Saturday, May 27, 2017

Argentina v Bolivia: Demichelis hints at international farewell

SoccerNews in World Cup 27 Mar 2016

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Martin Demichelis has hinted he might step away from international football following Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia on Tuesday.

Demichelis is expected to start for Gerardo Martino’s side in Cordoba alongside Javier Mascherano due to Ramiro Funes Mori and Manchester City team-mate Nicolas Otamendi both being suspended, but the 35-year-old is considering walking away.

The defender said that, while he feels “good in body and mind”, he does not expect to play in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“As a matter of humility and because I am realistic of the situation, I have to be aware that it may be my last game in the selection,” Demichelis told World D. “And I want to live the game that way.

“I have been going 35 and a half years and do not know how many more chances I will be able to provide. I am proud to remain at my age, that they feel I can contribute.

“I’m not physically ill, but I know that there are new players, where the coach has to have an eye on the project. 

“Because the truth is that for me the next World Cup is far for my body and my mind. All this makes me say that this may be my last game. And if it is my last will be the best place for me, which is Cordoba, where I played a few times.”

Argentina beat Chile 2-1 on Thursday to extend their unbeaten run to four matches, although defeat to Ecuador in their first qualifying match means they lie fifth in the table, while Bolivia are second bottom after five matches, with their only points coming in a 4-2 home victory against Venezuela.

Edward Zenteno and Leonel Morales will miss the match through suspension, while Damian Lizio left the squad for the birth of his child.

Bolivia coach Julio Cesar Baldivieso tested two systems in training – a 5-4-1 and a 4-5-1 – in response to Thursday’s 3-2 home loss to Colombia.

“I will try to put on the court people who are going through their best,” he said. 

“Surely the team will seek to reverse what happened in La Paz, I am convinced of that.”

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