Argentina squad lands in Manchester

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Argentina squad Ramiro Funes Mori Gonzalo Higuain
Argentina squad Ramiro Funes Mori Gonzalo Higuain

The Argentina squad has landed in Manchester, England.

Lionel MESSI was the latest and last person to land in Manchester, England to meet up with his Argentina National Team mates ahead of the team’s friendly match against Italy at the Etihad stadium. MESSI landed on Tuesday afternoon as he was greeted by coach Jorge SAMPAOLI and AFA president Claudio TAPIA at Manchester City’s ground.

Pablo AIMAR is also in Manchester with the team as he is with the coaching staff. There were rumors that AIMAR would be working closely with the senior team as he works with the U17 team (and Diego PLACENTE with the U15 team). The idea is that both AIMAR and PLACENTE would work with SAMPAOLI with hopes that there would be some similarities between the youth teams and the senior team.

Pablo Aimar with the Argentina coaching staf.
Pablo Aimar with the Argentina coaching staf.

We reported last year that AIMAR was close to joining the senior team staff.

The team plays Italy on Friday in Manchester, England before playing Spain on Tuesday in Madrid.

48 COMMENTS

    • Thats a good squad but id change it a bit. If Funes Mori was fit and in the same form as Copa, Id easily start him with Otamendi and Tagliafico. Mercado is not performing great for for Sevilla but he has done really well for the NT so maybe keep him. I know Dybala found it tough to click with Messi but Dybala is better than Pavon and quick enough to play wide. Hes also a greatest threat in from the goal after Messi and we need FREAKING GOALS. If i had the choice, id go with:

      4-2-3-1

      Romero

      Mercado – Otamendi – Funes Mori – Tagliafico

      Paredes – Mascherano

      Dybala – Messi – Di Maria

      Higuaín

      4-4-2

      Romero

      Mercado – Otamendi – Funes Mori – Tagliafico

      Lamela – Paredes – Mascherano – Di Maria

      Mess – Higuaín

  1. One thing for sure, Messi needs to play closer to goal. He is best finisher ever with addition to vision, quick touches and decision making. Dropping Messi deep will not only make him tired, we eventually lose the goal threat. I still do not trust Hugain and Augero is tap in master who do not score wonder goal. Di Maria is inconsistent and want to be hero by shooting from impossible angles. However if Sampoali somehow make Messi play in false nine or from the right side closer to goal which i think he is trying to do, we have greater chance. If provided opportunity to score goal, Messi single handedly beat teams like RM, BM etc, then why not france or spain. Valverde is doing it in Barcelona in expense of suarez, why not Argentina do in expense of donkey Hugain, Plastic Augero or fake superman Di maria.

  2. BTW what is the match time . Is it 4.45pm Manchester local time on Feb23rd Friday. Also any idea if this is being telecasted in India.

  3. Los once: Sergio Romero, Gabriel Mercado, Nicolás Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Nicolás Tagliafico, Maximiliano Meza, Lucas Biglia, Manuel Lanzini, Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain y Ángel Di María

    Apparently this is the team for the Italy game according to this article

    https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2118682-con-cuatro-en-el-fondo-las-ideas-de-sampaoli-para-el-partido-de-la-seleccion-contra-italia

    I’m sure the team will change between now and the game. At least we are playing with a back four . We look much more comfortable playing like this.

  4. My biggest fear with this WC is losing Messi. There are undertones that this might be his last WC. If the team does bad (does not advance from the group stage) I think it will be…if the team wins the WC..it will be his last as well…although I would be delighted about that and happy to see him ride off in the sunset. Statistically, we are in the group of death and I do not see one clear easy game, especially if we are not firing at all cylinders come game time. Last WC we never really looked like Champions but Messi and pragmatic football got us to the final. As always, we have the potential but we also have the black cat/bad luck. We can be champions or not advance from the group stage. If its the latter, 1/2 the team retires from International duty (we all know who they are). I think we can win the Copa in 2019 since Brazil will have all the pressure again and we will have our fans…So I hopethe good ones continue with the team past the WC.

    • Man black cat not might be too bad luck. During barca first game in 2015, there was black cat and Maschenaro went chasing that cat. He eventually got sent off in that match however barca went on to win the treble. This season, there was black cat in Bayern Munich game vs Betiskas CL, if they win CL black cat might the good opportunity. However i totally agree, Argentina need bundle of lucks if were to win WC just like Portugal in Euros.

  5. I have to make myself the advocate of LUCAS BIGLIA. I have been watching Argentina for years guys and I can tell that Biglia is one of the best performer in the team for the last 4 years. When we started the WC’14 the team was very shaky. I am not going to say that he was the only one but his inclusion was fundamental on the overall team performance. When Sampa took the team Biglia did not play against Uruguay and Venezuela but the coaching staff quickly realized that Biglia is fundamental. We can’t play possession-based without someone like him who can play one-touch ball between defenders and the goalkeeper. I have seen excellent midfielders like Redondo, Pirlo, Xavi and S. Busquets. Biglia is not at their level but he remains a very useful player and the best that we have for the kind of football that we wanna play. Have some respect and be grateful.

    • We still need Biglia on the team. I prefer he plays the old Mache role and Paredes goes forward, which Sampa appears to have in mind with the first set of starters on the field today. In that role, I do not mind Bigla, but I do not like him in there when/if we play two defensive 5’s since he contributes nothing on the offensive end. Offensively, after his training in Barca and the way he played in the latest qualifiers, Mache is better.

