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   1 Jun, 2002 | 1104 IST



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Batistuta seeks World Cup title

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Gabriel Batistuta would much rather win the World Cup than break the tournament's goal-scoring record at his last finals before retiring from international football.

Batistuta, playing in his third World Cup, may set a scoring record if he helps Argentina go all the way to the Yokohama final on June 30.

He holds the Argentine World Cup record of nine goals, one more than Diego Maradona and 1930 striker Guillermo Stabile, after notching hat-tricks in the 1994 and 1998 tournaments.

Six more goals would lift Batistuta above German Gerd Mueller who scored 14 in two tournaments - in 1970 and 1974, when he helped his country win their second World Cup.

"I've thought it would be nice (to break the record) but it comes behind my desire to win the Cup," Batistuta said.

"I confirm these are my last matches in the national team," the 33-year-old told reporters.

"I'm content with what I have done in my career. I would like to win the Cup, it would be nice for all of us and yes, for the glory," Batistuta told reporters at the J-Village near Iwaki on Japan's Pacific coast.

But first Batistuta, who has scored a remarkable 55 goals in 75 internationals, must be picked by coach Marcelo Bielsa as Argentina's central striker.

He is in competition for the position with 26-year-old Hernan Crespo, his understudy at the 1998 finals in France.

"We both think we can play together. But I can't see that the possibility exists," Batistuta said.

Bielsa has indicated he would not play the pair in the same team but has not indicated who will start Sunday's group F opener against Nigeria in Kashima.

Argentina meet England on June 7 and Sweden five days later.

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