Thursday 26 April 2018

My barbarians will have last laugh over nervous Schweinsteiger: Maradona

Henry Winter

DIEGO MARADONA has raised the temperature ahead of his side's quarter-final with Germany by ridiculing Bastian Schweinsteiger's comments about "provocative'' Argentina.

Another raised temperature belongs to Lionel Messi, whose head cold forced him to miss training yesterday, although it will not preclude his involvement in Cape Town.

During an interview Maradona stared into the camera, putting on a mock German accent and declared: "What's the matter Schweinsteiger? Are you nervous?'' Oliver Bierhoff, the general manager of the German team, retorted: "Bastian never gets nervous.''

Argentina are particularly keen to settle a score from the 2006 World Cup when they lost to the Germans on penalties.

"We don't have time to think of Schweinsteiger,'' Maradona added. "The boys are thinking about getting on the field and playing a 2006 rematch.

"It doesn't worry me what he says about penalties, that we don't know how to lose, it doesn't interest us. We are coming out to attack them and play in their faces. This is what has them nervous.''

Defender Martin DeMichelis was similarly dismissive about Schweinsteiger's claims.

"I could speak for one hour about Schweinsteiger's comments but I'm not going to pay any attention,'' said DeMichelis, his Bayern Munich club-mate. "The response will be on the field.''

In preparing for the quarter-final, Maradona insisted he would not compromise his attacking principles. "It would be a sin to change with these players,'' he said. "We're going to attack Germany. I've a barbarian group, who have been playing an incredible way in train-ing.'' (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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