La Volpe hits back at Argentina coach

Costa Rica head coach Ricardo La Volpe has hit back at Argentina boss Sergio Batista ahead of Tuesday’s friendly.

Batista had criticised Argentina-born Lavolpe when he was coach at Boca Juniors in 2006 and Velez Sarsfield in 2007.

La Volpe told Argentinian TV station TyC Sports:  "In the past he said I had to get used to Argentinian football. He forgot I played and grew up in Argentinian football.

"He was in a bunker and now he is the coach of the Argentinian national team."

La Volpe, who coached Mexico in the 2006 World Cup, has made copious notes on how to beat Argentina and is looking to cause an upset in San Jose.

He said: "If I have to win through dead balls, I would work a hundred hours for that."

Batista was pleased with Argentina’s form in the first half of their 1-1 draw with the United States.

He said: "The first 45 minutes were brilliant. I hope we can play the way Barcelona play. I hope, but we need time.

"The national team has its own identity and great, talented players."

Lionel Messi admits the two friendly games are just part of the build-up to the main goal this year – the Copa America to be staged in Argentina.

The Barcelona star said: "All of us wanted to beat the United States, but we must focus on the Copa America. That is the important goal. We must keep this idea.

"The more we play together, the better. There is a short time ahead of the main goal."

The match is sold out and Costa Rican FA president Eduardo Li has called for Batista to ensure Messi plays.

Li said: "If Messi does not play, it would be impolite behavior (from Argentina).

"Messi’s arrival in Costa Rica is like Pele’s visit 40 years ago. We are all excited. This is a unique event for the Costa Rican national team and the whole country too."