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Saturday 16 December 2017

Maradona tips Argentina to win World Cup

Argentina boss Diego Maradona claims his side will be going to South Africa with realistic ambitions of winning the World Cup this summer.

Maradona has not had it easy since he became manager of the national team in 2008, but a 1-0 win over Germany in Munich last night showed that his side are primed and ready for football's blue riband event.

"This game had the character of a World Cup quarter-final and this is the level we were looking for," he said.

"Maybe the press in Argentina won't like it, but we are going to play a very good World Cup in South Africa."

A goal from Gonzalo Higuain earned Argentina the win, and they also hit the crossbar as they controlled proceedings against a tired, timid and disorganised Germany.

"Argentina were very solid and extremely confident on the ball," said Germany coach Joachim Low.

"They were very dangerous when they came forward.

"There are always things that you have to work on and we know that we have got to work hard to make improvements in every part of the team." Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque, meanwhile, was left wanting more despite seeing his side record their ninth successive win with a 2-0 triumph over France in Paris last night.



Remarkable

First-half goals from David Villa and Sergio Ramos secured Spain's first victory in France since 1968 and improved the European champions' remarkable run to 42 wins -- including two after extra-time -- in their past 45 fixtures.

Spain were deserving winners at the Stade de France but Del Bosque was not 100pc satisfied, saying: "It's been a nice victory, but there were good things and bad in the game.

"We are demanding and we have to play better if possible.

"Maybe the result is better than the game, although we were not bad in possession. But the second half was lacklustre. We needed to be more aggressive in front of goal."

Looking ahead to this summer's World Cup, where Spain are one of the favourites for success, Del Bosque added: "In South Africa there are very strong opponents and although tonight we've overcome France, in the big tournaments there are banana skins that could make you slip up."

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