Tevez: Tough preparing for friendly

Argentina striker Carlos Tevez is finding it hard to get motivated for another international friendly – even against World Cup champion Spain – saying that being back with the national team still evokes the bad memories of being eliminated in South Africa.

The Manchester City striker arrived Monday in Buenos Aires for the Sept. 7 match against Spain at River Plate’s stadium.

"The group is relaxed," Tevez told reporters Monday after arriving in the Argentine capital. "We’re trying to get over what happened (at the World Cup). It hurt all of us. It’s not easy to return to the national team, play a friendly against Ireland – and now against Spain. It’s difficult to set goals again."

"Personally, it is difficult to be motivated, but you have to be strong."

Tevez urged Argentine football officials to quickly name a permanent replacement for Diego Maradona, who was dropped as the national team coach after Argentina’s 4-0 loss to Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals.

Former Argentina youth coach Sergio Batista was named interim coach to replace Maradona, and Tevez said it would be OK with him if Batista was given the job permanently.

Batista was in charge earlier this month in Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Ireland, and will be on the bench against Spain.

"It would be good if we had a coach as soon as possible; to know his thoughts and how we are going to play," Tevez said.

Tevez was a vocal supporter of Maradona.

Argentine football association president Julio Grondona said last week that Batista was likely to get the full-time job unless "very large problems" emerged. The new coach is expected to be named after the AFA board meets in late October.

"I appreciate him (Batista), I have a lot of respect for him." Tevez said. "If he gets the job it’s because he earned it. I would agree with the choice."