‘Robben’s important, Messi’s the best’

Argentina Coach Alejandro Sabella has acknowledged the worth of Netherlands winger Arjen Robben but backed Lionel Messi as the best ever.

Robben and Messi will be in opposition tonight as their countries meet in the second World Cup semi-final, 24 hours after Germany hammered Brazil 7-1.

Bayern Munich’s Robben has been hailed for his performances in the tournament thus far but Sabella told his pre-match Press conference that Messi is still the world’s standout player.

“[Robben is] a great player and very important for the Netherlands, as Neymar is for Brazil and Messi for Argentina,” Sabella said.

“They’re all important for their national teams but Messi is the best ever.”

Sabella added that reaching the World Cup final was now top of his side’s agenda and revealed he had asked his players not to overdo the celebrating after beating Belgium in the quarter-finals.

“We will be frustrated if we can’t get to the final, although this group are already winners,” he continued.

“Now we have another kind of pressure. I asked the players to be measured with their celebrations to save energy, because this is becoming increasingly difficult.

“[Louis van Gaal] is a great Coach and said recently he can play in different ways and the Netherlands are extremely qualified to vary their tactics. I think that’s very clever.

“We must give 100% as always, with solidarity and enthusiasm.”

Sabella also welcomed the presence of a number of Argentines in the crowd against the Dutch, but said there are likely to be plenty of locals backing their opponents.

“It’s always good to have our fans nearby but there has always been a rivalry between the fans of Argentina and Brazil,” he reflected.

Tags Argentina Arjen Robben Bayern Munich Lionel Messi Netherlands Sabella World Cup 2014
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