PRETORIA: Argentina is doing just fine, and it gets no joy from seeing traditional soccer powers struggling at the World Cup.
Argentina is one of the few favorites to have lived up to expectations so far at the tournament, with Spain, France, Italy and England all struggling in the group stage.
While striker Sergio Aguero recognizes what's going on, he says his team is not gloating despite realizing it could lead to some easier matchups in the knockout rounds.
Argentina won its first two games and only needs a draw against Greece on Tuesday to guarantee advancement. Some of its biggest rivals are already facing must-win games just to stay alive.
"We don't care who our rivals will be" in the next rounds, Aguero said. "If we want to reach the final we're going to face some difficult countries."
Aguero plays for Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league and won a Europa League title there this season. He said he was indifferent to Spain's stunning loss against Switzerland, which has put added pressure on the European champion.
"It's all the same to me what Spain does. If they go through or not is their problem," Aguero said. "I play for Argentina, and the only thing I think about is Argentina."
With Argentina likely to advance even with a loss, coach Diego Maradona could rest several of his regulars. That could give Aguero a starting spot after coming on as a substitute in the 4-1 win over South Korea.
Aguero is Maradona's son-in-law and has a son, Benjamin, with the coach's daughter Giannina. However, he insisted he receives no special treatment.
"There are no family interests here," Aguero said. "I have no advantages and I do my best to be a starter on the team."
Midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, one of the team's leaders, has been cleared to play by the medical staff after recovering from a right-calf ailment and could return after missing the match against South Korea.
Defender Jonas Gutierrez will be out against Greece after picking up two yellow cards, while Walter Samuel is still recovering from a muscle problem in his right thigh.
Defender Gabriel Heinze, who scored the only goal against Nigeria, and midfielder Javier Mascherano, the team captain, each have a yellow card, so Maradona could rest them and save them for the second round.