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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 June 2006, 06:18 GMT 07:18 UK
Matching Maradona
By Mandeep Sanghera
BBC Sport in Gelsenkirchen

Diego Maradona (right) revels in Argentina's latest victory
An excitable Diego Maradona (right) flies the flag for Argentina
Diego Maradona bounced up and down, sang his heart out and swirled his Argentine scarf around in the air as he led the celebrations following the 6-0 demolition of Serbia & Montenegro.

Maradona's brilliance was the foundation of his country's success at the 1986 World Cup.

And while the side who earned Maradona's adulation on Friday do not yet have a player of his individual ability, the class of 2006 displayed a togetherness often lacking from Argentine sides of recent history.

Striker Hernan Crespo says that the team ethic, allied to their talent and strength in depth is the reason for their scintillating performances - which has led to them winning their opening two Group C games.

There was a fear that a clash of egos would lead to rifts in the camp but Crespo insists there is an one-for-all and all-for-one approach to their World Cup campaign.

"It is good for the group," Crespo said.

"When you have a lot of players who deserve to play it is better for Argentina.

Hernan Crespo
Crespo says it's all smiles for the Argentina squad

"We do not think about personal things we think about the group. That is the key to our success."

The attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Pablo Aimar were only on the substitutes' bench against Serbia and Montenegro.

Tevez came on for Javier Saviola after 58 minutes when the team were already 3-0 up, including a superb second goal which was finished by Esteban Cambiasso after a mesmerising 24-pass move.

Tevez and Messi, who came on for two-goal hero Maxi Rodriguez, then each scored as Argentina ran riot, with manager Jose Pekerman seemingly having an embarrassment of riches to call upon.

Midfield playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme is the main architect of Argentina's play but a squad with so many attacking options can also bring its own problems.

You can imagine how strong they are if Messi and Tevez are on the bench

Savo Milosevic

But Serbia and Montenegro striker Savo Milosevic says there is no sign of egos getting in the way.

The former Aston Villa striker hardly got a look in against a stubborn Argentine defence and was very impressed with what he saw.

"They are a great team with skilful players," said Milosevic. "You can imagine how strong they are if Messi and Tevez are on the bench.

"Sometimes it is difficult to organise a team with so many good players but it looks like they are really well organised and that is their strength.

"They are probably one of the best sides so far in the World Cup and they will be in the final."

Argentina 6-0 Serbia & Montenegro
16 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
Rodriguez tries to calm Argentina
16 Jun 06 |  Argentina
Crespo says England are a threat
17 Jun 06 |  Argentina
Argentina team guide
22 May 06 |  Argentina
Pick your Argentina XI
31 May 06 |  Squad selectors
World Cup schedule
25 May 06 |  Schedule
Have your say on the World Cup
28 Apr 06 |  Football
BBC World Cup coverage
27 Apr 06 |  BBC coverage


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