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Friday, July 1, 2011
Mascherano: We want to recover aura

ESPNsoccernet staff

Argentina captain Javier Mascherano wants his new look squad to claim Copa America glory and declared his belief that home advantage can inspire his side to glory.

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Ahead of Friday's opening fixture against Bolivia, Mascherano - part of the Barcelona side that won the 2011 Champions League - stated his optimism that his country's passionate fans can inspire their drive for success, while also taking the time to praise Argentina's attacking options and hint at his unease towards ex-manager Diego Maradona's style of management.

"There is a different coach and many players have changed. It's a new group with new goals", Mascherano declared. "Playing at home adds extra spice for us. I have never played here other than for some qualifiers and the feeling is great. The support we will receive from the fans will be a great advantage for us."

"We want to win the Copa America to recover our aura and be more clear in our way of playing. And also to be able to be calmer in the future."

"We have some explosive forwards. With the big-name players and the levels they are currently at, Argentina is a world power. All our strikers are stars in top leagues. Individually we are great players, now we have to show that as a team."

Current manager Sergio Batista is thought to have settled on a front three of Lionel Messi, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Carlos Tevez for the tournament opener against Bolivia on Friday, but will still have the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Diego Milito in reserve.

• To celebrate ESPN's coverage of the Copa America 2011, we're giving you the chance to win tickets for you and three friends to see Arsenal battle the New York Red Bulls and Paris Saint-Germain in the Emirates Cup.

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