NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Iona College men’s soccer team is gearing up for an exhibition match against Argentina’s national team on Sunday, March 27. The Gaels will face off against the two-time FIFA World Cup winner at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ with kickoff scheduled for 11:00 am.
“This game will be an experience that all the players and coaching staff will get to tell their grandchildren about,” said Iona head coach Fernando Barboto. “It is not every day you get to play against arguably the best national team in the world, Argentina, and undoubtedly the planet’s best player, Lionel Messi.”
The Albicelestes (Light Blue and Whites) have appeared in four World Cup finals, winning the title in 1978 and 1986 and finishing second twice. In 2010, Argentina reached the quarterfinal round with four wins in the tournament. The team also won the FIFA Confederations Cup and the Kirin Cup, both in 1992, and an Argentine team won the Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. Argentina also won six of the 14 soccer competitions at the Pan American Games and reached the top of the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in March 2007.
“Our players and coaching staff are very excited to be part of this game Sunday, as I will be coaching against head coach Batista, World Cup winner as a player, and DT Carlos Bilardo who won the 1986 World Cup as a coach,” Barboto added. “Our players will experience a speed, tactictal, and technical level that college soccer could never offer.”