Argentina to host Brazil World Cup qualifier at Rosario - Sports Illustrated

Argentina to host Brazil qualifier at Rosario

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After weeks of speculation, it was confirmed Monday that the Gigante de Arroyito stadium in Rosario, Argentina, will be the venue for the decisive World Cup qualifier between Argentina and Brazil on Sept. 5.

Argentine national-team manager Diego Maradona complained about the surface of the field of the Monumental stadium, which is owned by River Plate, and for that reason the Argentine federation looked for alternatives.

"If it is up to me, I'd like to play at the stadium of Boca or Rosario Central to put our opponents under more pressure," said Maradona in June after Argentina edged Colombia 1-0 at the Monumental.

Since then negotiations for a change in the venue of the national team were made, and Maradona's wish was finally granted.

In recent weeks Lionel Messi, the star of the Argentine squad, stated that he would like to play at Boca's Bombonera stadium because of the atmosphere generated by fans there.

But Messi will have to settle with playing at the stadium of Rosario Central, the crosstown rivals of Newell's Old Boys, the team for whom he played in Argentina and the one he supports as a fan.

The Gigante de Arroyito is one of the most modern and well-maintained stadiums in Argentina and has a capacity for 45,000 spectators.