Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella said his side could have no complaints after being drawn alongside Nigeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran in Group F for the 2014 World Cup.
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Argentina, who were crowned world champions in 1978 and 1986, are considered among the favourites to triumph in Brazil and their hopes of reaching the knockout rounds were given a boost during Friday’s draw.
Sabella told Telam: “We are not in a group of death and the travelling is not too bad. We have drawn a group we are happy with.”
He said it is “good” that his team will play their opener in the famous Maracana stadium and added: “Brazil is a very big country with huge differences in climate and for us the journeys will be short -- otherwise, we’d have had to deal with a lot of travel and temperature changes.”
Speaking to TV Publica, he added: “It is a positive draw and I cannot say otherwise. Football is football, and you have to actually deliver in the games, but other draws would have been less welcome.”
Argentina beat Bosnia 2-0 in a friendly last month but Sabella admitted he knows “very little about Iran” and added: “Now we will begin to study our opponents in more detail.”
Sabella talked up the impact of Lionel Messi, who is currently sidelined through injury and undergoing his recovery in Argentina.
“Messi also has an influence on the opposition,” he said. “He is getting better -- I can see that he is in very good spirits.”