  6. Mundo: Espn article talking about the 9 contenders of the WC predicts the following team:
    Predicted preliminary 23: Romero, Guzman, Caballero, Mercado, Rojo, Fazio, Acuna, Tagliafico, Funes Mori, Mascherano, Salvio, Biglia, Banega, Di Maria, Paredes, Lanzini, Lo Celso, Pavon, Messi, Aguero, Higuain, Lautaro Martinez, Dybala.

    I think it is spot on. I don’t see a major exclusion and I like the balance of veterans and new blood. The new core (Paredes, Lanzini, Lo Celso, Pavon, Lautaro Martinez, Dybala) is gonna be great in the coming years. I would however, drop Biglia. I still can’t believe Martino had him kick a penalty shot..dude has no offensive skills.

    I like Funes in bc were have nothing better (No Garay) and he is tall and has a quicker than Fazio. If he is healthy (look like based on the vids) he should make it. What do you guys think? Who is missing or who should be dropped?

    • 1) I don’t think we need all three of Banega+ Parades+ Lo Celso in final 23. It has to be mostly Banega +Parades. that one vacant position should go to Bustos. I am having low confidence on Mercado recently ( seeing Sevilla games )
      2) Assuming Salvio is fit , he is a good option ( & that’s abig assumption) Pavon & Angel Correa will fight for other RM/RW spot. ACorrea has been playing very well in Europe.
      3)I have not seen Meza , but hearing about him in this group he will give competition to Lanzini
      4) i still feel Funes Mori is a wrong choice. not played for close to an year. His club coach has not even included him in sub list in last matches. That is a reflection he is probably not match fit. I don’t see why they cant look at Pezella who is definitely solid.
      5) It will be a Icardi vs Higuaín showdown for 1 spot. Will depend on fitness at that point . Juventus chasing quite a lot & Higuaín should keep himself fit.

  7. Hello Mundo… Afa is doing a great job of posting videos of the practice. We finally get a more intimate look at things on the practice field. The videos can be found on youtube & bleacher report

  8. Best test, please Sampaoli, I’ve never asked you for anything

    _______________Romero________________

    Bustos___Otamendi__Mascherano___Tagliafico

    ———Paredes_____Pablo Perez————

    —— Correa_______________ Meza——–

    ———–Messi_______ Martinez————-

  9. Acuna is a must starter

    Masche as defender instead of Fazio or masche as midfielder in place of biglia

    Let’s see M.Meza and p.perez

    Hope L.martinez start in place of Higuain

    I still don’t like higuain and kun in national team

  10. 1st training session in England Sampaoli tried this team-

    Sergio Romero; Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio, Nicolás Otamendi and Nicolás Tagliafico; Lucas Biglia, Leandro Paredes; Maximiliano Meza, Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María; and Gonzalo Higuaín.

    • It’s 4-2-3-1 formation!

      Paredes and Biglia are in the middle and Maria (left) and Meza (right) are on the wings. Messi is behind Higuain. I would like to see Mascherano in place of Biglia.

      Until late Thursday nobody can predict how the official line-up would look like.

          • You can’t be serious, you think Biglia is the best Argentina has?
            Mascherano is easily better and Pizarro was also better when he actually played and I believe that Ascacibar and Battaglia are far, far better if only they get a chance.

        • @Imtiaz, the same question is always in my head. I don’t know the reason behind using Biglia as a starter DM when there are Mascherano and Pablo Perez in the team. I hope we will see either Mascherano or P.Perez when the official line-up comes out.

          @Gromoso, “When we have someone who is better than him”.

          Really? So you think he is the best one that is available for that position?

          • Guys… Biglia is the best that we have. We tried many times put someone else like pizzaro, Banega but we had to back to him. Its not what I say but remember what happened each time we play without him.

          • quote: Guys… Biglia is the best that we have

            With all due respect to your opinion but NO, Biglia is NOT the best Argentina has in that position, not by a looooong shot.

            quote:We tried many times put someone else like pizzaro, Banega but we had to back to him

            IMO pizarro was much better than Biglia when he got to play and Banega isn’t a holding midfielder to begin with so it’s not a fair comparison. As for why do coaches keep coming back to him….well Sampa didn’t because in the last 2 WCQ games it was Enzo who was used not Biglia

            Quote: remember what happened each time we play without him.

            Yeah I do, Argentina was dominating copa 16 until Biglia replaced the injured Augusto and the midfield lost it’s spark in the final.
            I also remember Argentina beating Ecuador in the last WCQ game with a midfield that had no Biglia.

          • Mascherano & Biglia will alternate. Its a long road in WC . Yellow cards , minor injuries , age of both players. So they will be rotated.
            While i really want Meza & Pablo Perez to come out well in friendlies , we really don’t know. They have not played at the highest levels & this will be a good test. It shouldn’t be like an year back when everyone screamed if Dybala & Icardi come in all problems solved & in reality nothing much changed.

          • The unlucky guy is Pizzaro. Sevilla changed coach and Pizzaro disappeared from the starting line up. He is tall and good at set piece. I thought he was going to play himself into Sampa’s eleven.

    • There will be many formations and various players will be tried in training.i hope back 3 is discarded that’s too risky and very interesting to see tagliafico performance he was very bad against a strong fast counter attacking brazil in WC qualifier hope he improves

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