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Monday, June 12, 2006
Argentina's Maxi: Kezman man to watch

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, June 12 (Reuters) - Serbia & Montenegro striker Mateja Kezman is a moody player but can be extremely dangerous when on form, Argentina's World Cup winger Maxi Rodriguez said on Monday.

The two are club mates at Atletico Madrid, but will be on opposite sides when Argentina face the Serbs in their second Group C match in Gelsenkirchen on Friday.

'He's a fastidious player,' Rodriguez said.

'Sometimes his chain comes off,' he added referring to Kezman's difficult character.

'But when he's okay you have to be very careful,' he told reporters as he looked ahead to the next match following Argentina's 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in their group opener in Hamburg at the weekend.

Argentina and Netherlands lead Group C after the Dutch beat the Serbs 1-0 in Leipzig in their opening match on Sunday.

'Kezman is a born goalscorer, he's got his eye on goal all match,' said Argentina's reserve goalkeeper Leo Franco, who also plays for Atletico.

'He tries a shot whenever he's got sight of goal, unlike some players who look for a better angle.

'He's very important to his team.'

Reserve centre back Gabriel Milito, who has marked Kezman playing for Real Zaragoza, said: 'He has mobility, he's fast, he's a fighter. He fights for every ball, he chases every ball.

'He and (Savo) Milosevic complement each other, they're different types of player,' he said, referring to Serbia's two main strikers.

The side from the former Yugoslavia will be a quite different hurdle to Ivory Coast in the tournament, the Argentines said.

'They don't have the speed of Ivory Coast, but perhaps they have other virtues,' Milito said.

'Serbia need to go for a result and Argentina can take advantage of that.'

Rodriguez said: 'They are a very organised side in defence but if you score against them they lose their shape and start going up in numbers.'

Argentina went two up against Ivory Coast in the first half but were forced on to their back foot in the second, holding on after Didier Drogba pulled one back for the African Nations Cup finalists, who showed they will be no easy prey for the Dutch in Stuttgart on Friday.




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