By Dare Esan:
While the Nigeria Football Federation are unnecessarily playing hide and seek with Super Eagles training plans for this summer’s World Cup in Russia, Argentina, twice winner of the World Cup trophy, have revealed the Albisceleste will have the Bronnitsy training centre as their base camp in Russia.
The camp is located some 40km from Moscow and has 12 football pitches with two of them reconstructed to have spectators stands and floodlights in conformity with FIFA standards.
The training complex has 50 standard rooms under renovation to FIFA standard which will accommodate the players and six prime rooms one of which Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli will probably lodge in.
More importantly,the complex is less than one hour, 30 minutes by flight to the three venues Argentina will play their Group D games.
The Argentines will fly for less than an hour when they open their campaign against Iceland on June 16 at the Otkrytiye Arena, the home ground of Spartak Moscow in Moscow.
They will fly for exactly 50 minutes when they play their second game against Croatia on June 21 at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod while against Nigeria, Lionel Messi and company will fly for one hour and 20 minutes to St.Petersburg where they will play against the Super Eagles. The match will take place at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018.
Meanwhile, coach Sampaoli’s training plans have been revealed. The Albiscelste will begin their World Cup preparation with two friendly games in March with Italy already confirmed as one of the two opponents.
The team will thereafter re-group in late May and will play a farewell game in Buenos Aires probably against Bolivia before jetting out to Barcelona, Spain for a one-week training camp at the Joan Gamper Sports City on the outskirts of the city.
The team will arrive on June 1 and will travel to Moscow on June 9. A training match with Israel as the probable opponent is planned for June 8 before leaving Spain for their Bronnitsy training centre base camp in Russia the next day.