Argentina removes boastful banner from team base

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) ''Don't count your chickens'' might have been a more appropriate message for Argentina's players than the cocky greeting that was put up at its World Cup base in Brazil.

Argentine media visiting the ''Cidade do Galo'' (Rooster City) sports compound in Belo Horizonte ahead of the team's arrival found a triumphalist sign on the gate saying ''Welcome future champions.''

Juan Carlos Crespi, an Argentine football association official, admitted late Saturday it was his idea and that it didn't go down well with captain Lionel Messi and coach Alejandro Sabella, both modest men.

Their concerns appear to have been duly noted. Photos Sunday by Argentine newspaper Clarin showed the sign had been taken down and replaced by a simple ''Welcome.''

Argentina arrives Monday and opens against Bosnia on June 15.

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