19 minutes into last summer’s World Cup campaign Sergio Agüero struck Argentina’s first goal of the tournament. It looked like it was getting off to a textbook start, but it quickly went awry for the Argentines, eventually capitulating at the round of 16.
Fast forward twelve months after a much needed break from international duty, another Premier League title, and the Manchester City striker is back in the mix and ready to do his job for his country at this year’s Copa America in Brazil.
Ahead of the tournament Agüero has spoken of the real driving force behind his ambition to take home Argentina’s first Copa America in 26 years.
“I’m more excited about winning for Leo [Messi] than myself because he has played for so long and has suffered so much”
Agüero is in part alluding to the fact that Lionel Messi remains Argentina’s most capped player. The Barcelona playmaker is also perhaps one player in Argentine footballing history who has received the most criticism from his countrymen and women.
The buck doesn’t just stop there. Messi is also Argentina’s highest goal scorer and remains their youngest representative at a World Cup finals. He should be the prodigal son but instead he is regarded with circumspection in his homeland.
Agüero and Messi have come up together. At 31 they are arguably at the peak of their powers, first appearing for Argentina at senior level at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where they helped guide their country to a gold medal
The criticism towards Messi since that golden moment has been nothing short of relentless, even caustic at times. The truth is that since the heady heights of Diego Maradona, Messi is the one who has guided Argentina closest to the success they so badly crave.
Three finals, three failures, one in the World Cup, and two in the two previous Copa Americas – that is Messi’s international record.
Messi himself is a prime example of flying too close to the sun. The Argentine public crave absolute success. They don’t care how close you come to it if there’s no silverware at the end of the road.
Enter Agüero. His comments could not come at a better time with the 2019 Copa America about to get underway in Brazil this week.
Both players have just featured in a 5-1 demolition of Nicaragua where Messi netted two. It serves as a gentle reminder that Messi needs to be handled with care, and that Argentina’s talisman who bears the brunt of expectation and responsibility is deserving of victory more than anyone else.
Agüero represents perhaps the most natural strike partner to accompany Messi in their Copa America campaign. As their third highest goalscorer of all time, Agüero will most likely start up top.
Inter’s Lautaro Martinez, River Plate’s Matias Suarez and Paolo Dybala of Juventus will provide the attacking reserves coach Lionel Scaloni has opted to take to Brazil.
Argentina face an uphill struggle, having been drawn into perhaps the most difficult group of the tournament with Colombia, Paraguay and debutantes Qatar.
Nevertheless, Argentina still remain favourites alongside Brazil to lift the trophy. To compare betting sites ahead of a bet on Argentina to win the tournament, it’s always a good idea to consult the betting experts to set you straight.
Argentina need to hit the ground running with their first fixture against group challengers Colombia coming up first. A tricky prospect in Paraguay will follow on the 20 June with a final group tie against Qatar.
Messi and Agüero have played together before with mixed results at major competitions. Hopefully Messi’s strike partner’s thoughtful words will set the tone for a tournament to remember, and for all the right reasons.
A Sports Betting Show is Going to Start on Bay Area TV
Sports betting is going to explode a new barrier on 5th August. NBC Sports Bay Area is going to present a live simulcast of sports betting with the help of a regional sports network named, NBC Sports Radio. The show name is “The Daily Line” which is focused on sports betting and online casino UfaBet. Sara Perlman will join Michael Jenkins and Tim Murry to serve as a co-host. She has been hosting the show since its launch.
The Daily Line show was launched on Jan 2nd, in conjunction with Westwood One. It is airing nationwide on NBC Sports Radio, the NBC Sports Scores app and other digital audio platforms from 3-7 pm. But in the Bay Area, the show timing will be noon to 4 pm. Apart from the Bay area, the show will also be simulcast on regional sports network in Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. As The Daily Line show is about sports betting, it will fit in the NBC Sport that will grow its audience. The show will cover sports betting information on worldwide online betting platforms including UFA.
David Preschlack, Chief of NBC Sports Regional Network, said, “I suspect the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow states to legalize sports betting will alter the consumption of live sports on multiple platforms. Network executives will explore integrating sports-betting discussions into their broadcasts and launch gambling-related programming. Legalized sports betting will likely roll out more slowly than people expect, but it will have a massive impact on the regional sports network business.”
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