Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Arca Fired Up for Cats

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Arca Fired Up for Cats

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Julio Arca last night set his sights on Olympic gold and insisted that his dreams of international glory will give him an added incentive as he attempts to fire Sunderland closer to a Premiership return.

The in-form Argentinian will line up against Preston North End this afternoon, having scored on his last three appearances for the Black Cats - a run he is determined to extend on his 23rd birthday.

Although his club commitments at the Stadium of Light prevented Arca from travelling to this month's Olympic qualifying campaign in Chile, Marcelo Bielsa and his players have booked a place at Athens Games.

The former Argentinos Junior is expected to be selected for a Fifa-backed tournament in August. And, while he needs no greater motivation than the promise of a return to top-flight football this summer, Arca is keen to give his all in the remaining months of the season as he bids to show Argentina's coach what he can do.

"It would be great to get the opportunity to play at the Olympics," said the versatile player who, if called up by Bielsa, could miss the start of next season.

"It has been a long time since I played international football for the Under-20 team and I see this as a good chance to get involved with Argentina again.

"It wouldn't be like playing in a World Cup, but it would still be very special. To win a gold medal would be great and it is my ambition to go to Athens, to do well and win something.

"The Olympics is an Under-23 tournament, but a lot of the players involved have already played for the full side. The national coach (Bielsa) is in charge and it would be a good step towards playing for the senior team.

"If I was to do well at the Olympics, then hopefully I would have a good chance of being involved when the World Cup qualifiers start up again. …

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