Argentina playing to win against Panama: Di Maria

Buenos Aires, Mar 23 (IANS): Angel Di Maria has insisted Argentina will be playing to win despite the party atmosphere surrounding the team's friendly against Panama on Thursday.

The clash at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires will be the Albiceleste's first outing since their penalty shootout victory over France in the World Cup final in Lusail on December 18.

Tickets for the friendly sold out in less than two hours and Argentines are expected to flood the streets around the venue before kickoff as they pay homage to Lionel Messi and his teammates, a Xinhua report said.

"People are ecstatic about what the team did and we have to enjoy it as a group," Di Maria told reporters on Wednesday night.

"What happened with the tickets is crazy. Hopefully things will be calm tomorrow and that nothing serious happens."

The Juventus winger added: "It's something unique to see people this happy. It's very nice and we're enjoying it every day. I hope [Thursday] will be a beautiful day. I'm looking forward to the party but the goal is to win, to play the same way. The manager [Lionel Scaloni] told us that what happened in Qatar is now in the past and we have to concentrate on what is ahead of us."

Argentina will also face Curacao in another friendly at Santiago del Estero's Estadio Unico on Tuesday.



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Title: Argentina playing to win against Panama: Di Maria

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