Sabella: World Cup is 'very equal'

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella expected the FIFA World Cup to continue to be unpredictable.

Reigning world and European champions Spain, Italy and England have made surprise group-stage exits in Brazil and Portugal look almost certain to join them.

Sabella, whose side have booked their last-16 place ahead of a clash with Nigeria on Wednesday, said it would be a tough World Cup to win.

He pointed to inconsistencies already seen in performances by his team, Germany and Italy.

"It is very equal. You have a Germany that thrashed (Portugal 4-0), but then draws (2-2 with Ghana). Italy that wins to England, but then loses (1-0 to Costa Rica)," Sabella said.

"It is a very difficult World Cup, it is played in a country that is nearly a sub-continent, with great distances, with great climatic changes, so I believe that the physical and tactical part will be very important.

"It is very important to have a squad with good substitutes so you can keep up the competition rhythm."

Sabella said he was delighted to be able to give his players a day off and allow them to enjoy their time away from the game.

"I am happy because the players could spend a day with their family, putting aside for a while the pressure and the responsibility," he said.

"I think it was a very pretty day, they enjoyed it a lot, and it was an emotion for me, seeing all of them with their families. It was a very pleasant afternoon."