Argentina recently unveiled its fifth manager of the main national squad in as many years. Alejandro Sabella, aka Pachorra -- a colloquial expression denoting a mellow laid-backness -- is perhaps the most low-profile among the handful of names who have attempted the challenge of returning the once great soccer nation to its former glory.
A 4-1 win Tuesday over world champion Spain should do much to transform Sergio Batista from caretaker to full-time coach of Argentina. More than that, though, it rams home a lesson forgotten by predecessor Diego Maradona amid the euphoria of South Africa 2010 -- midfield is not an optional extra.
Rebuilding the sense of team after the painful World Cup exit, and following on from the discharge of Diego Maradona, was never going to be easy for Argentina. Only a handful of Argentinian press travelled to Dublin, to cover the 1-0 friendly win against Ireland on Tuesday, which marked the international soccer launch of the new Aviva stadium, as well as that of Sergio "Checho" Batista's interim appointment to the adult men's squad.
If one game on Tuesday night is any indication, the 51st edition of the Copa Libertadores -- South America's Champions League -- will continue to provide drama and excitement fitting of a premier continental tournament. In one of the most dramatic matchups in recent memory, Universidad Católica ensured its place in the group stage of the competition after a penalty-shootout victory over Colón de Santa Fe in Santiago, Chile.
Patrick Vieira's move to Manchester City appears to have moved a step closer after Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho confirmed he has played his last game for the Italian club. English Premier League side City had been linked with a move for the 33-year-old midfielder who has a stop-start career at the San Siro since his move from Juventus. Vieria played in Inter's 1-0 win over Chievo and Mourinho paid tribute to his contribution to the club after the match and confirmed his impending departure. "In particular Vieira was great in his last game for us. He is a player that we will certainly miss now that he is leaving," Mourinho told reporters. "It was the best way to say goodbye to us and I wish him all the best in his new life. I don't know where he is going. He doesn't have to tell anyone. England? I think so. "We couldn't have stopped him from leaving."
Soccer fans commonly refer to the English, Spanish and Italian leagues as being the best in the world, not only for the abundance of talent on display but because of the level of excitement offered by its top clubs.
Substitute Mario Bolatti scored in the 85th minute to give Argentina a 1-0 victory against 10-man Uruguay on Wednesday night and send the struggling South American football heavyweights through to next year's World Cup finals.
I'm never a big fan of sports being reduced to soap opera. There's much more going on than the emotional drama and the athlete's state of mind. We can talk about "focus" and "concentration'' all we want -- at times they're used like magic words that explain everything about the outcome.
Is Argentine soccer a one-team show? As we near the conclusion of the group stage of the 2009 Copa Libertadores, all but one of the five Argentine participants are in danger of missing out on a place in the knockout phase. Predictably, the only survivor is likely to be Argentina's most dominant club, Boca Juniors.
A year-and-a-half ago, Juan Sebastián Verón got cold feet and backed out of a deal that would have made him one of the biggest stars ever to join Major League Soccer. Could the Argentine international be ready to try again?
If its 4-1 drubbing of Mexico was any indication of what's to follow, Argentina is a serious contender to win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. There's no doubt the Argentines will qualify for the tournament, but what's more important at this stage is that Alfio Basile's side is playing like future world champions.
When it comes to the Copa Libertadores, no country compares to the dominance of Argentina. Since Independiente gave Argentina its first title victory in 1964, clubs from the soccer-mad nation have accounted for 21 trophies, far more than any other country, including Brazil.
While David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy got the ink last year, their Home Depot Center cotenants quietly turned into contenders. This year forward Maykel Galindo and an even stronger Chivas USA should clear the final hurdle, downing D.C. United in the MLS Cup final at the HDC on Nov. 23. Here's a team-by-team look at how MLS's 13th season will play out.
Brazilian striker Adriano scored a stunning hat-trick as Inter Milan reached the Champions League knockout stages with a 4-0 win over Artmedia Bratislava in their behind closed doors home clash on Wednesday.