Argentina coach Diego Maradona claims his side are realistic contenders to win the World Cup this summer.
Maradona believes that Argentina’s 1-0 win over Germany in Munich on Wednesday night showed that his side are ready for the World Cup.
“This game had the character of a World Cup quarter-final and this is the level we were looking for,” he said. “Maybe the press in Argentina won’t like it, but we are going to play a very good World Cup in South Africa.”
A goal from Gonzalo Higuain earned Argentina the win and they also hit the crossbar as they controlled the match against a disappointing Germany.
“Argentina were very solid and extremely confident on the ball,” Germany coach Joachim Low said. “They were very dangerous when they came forward.
“There are always things that you have to work on and we know that we have got to work hard to make improvements in every part of the team.”
Low bemoaned his side’s lack of courage, but it was that aspect Argentina’s performance that most impressed impressed Maradona.
“What we showed is that we have a team who can become world champions for the first time after 24 years,” he said. “But now I have got to reduce my squad from 30 players to 23. That is not going to be easy.
“We showed a lot of courage and the whole of Argentina was looking forward to this game. Germany has great potential and Argentina showed that they are on a par with them.”
“I thank God that Messi is Argentinian,” Maradona added, “and I will thank God if he can make us world champions again. “That is what we will go to South Africa to do – become world champions.”