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Villar success highlights wider malaise

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Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar could win the vote as player of the Copa America – emulating Oliver Kahn, the Germany keeper named top player at the 2002 World Cup.

If, or when, this happens, regardless of their merits as players, the vote could highlight a deficiency in the football played at the tournament.

Villar captains a team who reached Sunday’s final against Uruguay without winning any of their five matches, even if they scored five goals in three group games.

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino said in an interview with Reuters in Asuncion in April he felt his team were shaking off the shackles of a tradition of defensive football with strength in the air to achieve a new balance.

That winnin’ feelin’

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Lionel Messi says he feels he will one day win the World Cup.

“I more than anyone want to win something with the national team and I’m going to,” Messi told Ole sports daily in an interview published on the opening day of the Copa America.

“A World Cup?” the reporter asked.

“That’s how it will be. That moment will come and I know I’ll enjoy it. I don’t know why, but something tells me I’ll do it.”

from Left field:

Messi, Maradona and Batista

SOCCER-WORLD/With Sergio Batista at the Argentina helm, Lionel Messi has the chance to develop into the truly great footballer his talent has promised since last year’s exploits with Barcelona.

It could be that when the Argentine Football Association make their choice of coach for the 2014 Brazil World Cup cycle, they opt for a different candidate from Batista – Alex Sabella of Estudiantes for instance.

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