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Argentina's Batista relishing Brazil test

sports Updated: Nov 17, 2010 10:49 IST

AFP
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Argentina coach Sergio Batista says he is relishing the chance to put one over regional rivals Brazil when he makes his official bow as the man at the helm after being confirmed in his job as Diego Maradona's successor on November 2.

Wednesday's match here is the perfect opportunity for Batista to show his credentials after he won two friendly matches as interim coach - against Ireland and at home to world champions Spain before a surprise loss in Japan.

And he says there is no need to be afraid of Brazil, despite the undeniable pedigree of the five-times world champions.

"If I were afraid of Brazil I'd have stayed at home," Batista told reporters Tuesday.

"I hold them in respect but I do not fear them. They are our traditional rivals and we respect each other."

Win, lose or draw Batista say he does not expect the result to change much as he seeks to shape a new side in the run-up to a Copa America in July on home soil.

"I don't think the result will affect my career much. I was confirmed in my post two weeks ago and our target is the 2014 World Cup in Brazil," where an Argentina triumph really would send his reputation skyrocketing.

Batista says that target - the Copa aside - is one reason he is thinking at least medium term "but we still want to put one over our great rivals" in Doha.

"But this (his job) is a process which is just beginning and the result is not
the priority."

Argentina have not beaten the auriverde in five years and have lost four of their past five meetings but Batista says Wednesday is a chance to stop the rot.

"What has happened has happened. Like the whole of Argentina I don't like to lose to Brazil - people want us to beat Brazil.

"I hope we get a good result but the main thing is to concentrate on the future," he insisted.