Gabriel BATISTUTA: “The good thing is that there are 60 days left (for Argentina)”

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Gabriel Batistuta Argentina
Gabriel Batistuta while playing for the Argentina National Team.

Gabriel BATISTUTA spoke about Argentina’s recent friendly loss to Spain, the Argentina National Team, the strikers and more.

Speaking in a recent interview, the Argentina legend stated that the players chosen for his country’s World Cup squad should be picked based off of form and not the popularity of their name. An interview translated by Juan G. Arango, here’s what Gabriel BATISTUTA had to say:

Gabriel BATISTUTA on Argentina’s loss to Spain:

“I am worried that there is not a solid base in place. I hope that the coach has realized that he has 70-80 percent of the players he’s taking. What we’ve been able to see up to now is rather disconcerting, especially when it comes to the results.

“The good thing is that there are 60 days left. They will have a prudent amount of time together. They will have about 20-25 days together, working. That is a great thing.”

Gabriel BATISTUTA on the Argentina National Team:

“I think that they the Argentine footballers are great. There is a need to work in the back and there needs to be preparation prior to the World Cup. If they do, they can have a great World Cup and be in fine form.

“If I were to separate all the lines, they don’t play at a horrible level but they are not at their maximum level. I think they can all give more individually and collectively.

“What worried me most against Spain was that there was no collective, there were no ideas. There was nothing. I am hopeful that that match was just a one-off thing. It was poor preparation for a friendly match that required maximum seriousness from all.

“From the outside, it seemed to me that match vs. Spain was like, ‘This is just a commitment we have to tend to. Let’s get it over with. In the end we conceded six goals and the repercussions were huge.

“And right now, we are still stunned after what happened. Outside of that result, I don’t think that it takes us away from the expectations we have. Our expectations are lesser or greater based on that match.”

Gabriel BATISTUTA on striker partnership:

“I am convinced that I could have played with CRESPO without any problems and there would have been more positives than negatives, but that was my situation. You are asking me about HIGUAIN and AGUERO and I honestly have no idea how they get along on the pitch.

“I believe that out of it, they get along well. One thing is to be friends off the pitch, another is to understand each other on it. I also don’t know what the coach wants out of them.”

Gabriel Batistuta Hernan Crespo Marcelo Bielsa
Gabriel Batistuta alongside Hernan Crespo and Marcelo Bielsa while with Argentina.

Gabriel BATISTUTA on Lautaro MARTINEZ:

“Lautaro is very good, but he might be coming to this level a little late. He is good, but he is not better than many that are on the team already. When he goes to Europe, he will learn more, he will acquire certain characteristics. There are several things that depend on him.

“It’s up to him to take advantage of the situation. We all admire him. He is a player worthy of being on the national team, I am not sure there is space for him on this team based on who else is on the squad.”

Gabriel BATISTUTA on Argentina’s forwards:

“Argentina’s forwards are like when you open your closet and you only have one shirt. That’s what you wear. When you have more money and get four shirts, you can now choose which shirt to wear. I always prefer to have four shirts.”

Gabriel BATISTUTA on Paulo DYBALA:

“I didn’t condemn Dybala for what he said, it’s something he felt. He shouldn’t have said it because it caused exactly what it did. To hear a guy say that it is difficult to play with Messi is very difficult to understand. That is difficult for anyone that didn’t play football.

“Those that did know that there are teammates that you get along with and others you don’t regardless if they want to or if they are supreme footballers. For me it was an unfortunate comment. I don’t think he’s not on the national team because of that he’s not on the team because there is not enough room for everyone. He was struggling at Juventus, but in this last period where his form improved.

“But when he was taken out of the national team it was because he deserve be there. His form was average. Even if you look at that time, Dybala was a sub. So there is little to talk about.”

The Argentina team - Forwards Lionel Messi Paulo Dybala
The Argentina team – Will we get to see Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala play together at the World Cup?

Gabriel BATISTUTA on taking in form players:

“The players that should play on the national team are the ones in the best form, not the names. We are going to a World Cup that lasts a month, three weeks. We can’t play with just names. If that were the case, Maradona would still be playing.

“If it were based on names, KEMPES and FILLOL would still be playing. As far as MASCHERANO, that is something the coach has to worry about. What I can tell you is that we can’t go to the World Cup with just names. We won’t do anything if we do. If the names are in form, great. If not, let’s set up a team.”

16 COMMENTS

  1. A great point from Batigol, input for Sampaoli as everybody is screaming to bring the in form and fit players only. Sampaoli task is to gel the team chemistry and implements the best playing tactics and strategy

  2. Legend batistuta but did he won WC for Argentina? We are giving too much credit to players of past but destroy current generation’s players. For me, only Maradona should be give that kind of respect, otherwise we should also respect current generation players except off course choker Higuain.

