Publish date:

Argentina coach Basile slams boring Euros


Argentina coach Alfio Basile has revealed his disinterest in Euro 2008, as he looks ahead to his side's upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Many have commented on the lack of big-tournament atmosphere evidenced in Austria and Switzerland so far, some pointing to England's absence and the fact the host nations are hardly football superpowers.

But Basile's criticism is considerably more global, touching on the age-old debate of the old continent's pragmatic approach versus the New World's more artistic and entertaining focus.

"I don't like the European Championship," he said at a news conference on Thursday. "As always, the Europeans play firstly to qualify. I don't have a favorite but I always believe in the major powers. Spain had a good win but they don't have the history which Germany and Italy have."

SI Recommends

Argentina's World Cup campaign will resume this Sunday when it faces Ecuador in Buenos Aires before travelling to Belo Horizonte to meet archrival Brazil three days later.

Basile remains wary of the Selecao despite its recent 2-0 friendly defeat against Venezuela, having suffered a pair of 3-0 thrashings at the hands of Dunga's men since taking over as Albicelestes boss after the 2006 World Cup.

"It's not usual for Brazil to play like that, and it was a day when everything went well for Venezuela," said Basile. "I imagine [Brazil coach] Dunga feels terrible, he probably feels like jumping into a helicopter and flying off."