Argentina are aware that Germany are going to pull out all their big guns to seize the victory in Friday's quarter-final game. But the Argentinean 11 aren't afraid, forward Javier Saviola told DW-WORLD.DE.
Argentina's forward Javier Saviola faces Germany on their home turf Friday
Javier "the rabbit" Saviola is a master at his game. Quick and agile, he and teammate Hernan Crespo are a big part of what makes Argentinean soccer great. The 24-year-old plays intuitively and his roguish looks reveal that he's in excellent shape. He believes he can cause trouble for Germany on Friday. DW-WORLD.DE spoke with Argentina's star forward.
DW-WORLD.DE: At the beginning, Brazil were the only favorite, but now Argentina are also being seen as a favorite.
Javier Saviola: Yes, we know. But this happened after our game against Serbia-Montenegro. Not much was said after the game against the Ivory Coast. The winds began to change after the game against the Netherlands. But we want to keep our feet on the ground.
Argentina beat Mexico 2-1 on Saturday
Is Germany the most difficult opponent in the quarter-finals?
All the opponents are difficult in the quarter-finals and we have to beat them all anyways to win the title. Both teams have a similarly high level and neither has the advantage. Germany are a good team, but they have their weak spots too.
A home game is always an advantage...
Yes, without a doubt. It's likely that they will put a lot of pressure on at the beginning, and it won't be an easy game. Argentina have to play their game, play the ball low and keep control. We know that if we're really on that day we'll be able to rile Germany.
Had you always expected to play in the World Cup?
No, because Argentina have a very high level, and there are lots of good forwards. At the beginning, all the fans cheered for Messi, Palacio and Agüero and only a few of them remembered me. I continued to play well for FC Sevilla, which had a good standing in the Primera Division and won the UEFA Cup. That was very positive for me, and I earned a lot of respect from the fans.
In your first World Cup game you scored a goal against the Ivory Coast.
Yes, I'm very happy. Things are going really well. It's incredible that Pekerman is playing me. And I'm really thankful to be one of the 23 guys representing the country. This team has excellent players and all of them give their best for the "selección."
Saviola got up from a push to score against the Ivory Coast
Does it bother you that there are people who would rather see Messi or Tévez, even though you and Crespo are playing very well?
No, I can understand that. The fans want to see all the famous players, but only 11 guys can be on the field at one time. I wish we could all play, but it doesn't work like that.
Did you stop playing for FC Barcelona for economic reasons?
Yes, if I had played a certain number of games I would have gotten a set amount of money. But FC Barcelona didn't want to pay. That was when the problems started.
Your situation is unusual: You're at the World Cup but you don't play for a team anymore. FC Sevilla is making plans without you.
Yes, because I have a contract with FC Barcelona. That means I have to go back, unless FC Barcelona lends me to another team again. We'll see.
There are rumors that FC Arsenal may be interested.
Right now I'm only thinking about the national team. When the World Cup is over, then I'll start thinking about my future.