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Saviola faces biggest challenge against Germany

Written by: Staff

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, June 28: Argentina striker Javier Saviola said beating Germany in Friday's World Cup quarter-final in Berlin would be the biggest achievement of his career and spur his country towards the title.

''I think it is one of the most important matches of my career,'' Saviola said today.

''If we get through, we'll have a lot of things in our favour, a lot of confidence after beating a direct rival for the title,'' the player nicknamed ''Little Rabbit'' told a news conference.

''We have good chances to win, I'd say 60 (percent), let's give it a bit more than Germany,'' said Saviola, who scored once in the 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in Argentina's opening game, taking his international tally to 10.

Saviola, coach Jose Pekerman's choice to partner Hernan Crespo in attack in all Argentina's matches except the 0-0 draw against the Netherlands, said he expected both teams to go for goal from the start.

''I think that with the quality of the players on the pitch, both teams will look for the rival goal, neither will sit back, it will be an electric match,'' the 24-year-old said.

''The worst thing we could do is sit back, hand over the ball... The first team to score will gain a lot.

''Attack is our best weapon,'' said Saviola, whose team have scored 10 goals and conceded two in four matches. ''We must not slow the ball down, our team is made for that (attacking). '' Saviola said he was not worried about facing the tall German defenders.

''I've always been accustomed to defenders being taller, 50 or 80 centimetres bigger. I don't think about that, if I did I could never go out on to the pitch,'' the 1.69-metre tall Saviola said.

''If we start to play in the air, they're going to get the better of us ...We have to keep the ball down and play it quickly like against Serbia,'' he said referring to Argentina's 6-0 rout of Serbia&Montenegro in their second match.

Saviola, who will win his 35th cap if he plays on Friday, added that Argentina are not thinking about the pressure of a stadium packed with home fans affecting decisions made by the referee, Lubos Michel of Slovakia.

''Jose has always made a point of not giving any importance to the refereeing,'' he said referring to Pekerman.


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