Javier Mascherano is talking tough ahead of the World Cup match between Nigeria and Argentina.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are in group D of the World Cup alongside Argentina, Croatia, and Iceland.
Speaking about his team opponents Mascherano revealed that the game against Nigeria will be a tough encounter due to the African side being disorganised on the pitch.
The Super Eagles defeated Argentina 4-2 the last time the two sides met in a friendly encounter and Mascherano is wary of the threat posed by the athletic Nigerian side.
Mascherano who played against the Super Eagles in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments gave his opinion about all of Argentina’s group stage opponents in an interview with the Guardian.
He said, “And Nigeria are quite well known to us, we’ve always met in the last World Cups. They’re tough, not just because of their physical power, but because their disorganisation has the effect of disorganising you as a rival. And that’s when teams like ours suffer the most – in disorder.”
Mascherano also discussed group rivals Croatia and Iceland and hailed the European sides for their distinctive qualities.
He said, “Iceland are a new team in the sense that they maybe don’t have a long football tradition but they’re a generation of players that have made history recently, with spectacular success at Euro 16, and qualifying ahead of Croatia.
“Croatia are a first-class side with top players, especially in the midfield, such as Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Rakitic … Perisic; a team to watch out, quality squad.”
Mascherano who is part of the 23-man Argentina squad to the World Cup is expected to be in action when they take on Iceland in their group opener scheduled for Saturday, June 16.