      • I totally agree that in today’s game it is impossible to win the entire game just by an individual. With much of technology available, opponent coaches can nullify any possible danger with tactics. If Maradona were to play toady, i dont think Argentina would have become champion. Also international football is much tighter than before. Even small countries can give you hell lot of problem. Earlier, it was always big teams and if some how beat one big team, they can be champion equivalent of today’s CL format;realistically only Barc, RM or BM can win UCL. If you watch that Germany game in 2014 final, Messi was in pole position to curly behind Neure but Germany did their homework and all of players block Messi from shooting which eventually force Messi to shooot outside the post. Maradona is hell of lucky guy and he is milking his reputation today too. Still i would give Maradona respect for bring WC to argentin regardless of how he did it.

      • With all due respect Csabalala but that’s simply not true. Yes the hand of god should’ve been discounted but there was nothing controversial about Diego’s second goal. I watched the full game 3 times in my life and I can tell you that there was NO WAY England would’ve won that game because Maradona was playing on a whole other level, he peaked at that game and never looked back. In the second half Diego went through 4 English players and squared it off to Burrenchaga who unfortunately hit the post and that’s just one example of how dominant Diego was in that game, every time he got the ball something happened EVERY TIME!

    • u R Crazy not to respect great BatiGol. i dont know how old u r but i have seen Bati in his prime, and i can proudly say hes better any forward we have had in the last 25 years bar messi who is used as a midfielder by Argentina. i understand u r an passionate fan just like i am but still there needs to be a rational statements and thoughts and not some play station shit here. before MundoAlbicelste blog we had an world cup 2006 blog and nothing before that, hence the argentina passionate fans have always existed but we must learn to respect our players and respect our (each other) fans.

  3. Against Spain, it was a true lesson of football. Spanish players are the best players in tight space because they are trained to be since tender age. That’s the main reason they play in a very compact way. Whenever the Argentine players have the ball, they were facing 4-5 Spanish players, who won back the ball quickly. As said Batigol, there is no enough support from each other. Maschereno and Biglia stayed too far behind when the team attack. Higuain didn’t drop deeper when Banega/Lo Celso was alone. The only thing that worked was the acceleration of Meza who tried to break the lines by himself.

    Maschereno was not the only one, Rojo and many others as well. A player today will be the same in 2 months. But to me, it was not just about the players but also a tactical failure from Sampaoli.

      • Argentina performance during the friendly FIFA break just made Spain look better than their usual self. It’s not like Spain was great on the day, it’s just that Argentina was bad, this was all because Sampaoli had to experiment. The truth is, Spain played against an out of sort Argentina national team that lack purpose during the game. Prior to the game against Argentina; Spain drew 3-3 with Russia, defeated lowly Israel and Albania by only 1-0 and 3-0 score lines respectively, and even Colombia drew with Spain on their home soil not so long ago. So are you telling me Argentina is worse off than the likes of Russia, Albania and Israel? The Argentina national team has this habit of making teams and individual players better than they really are, and this was the case against Nigeria too.

        if Argentina perform and win games all the way up to the 2018 world cup quarterfinal, and if the opponent is Spain, the game will be totally different from the earlier friendly game in Madrid. Let’s not sit here and pretend as if Spain will just sail through the world cup with no problems of their own. Outside of 2010, Spain have always been average at FIFA World Cups. No team is unbeatable and no team is without faults. Argentina and Sampaoli made Spain look like giant during a friendly game fixture when they really weren’t that good. Headline: Spain 6 vs Argentina 1, everyone read this as Spain being great because the name was Argentina, but the truth is, Argentina was pathetic and mediocre on that day. I think people need to lower their expectation instead of thinking Argentina is the greatest thing since slice bread with the best individual players since the beginning of time.

        If say a South American team like Peru or Colombia played Spain on that same exact day neither of them would lose by six goals. Other than being talented and playing for some of Europe biggest clubs, the players who suit up for Argentina need to show fight, pride and patriotism every time they set foot on the football field especially at the world cup. Nobody on the opposing teams care if you play for Juventus or Barcelona or Real Madrid or Manchester United. Just look at the Argentina national team players during the performance of their national anthem, they seem uninterested with no passion whatsoever, now compare this to every other single country (even the lowly national teams) while they stand for their national anthem for an official game, there is always a sense of pride, patriotism and honor in representing their country.

        • Please explain to me what he tried to experiment against Spain. Everyone knows Spain’s football style. Either you park a bus and expect counter-attacks or try to win the ball with high pressing. It’s none of this.

    • Like he was in 2002, after a lot of injuries and a horrible season (Crespo was much better than him), old, slow, inaccurate, was there somebody who told the same about him? Nope…so rather be silently

  4. “If the names are in form, great. If not, let’s set up a team”. That’s exactly right Bati and many of us have been saying the same thing for ages.

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