ARCA AND MEDINA ENJOYING LIFE
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The hastily-rearranged stating of the prestigious competition in Colombia saw Argentina initially withdraw, only to reconsider with the possibility of playing some of their younger talents.
Arca certainly comes into that category after a dazzling first season in The Premiership and performing well in the World Youth Championships, alongside Medina.
The duo will play in the final this weekend against Ghana and Arca could be called into the full squad soon afterwards, with his agent Daniel Bolotnicoff confirming: "It is thought that Julio is going to be an important player in the future for Argentina."
Medina has revealed he is to live in Newcastle, rather than Sunderland, something that might not go down too well on Wearside but the young duo seem very contented with the direction in which their careers are heading.
"It is necessary to take advantage of these chances for your destiny," said summer signing Medina. "I am lucky to play with an Argentine friend in England.
"To play in Europe at such a young age is a very important step. Luckily, I have Julio to support me and help me adapt quickly.
"Sunderland is very pretty but I am going to live in Newcastle because it is more eccentric.
"I'd have liked to play more in the Argentine First Division but it is difficult to stay in Argentina due to the economic crisis at the clubs."
Arca will act as a ready-made tour guide for his friend, when the duo embark on what promises to be an exciting 2001-2002 campaign for the South American starlets.
"I played almost all the season," stated Arca. "We finished outside of the Uefa Cup placings but we hope that next year we can achieve this.
"The city is calm. People live football in another way. There are no fencings. You would say it is too calm for boys like us.
"When I visited Sunderland, immediately I realised the locals drink a lot of beer! Some people drink at nine in the morning until seven. It is terrible," he laughed.
"We begin and finish early. It is a different culture. Nicolas will have to adopt to other rules.
"For instance, when we play we go to the pitch in a jacket and tie. I do not like this much but, as it is obligatory, I do it.
"You can wear what you want when you train and that is no problem.
"English football is very different to Argentinian soccer. It is very fast.
"Argentine football is in a detrimental state. It seems to be worse every time I go back to the country."