Higuain: We must play as well as in qualifiers

Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain is anxiously looking forward to the World Cup and believes Wednesday's friendly against Romania will provide a good test.

Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina celebrates

The Albiceleste are playing their first friendly game of the year in Bucharest, with the World Cup in Brazil - where they will face Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria - only 100 days away.

But Higuain knows the game against Romania is just an early warm-up for the major tournament and insists Argentina are only thinking about the summer showpiece.

"We know how difficult qualifying was, but we hope we can play as well as we did in the qualifiers," he said.

"The squad is great. Every time we all get together, we are happy.

"We are all fully focused on the World Cup and on getting our minds ready for the tournament.

"We have what it takes to have a good World Cup, but we should not talk too much about it now."

Former Liverpool midfielder Maxi Rodriguez - currently playing for Newell's Old Boys in Argentina - added: "We'll try to fix some things because you cannot make mistakes at the World Cup.

"The important thing is to be sure of what we're capable of doing."

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella is still assessing alternative players in difficult positions, including the defence, and he has called up Getafe centre-back Lisandro Lopez and Catania full-back Gino Peruzzi.

"Gino's form has improved and Lisandro has never been with this group before, among the big stars of world football," he told Ole newspaper.

"We only have three months to go before the World Cup and surprises such as injuries can occur in football.

"The positive thing for the players is that they're all spending time together."

Romania boss Victor Piturca has already set a target for this game, telling Hotnews.ro: "I hope to achieve a good result, I do not want to lose the match.

"The Argentinians have 26 players in their squad, and three will be omitted from the official list.

"We are facing one of the best teams in the world and hope to achieve a good result.

"The goal for the staff and the players is to not lose the game. It would be fantastic if we could clinch a positive result.

"I see optimism and that makes me hope that we will get a good result."

Piturca admitted he is still disappointed he failed to guide Romania to the World Cup.

"I wanted us to be among the teams present in Brazil, but there is nothing we can do now," he said.

"Our game works much better against South American teams.

"It is more difficult to play against teams like Greece, whose style tires you out.

"Argentina have extraordinary players through their spine but don't mark you as closely, so we can beat them."



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