Victory On The Ground
Despite Tostao’s pessimistic outlook, other coaches, such as Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini, are of the opposite-opinion and believe that you can still play football with the ball on the ground. “In Italy, more importance is attached to the ball now. Before it was only Milan, now it’s Lazio and Fiorentina as well. Manchester United have also improved their playing style. The Spanish league has set an example,” said the Chilean to a Spanish newspaper.
Argentina coach Alfio Basile shares this philosophy. “Although you have to be balanced to avoid losing to a headet because of a lack of height, I firmly believe that games are won on the ground, ” he says.
Basile has a whole range of pint-sized stars at his disposal and trusts them implicitly. Besides Messi, his squad includes Manchester United’s latest idol, Carlos Tevez (also 1.69m) and Sergio Aguero, who at 1.72m is the face of the new-look Atletico Madrid side that are back among the top sides in the Spanish league for the first time in years.
Another diminutive Argentinian, Maxi Moralez (1.60m) of FC Moscow, was voted second-best player behind Aguero at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada last June following his country’s triumph in the tournament.