Friday, July 27, 2012
Monday, July 02, 2012
The No.10, who is widely considered the Albiceleste's best player, has been criticised in the past for not replicating his club form with Barcelona on the global stage.
However, Menotti, who led Argentina to victory in the 1978 World Cup, has called on his fellow countrymen to help the forward out in their forthcoming campaign for glory.
"Leo is not going to save the Argentine team at the World Cup," Menotti told Gazeta Esportiva.
"Messi alone guarantees nothing. You cannot win a World Cup with one player. Messi could be the difference and we are lucky to have him, but if we do not assemble a team, Messi is not going to save us in 2014.
"In the 1970 World Cup, the most brilliant player I saw was Pele for Brazil, but he was not alone. With him were Rivelino, Clodoaldo, Tostao, Jairzinho and Gerson."
The South American nation last won the World Cup in 1986.
London: Indian tennis stalwarts Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who were locked in a selection row for the London Olympics recently, saw their fortunes take different turns on Saturday with the former reaching the third round of the men's doubles event while the latter crashed out of mixed doubles competition of the Wimbledon here.
The French Open champion pair of Bhupathi and Sania Mirza, who later joined the selection row by lashing out at the All India Tennis Association (AITA) for using her as a "bait" to pacify Paes, suffered a crushing 3-6, 1-6 defeat to Australian P Hanley and A Kudryavtseva in a 50-minute mixed-doubles match at the All England Club here.
However, Paes - who confirmed his participation in the Olympics on Friday - and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek notched up a 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (5) victory over Isreali combination of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram in a gruelling two hour and 20 minutes battle.
Qatar survived an onslaught from Iran to secure a well-earned 0-0 draw in an Asian World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
Iran, a favorite to advance to the 2014 finals in Brazil, was by far the better side but its attack couldn't turn the bulk of possession and good chances into goals thanks in part to Qatar goalkeeper Qasem Burhan. It has scored only once in its first two Group A matches.
In the first half, Iran captain Javad Nekonam hit the crossbar in the 30th minute while Qatar's naturalized Brazilian defender Marcone was denied by goalkeeper Mahdi Rahmati 10 minutes before the break.
Iran's best chance in the second half came in stoppage time when a free kick from just outside the area by substitute Ashkan Dejagah just flew over the goal.
''It was difficult as I had expected. But it was a game that moved only in one direction: Towards the Qatar goal,'' Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said. ''But, despite all attempts, we couldn't score. Our inability to find the target cost us two points. We played the entire 90 minutes with full concentration, never allowing the rivals any space. Our goalkeeper was tested only once, in the first half.''
Qatar coach Paulo Autuori praised his players for bouncing back after a 4-1 defeat to South Korea last week.
''Congratulations to our players. The way we reacted after the defeat against South Korea proved the players' mental strength,'' he said. ''The presence of a 100,000-strong vociferous crowd made it even more difficult, but we showed we've the capability to withstand all those pressures.''
Qatar, which is hosting the 2022 World Cup, is level with Iran on four points in Group A, two points behind leader South Korea.