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For Lopez, Argentina’s struggles are tough to watch

Claudio Lopez 1 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                Photo by ISIphotos.com

By KILLIAN O'CONNOR

As Argentina stands on the brink of failure to qualify for the World Cup, former striker Claudio Lopez looks on in disbelief. Although he acknowledges the current predicament he sees his fellow countrymen in, not qualifying is still unthinkable.

"We need the team to come together for qualifying," said Lopez. "It is a two game race and we need everyone focused in this game. I know the two teams are good, but I think we will do it."

Lopez, who scored ten goals for La Albiceleste, including one in the 1998 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Holland, still finds it hard not being part of the national set-up.

"I miss playing with Argentina," says the Argentine now sporting the # 7 jersey for the Kansas City WIzards in the MLS. "I miss it all the time. When you play there it is incredible. it is fantastic. Every time you see your national team you want to be there. You want to help the team, but it is fun for me now."

Maradona's Argentina lie in fourth place on 25 points, one ahead of Uruguay going into tonight's crunch game in Montevideo. A loss to La Celeste would put the fate of Maradona and co. in the hands of Chile who play sixth place Ecuador. Ecuador know a win will see them clinch a playoff place at worst, with a five goal thumping of Chile in Santiago combined with a draw in Uruguay, clinching automatic qualification.

With this in mind and without the ability to have an impact on the game, Lopez finds it increasingly anxious to watch from afar. "It's so difficult to watch and not being able to play, but I know this is a new time now. I know that this time is for young players like Messi, Ag├╝ero and Gago."

The thought of not qualifying for the world's biggest event for only the second time in the country's history is inconceivable for Lopez but he sees the importance of the game. "It is a World Cup final before the World Cup. I hope so. We have some of the best players in all the world, very talented, and we need a little more patience and a little more work because it is a very good team, but I think we will do it."

As for Lopez, his contract expires at the end of the year but he is not ready to hang up his boots just yet. "I want to play one more year. I don't know where but I am feeling good. Everything will be based on family. We will think what is best for us. We are feeling good now, but after the season we will see what happens."

Comments

  1. I am glad Chile is doing their part to keep Argentina from qualifying. So tired of the Argentine attitude by the players, fans not to mention the head coach. He is just like a Hugo Sanchez that needs to be shut up with failure. Be proud, not arrogant.

    Viva Chile!!!!

    Reply
  2. I don’t care either way, but I always find it funny when people say they want Argentina to qualify because the best teams should go to the World Cup.

    Well if Argentina don’t qualify that’s maybe because they aren’t the best team.

    As for them having the best players in the world…so what…all the best players in the world cannot always make the best team in the world. We have seen that in many teams across all sports.

    It’s team Argentina, not team Messi/Tevez or whatever other names you want throw in there.

    Regardless the match is going to be great. I wished it would have been Arg/Mex for the playoff spot though.

    Reply
  3. I know I won’t be crying if Argentina doesn’t qualify, its about time they got brought back down to earth.

    As for Messi not qualifying to the WC, I think it would do him some good to built character. What motivation it would be to win the WC in Brazil

    Reply

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