Gerardo Martino hits out at proximity of Champions League final with Copa America
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino complained about the scheduling of the European Champions League final which could involve a number of his players five days before the Copa America kicks off in Chile.
BUENOS AIRES: Argentina coach Gerardo Martino complained about the scheduling of the European Champions League final which could involve a number of his players five days before the Copa America kicks off in Chile.
The Champions League final in Berlin is scheduled for June 6 and a large number of South American internationals play for the eight clubs that have reached the quarter-finals.
"We need to have the players from the first day and they are very keen to take part in the Copa America but they are also going to want to play the Champions League final after preparing all year," Martino said.
"It`s going to be a tough decision, the fact I don`t have to take it (yet) is because we haven`t got there yet. Martino told a news conference at Argentine FA headquarters.
"It seems to me that little thought is given to the needs of what happens on this side of the world," he said in a veiled dig at European body UEFA.
Martino went on to suggest that with a Centenary Copa America in the United States and the Euro 2016 finals next year the matter might be given greater thought by organisers.
"It`s something that could have been avoided now, as a way of protecting the footballers," said Martino, whose side meet up in the United States next week for Copa America warm-up games against El Salvador on March 28 and Ecuador three days later.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi is one of the many players who could be affected by the scheduling with the Copa America kicking off in Chile on June 11 and Martino will want him in the kind of form he is showing now.
Martino praised Messi for his performance against Manchester City in the their Champions League last-16 tie, which Barcelona won 3-1 on aggregate, saying: "I really can`t think of a parallel with his (Messi`s) performance in Wednesday`s match.
"It had been a long time since I`d seen one player be so absolutely decisive like Leo was in the return (leg) with City," said Martino, who was Barcelona coach last season.
Asked for his opinion on the decision to hold the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar in November/December rather than the traditional mid-year dates, Martino said he expected FIFA to do it well.
"I suppose (the decision) had to do with the climate and it`s a complete novelty... It will require much more detailed organisation but given that it`s FIFA I have no doubts they`ll manage."