The FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar is only weeks away, and all qualified teams are equipping to put out a mind boggling performance on the field of play to pacify the fans who will throng to the stadia. Argentina is one of the teams who has proactively been tipped by certain pundits to perform well, in the wake of winning the last COPA AMERICA competition.
In a recent interview, Argentina legend Ramon Diaz, has also spoken about his country’s (Argentina) chances and how he feels Argentina are in excellent form to do ‘wonders’ at Qatar 2022.
With his in-depth knowledge of the game in Saudi Arabia, Diaz is buzzing about the prospect of his native Argentina facing his adopted homeland at Qatar 2022, and has offered his take on the Albiceleste and the Green Falcons.
“I’m Argentinian, of course!,” he joked, making clear where his allegiances lie in the Group C opener. “But I have great appreciation for Saudi Arabia, especially as most of the players are from my club Al Hilal.
“The Saudi players have high qualities and will make things complicated for Argentina, but Argentina have the best player in the world [in Lionel Messi]. I told [my players] I will be there to watch the game. It will be an interesting match for sure!”
For Argentina, the Saudi Arabia experience marks the first snag in their journey to bring back a title that was last won in Mexico 1986 – a competition Diaz was cruelly avoided with regard to by then coach Carlos Bilardo in spite of partaking in his best scoring effort in Serie A with Avellino in 1985.
Diaz believes there are great players in the new Argentina team, that will convey the expectations of the country at Qatar 2022. He also thinks it could at long last be the ideal opportunity for greatness under lead trainer Lionel Scaloni and the prolific Messi.
“Argentina are now in top form, we have the best player in the world, Messi, in his most mature version as well as several talented players who came in to replace veterans who are no longer with the team,” he said. “As Argentinians, we are very optimistic that we can go all the way to the final and win the World Cup. It would be a natural extension of us winning the Copa America.
“Scaloni is doing a good job with the team, he managed to assemble a good and competitive group of players and create harmony within the squad. Argentina has a lot of talent, and Scaloni needs no advice from me. He is on the right track and as Argentinians, we have to back him and support the team as they are in their best form at the moment.”
The story of Ramon Diaz began at the easternmost corner of Asia, when as a 20-year-old when he played with Diego Maradona in the 1979 FIFA World Youth Championship™. The staggering team went crazy in Japan, cruising Argentina to the title, with Diaz getting the top scorer award with 8 goals, with young Maradona being named the competition’s best player.
10 years and a half later he was back in Japan, spending the last two seasons of his playing career at Kashima Antlers, yet much to his dismay, the forward-turned-manager would proceed to become a fan #1 at Asia’s best club side, all the way on the western tip of the continent, in Saudi Arabia.
In between, Diaz established himself for River Plate and Argentina, partnering Maradona once more at the 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain™. Despite Diaz’s goal against Brazil, the Albiceleste found themselves second best to one of the most entertaining sides of all time, and they fell short against eventual winners Italy, two sides Diaz expresses his admiration for even 40 years later.