Among the 23 players summoned to South Africa 2010 by Argentina coach Diego Maradona, Nicolas Otamendi is certainly one that will be making headlines in the next market session. The defender of Velez Sarsfield, who is liked by Milan, spoke exclusive Calciomercato.com about the World Cup and his future.
Nico, how do you explain that one and a half years ago you made your debut in the Argentine championship and now you are going to the World Cup?
"It 's a great joy to be near playing a World Cup. But I know that I must always keep my feet on the ground and I always keep in mind that the basis for everything is to maintain a constant output. The continuity of my performance with Velez was very important to get here ".
How does it feel to play the first World Cup in a team full of stars?
"The mere fact of being selected makes me tremendously proud, to defend your country is a big satisfaction. I hope things go well and I hope to have a good World Cup, which is the most important thing".
In the field, your natural role is that of a central defender, but Maradona will use you as a right-back. In which position you feel most comfortable?
"I feel more comfortable as central, because it is a role which I know best, but playing right and doing the simple things, and marking well, there is the possibility of allowing midfielders to attack more easily. And this is an important thing. Diego does not want me to think so much about attacking on the flank, rather to remain in line with the other defenders, in an orderly manner."
Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso are playing in the Champions League final, but were not invited to South Africa. What do you think?
"Because of my limited experience I can not say much about it. We all know what these two players signify for the selection and what kind of players they are, as shown by the fact that they play a team like Inter and are Champions. I'm sure that they would like to be called, but unfortunately only 23 players can be summoned".
What is it like to play with Lionel Messi?
"He's only a year older than me, but is already a triumph in Europe and is one of the strongest players in the world. I am enormously proud to have him as a teammate".
Who do you see as favourite for this World Cup?
"As seen in the South America qualifications, Brazil is a clear candidate for victory. Like Italy. It is a national team that is always there and always fights, and is the defending champion. But I am convinced that we can win against these teams and hope that we can bring the cup back to Argentina.
Changing the subject, there is much talk of your transfer to AC Milan. How are the negotiations going?
"That Milan is interested in me is a dream. If I had the chance to play with great players who wear the Rossoneri shirt it would be a great joy".
There is also talk of other big clubs interested. Where would you like to play?
"The championships that I like best are the Italian, the Spanish and English. Obviously I'd like to play in one of these tournaments. At present the most concrete proposal is that of Milan, but I stay calm and think only about the World Cup. We will look at the future later".
Do you follow Italian football?
"Yes, a lot. There are many Argentinians and I watch the matches. Perhaps one day i will be there too".
Who is the defender you admire most?
"I really like Samuel. When I started, I was always compared to him, even though I always try to make my own game".