Argentina v Trinidad and Tobago: Preview
Fernando Gago is delighted to have taken his ``revenge'' after being named in Argentina's World Cup squad and is looking to further his claims for a starting berth in their final two friendlies this week.
Gago was left out of Diego Maradona's squad for South Africa four years ago but the Boca Juniors midfielder has earned a spot this time around under Alejandro Sabella.
The former Real Madrid man said: ``It hurt to be left out of the World Cup in 2010 and now is my revenge.''
Gago was included in Argentina's 23-man squad despite fitness concerns that ruled him out of Boca's last few matches, but he insists he is feeling fine and is looking to the friendlies against Trinidad and Tobago and Slovenia as a chance to get up to speed along with most of his team-mates.
``I feel good, the leg is responding well. It was said (in the media) that I was going to be out for 60 days but that wasn't true and created doubts that weren't true. In four weeks I was already ready to play.''
He added: ``These two matches are very important, because most of us, except for (Real Madrid winger Angel) Di Maria, we haven't played for a month or so.
``In the training sessions you gain rhythm, but it's not the same. We're all in perfect physical shape and these friendlies will leave us ready for the World Cup.''
While Gago did earn a World Cup place, his fellow midfielder Ever Banega was left out.
Gago said: ``I'm his friend and of course it's painful. But you can't say anything useful, you just need to hug him.''
The 28-year-old Gago is set to line-up in the heart of midfield for Wednesday's match against Trinidad and Tobago in La Plata, alongside Javier Mascherano.
With Argentina's opening World Cup clash against Bosnia and Herzegovina now less than a fortnight away, Sabella might look to send out his first-choice team, which could mean a mouth-watering attack of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Di Maria.
T&T captain Kenwyne Jones, who plays for Cardiff, insists his side will not be star-struck though, saying in the Trinidad Express: ``I don't think it's going to be something where we are going to freeze on the day.
``Obviously, it's a big occasion for the players but we're going to be ready for it.''