Argentina's Rodriguez may start for ailing Veron
Maxi Rodriguez could start in place of ailing Juan Sebastian Veron in Argentina's match against South Korea, Argentina team spokesman Andres Ventura said Tuesday.
Ventura said a final decision on Veron's status for Thursday's match had yet to be made and that the problem with the veteran midfielder's right calf was "being monitored day by day."
Rodriguez came on for Veron in the 74th minute of Argentina's 1-0 victory over Nigeria in their first Group B match on Saturday.
Veron said after the match that he had suffered a cramp, but "nothing more."
Ventura said Rodriguez played with the expected starters during a training game Tuesday against a squad made up mostly by members of Argentina's youth teams. A second scrimmage at the University of Pretoria, with Argentina's reserves playing against the youngsters, was open to the media.
Striker Carlos Tevez said he would offer advice to Argentina defender Jonas Gutierrez about South Korea captain and Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung.
Tevez played with Park for a couple of seasons at Manchester United before transferring to Manchester City last year.
"I know him well, he's my friend," Tevez said about Park, who scored South Korea's second goal in the 2-0 victory over Greece on Saturday. "He has a good ability to throw off his guard. He is always alone and free" to receive passes.
Tevez willing to play anywhere
Tevez said he was willing to play any position to help Argentina, even if that meant leaving his usual place in the attack and falling back to midfield where scoring chances were less frequent.
"I do what the team needs me to do and you have to sacrifice yourself for the team," Tevez said. "Sure I'd like to score three or four goals every match ... but I don't think only about myself, I think about the team."
Asked about Lionel Messi, Tevez said the squad was protective of the Barcelona playmaker, who "has nothing to prove" to his teammates.
"The only thing I tell Leo is that he should have fun playing football. He should not feel any pressure when he is playing," Tevez said about the 22-year-old FIFA player of the year.
Messi had several fabulous passes and created plenty of scoring chances against Nigeria, but most were thwarted by the exceptional play of Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
Tevez, Messi and Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain are expected to remain as Argentina's trio of forwards against South Korea.
Tevez also lashed out at the vuvuzelas fans bring to the games, saying the omnipresent plastic horns were annoying and affecting teams' play.
"Those sirens or trumpets — I don't know what they are — make it very difficult to speak on the field," Tevez said. "You have to shout and sometimes you run out of breath, you get a bit more tired. They are extremely bothersome."