, leading to mass complaints by Mexican players appealing for the goal to be disallowed.
Italian referee Roberto Rosetti and his assistants however waved away the claims, with Tevez stating that he was 'selfish' to not own up to the decision.
"At first I thought he (Rosetti) was saying that it was not a goal, then I saw the signal and I started (celebrating) and I was happy," Tevez said.
"I know I was offside, I know it was selfish but as long as they say it was a goal it's OK for me and the team.
"The team is growing in every single game, in every game it is getting stronger and we can win and that is the important thing. We can win the World Cup."
Tevez's team-mate Joan Gutierrez was also positive about his team's performance, claiming that they had the momentum required to be able to win the World Cup, as well as praising Tevez and Maradona for their contributions.
The Argentines now face Germany, who impressed in their 4-1 mauling of England, in the quarter-finals of the tournament on Saturday in Cape Town.
"It was a tough game but the national team of Argentina did a very good job, we scored three goals, we could have had more," said Gutierrez.
"Tevez was fantastic, so was the whole team, we have a very good group with incredible quality.
"We want to take on board all the experience of (coach) Diego Maradona. He won the World Cup (in 1986) and that is the experience we want to take from him.
"Germany is a very good team and it will be a very tough game, but if we want to be in the semi-final we have to win this game."
The controversy regarding Tevez's goal and the fact that it was displayed on a video screen brought an immediate reminder of events during Germany's victory, where Uruguayan official Jorge Larrionda failed to spot Frank Lampard's shot clearly cross the line when the score was 2-1 to Germany.
Despite mass calls for video evidence, the Newcastle winger insisted that it was inevitable for a referee to miss an incident during the game.
"This is football - we saw on the television that it was offside, it's very tough for Mexico but we can do nothing. Sometimes the referee can make a mistake," Gutierrez added.
"The referee can make a mistake because things can happen in one second. The game is very fast, so we cannot say anything (bad) about the referee."
I personally would have done the same thing as Tevez. As a player unless the whistle is blown, I'm going to keep playing and I would never argue with the referee if something went in my favour. Also, I don't understand why the people are blaming the players (Tevez, Neuer, Fabiano), they aren't the ones who control the calls. Well actually, I'm kind of iffy on the whole Fabiano thing because he joked about it with the ref.
ANYWAY VAMOS ARGENTINA
HATERS KEEP HATIN'
Also, here is some bonus Maradona smoking cubans during practice
THIS ENTIRE POST WAS LOVINGLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY WHAT MY FACE WILL LOOK LIKE PRIOR TO THE GER-ARG KICKOFF