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Author Topic: World Cup breakthroughs are nothing new,  (Read 42 times)
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« on: July 04, 2014, 07:25:43 pm »

In extra time against Switzerland on Tuesday, the depth of defensive quality available to Sabella in Brazil was tested, when the coach was forced to bring off an exhausted Marcos Rojo and replace him with World Cup debutante Jose Basanta. The versatile defender coped well during his brief spell on the pitch, and with Rojo suspended against Belgium, will be handed the daunting task of filling in for the Sporting man in Argentina's forthcoming quarter-finals clash, attempting to keep the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin Mirallas quiet.

It sounds like just holland 2014 world cup jersey another familiar story of a young player completing his dream on the big stage, but unlike most World Cup debutants, this newcomer happens to be 30 years old, and was Colombia 2014 World Cup Jersey a relative unknown in Argentina until recently.

Basanta’s story is a genuinely unique one. Though he was born in a village near Buenos Aires, the defender is a naturalised Mexican, having spent the last six years of his career playing with Monterrey. Formed in the Estudiantes academy, he rarely kicked a ball for the senior team over two separate spells with the club, and his only season of note in Argentinean football was in the second division with Olimpo in 2006. It’s understandable therefore that not everyone in Argentina has a great deal of knowledge of the defender.

So much so that La Nacion, one of Argentina’s leading newspapers, ran a feature on their website entitled ‘Who is Jose Basanta?’ in February of last year. At that moment in time, Alejandro Sabella was in the process of travelling to Mexico to watch Basanta playing for his club side, and the coach must have liked what he saw. Basanta was called up to the senior Argentina squad for the first time in March 2013, and went on to make his debut in La Paz against Bolivia on the 26th Barcelona jersey 2014 of that month.

Argentina came away with a 1-1 draw and Basanta played the entirety of the game – no small feat considering the Estadio Hernando Siles rests at one of the highest altitudes of any sporting ground in the world. The defender said he had ‘completed a dream’ and hoped to continue playing with the national team. His hopes weren’t in vain: not only did Alejandro Sabella include him in the final 23-man list for the World Cup, but now, the 30-year-old is set to line up in Brasilia and contest a semi-final place with his nation.

Argentineans may be surprised about that, but followers of Mexican football won’t be. After joining Monterrey with little to no reputation in 2008, Basanta has earned the respect of supporters, winning two CONCACAF Champions Leagues, two Apertura trophies and wearing the captain’s armband since club legend Luis Perez left in 2012. He was voted best defender in Mexican football in 2012. His Mexican passport, meanwhile, means the North American nation still has one player plying his trade at the World Cup, in a roundabout way.

World Cup breakthroughs are nothing new, but they tend to involve bright Predator LZ TRX FG black young talents turning heads for the first time. As a veteran at club level playing his first games for one of the more powerful nations, Basanta is an unusual case. The defender says he is ready for the quarter-finals and has been preparing his ‘entire life’ for this moment. For once, that isn’t just a cliché. We could be seeing much more of him in the near future, meanwhile. At 30, Basanta is on the cusp of what he admits is a ‘dream move’ to Europe with Fiorentina. How soon he catches a long flight across the Atlantic will depend on what happens against Belgium this Saturday.
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