Argentina coach Sergio Batista has identified Colombia as a potential threat to his side in the opening phase of the Copa America, and admitted that he was worried about the team's potent attacking threat.
The Albiceleste kick off the Copa next Friday [July 1] in La Plata with a clash against Bolivia, before travelling to Santa Fe to take on the Colombian side, who begin their campaign against Costa Rica in Jujuy. Hosting the tournament, Argentina are favourites to end a trophy drought dating back from 1993 on home soil.
Batista though argued that they could not afford to underestimate their Group 1 rivals, especially a strong Cafetero outfit.
"Our direct rival [for the group top spot] is Colombia. We know how they play and they will be difficult for Argentina," the trainer explained in Monday's press conference.
He went on to single out Porto striker Radamel Falcao, and Racing Club's Clausura joint-top scorer Teofilo Gutierrez, as the biggest threats in a dynamic attacking line-up.
"They have very good players, as they always do; among these are Falcao and Teofilo," he said.
Colombia came under criticism from legend Carlos Valderrama over the lack of creativity in the team, even more so due to the absence of number 10 and Teo's Racing Club team mate Giovanni Moreno through injury. Batista however dismissed the idea that the team needed a number 10 playmaker to be real challengers.
"If Colombia wait around for another Valderrama, it will be very difficult; Carlos was an extraordinary player, the type which does not come around often. I don't know if the tactical change will hurt or help them, the results will tell us that," he pointed out.