Lionel MESSI on Argentina: “We will give our all at the World Cup”

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Lionel Messi free kick Argentina
Lionel Messi taking a free kick for Argentina.

Lionel MESSI and Jorge SAMPAOLI took the press following Argentina’s 4-0 win against Haiti.

Shortly after the victory, captain Lionel MESSI stated that the team will give it their all at the World Cup. He went on to thank the fans while coach Jorge SAMPAOLI gave out a hint as to who could be the starting goalkeeper. Here’s what they had to say, starting off with Lionel MESSI.

“We will give our all at the World Cup. The World Cup is our dream, it’s the country’s dream. We have to win the first match, it will give us the calmness to go on and play against the rest. I’m very thankful for everyone, we have always felt the support of them all. We all want the same thing: To get Argentina the most important title there is.

“I want to thank the fans, the qualifiers weren’t easy, when we played versus Peru it was complicated because we made things difficult. We felt the support and they didn’t bitch us out like other times. Today was a day to have fun and say goodbye to the public, we are excited.

Following his comments a few days ago, MESSI went on to re-iterate that they are not favorites going into the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“We are not candidates (to win the World Cup), we’ve had a complicated process (to get there), today, we are what we are. We have the players and we are fighting hard. We have to win versus Iceland and that will give us calmness for the rest of the group matches. We will have three complicated matches, we should not be thinking beyond those three matches, sometimes in football and at the World Cup, logic doesn’t win and there are surprises.”

Cristian PAVÓN received praise from Lionel MESSI (PAVÓN was also praised by the coach). Here’s what MESSI had to say:

“I found a new partner in PAVÓN.”

Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI spoke about the team and gave a hint as to who could be the starting goalkeeper at the 2018 FIFA World Cup:

“The players came with a lot of predisposition. They didn’t have any time off. We have to correct a few things and take advantage of every situation before the World Cup. Now we have more time to prepare than we did in the qualifiers. The players are adhering to the style of play.

“AGÜERO and PAVÓN came on and did very well. CABALLERO gave off a very important image in the match against Italy. ARMANI just came in and GUZMÁN too. There’s no justification to change the goalkeeper.

“MESSI is training very well. The Spanish league ended and he was here within two days. I see him very enthusiastic. None of the players had the possibility of taking any vacations in order to be here. That means a lot.”

The coach also heaped praise on Cristian PAVÓN:

“We are very hopeful of Cristian PAVÓN and the chemistry he can establish.”

53 COMMENTS

  1. Everyone please take it easy. We did not invite Haiti to play a competitive game or score 7/8 goals to bully them. No we should have not at all. We should not have risk it. We cant afford any injuries before even playing the WC thats why Sampa chose Haiti. Not to look fancy on the scoreboard or bully the minnows. No one gave 100% yesterday. They took it easy and had a good time out there together. So stop worrying or over analysing this game. It was a warm up and everyone had a decent stretch. Thats all. Dont Judge yet.
    And please be respectful to our players when you say the names..They wore the AFA badges for years and i respect that. Respect to Mashcherano to give his everything for the Team. He is getting old is not his fault. Its the coach’s decision that he is playing. Maybe for a reason we dont know. BUT HOW DARE YOU CURSE AT JAVIER MASCHERANO???!!!!
    I Believe Higuain is passed his prime and even at his prime he probably was not good at pressure.,He cost us a WC. But I would still not curse at him.
    Please keep believing that we can do it. If not… Then why are we fans for. This is our job… To support. No matter how good or bad our team is.
    And I believe we can win this WC 2018. Ofcourse by benching Higuain. lol.
    Vamos Albiceleste.

    • Thanks for saying what was much needed to be said. We are fans and we may have opinions. Also we are free to express those opinions. But there’s a line we shouldn’t cross. We have to have faith in the coach and know that he has reasons for doing what he’s doing. Also know that the coach knows FAR MORE than us, both about the players AND the game plans! At the end of the day we all want the same thing. We all want Argentina to be the champions of the world. But even Messi recognized the real need for humility. The 23 are what we have. There’s no point lamenting who could have been in the squad and who shouldn’t. Let’s sit back and enjoy what our players and coach are bringing to us, and how they are improving day by day.

  2. Higuain is still playing in this team by default. That means coach Sampaoli didn’t learn the problem which killing us for years. It’s time to call Icardi the deadliest striker immediately. So that he will get well practiced with Messi and Dimaria on possession style of play.
    And Certainly Di Maria must have to practice a lot on long range shots from outside box with very very precise.

  3. You can’t expect Higuain to be improved his performance in 30 days who couldn’t improved himself in 4 years. That means Sampaoli didn’t learn which problem are killing us. We have time to call Icardi immediately without beleiving in dreams.
    Certainly We don’t want to put too much pressure on Messi at World cup to score. We want 2 deadly strikers immediately.

  4. wow. I’m From Haiti. And I love Argentina. I was hopin for Haiti to score at least 1 goal last night. That would have been fine with me. The reason I made this comment is because I know the level of Haiti and the teams in the carribbean. It’s was very sad to watch the first half, poor performance by Argentina. All haiti did was putting a zone defense and Argentina couldn’t break through. No player tried to shoot outside the box, all of them like headless chicken wanted to get close to the keeper to score. Higuaim is not world cup material. He is done. He should not be going to Russia period. The guy is useless can’t help messi can’t dribble have no inspiration. Mascherano is soo slow!!!!!!!!!!!!. I’m telling you guys when Argentina play a serious opponent with attacking power, you will see the flaws of sampaoli team. this team is not good. I’m gonna support anyway cause i love argentina but Mussachio, Garay, correal should have been included

  5. In 2014 i supported Germany and won the tunerment, in 2018 I’m supporting Argentina. Funny fact is that Messi eliminated by Germany each and every world cup. Hope another Argentina vs Germany Final this year.

  6. *)Sampaoli becomes excited to see how we play.
    *)Sampaoli said that performance will be main to select goalkeeper,so Cabellero is not 100% fix to start.

    *)DIMARIA says all players should United to help messi this time .

    *)Messi is interested in pavon,Praise him as a fast partner..
    *)Higuain finds it very nice to get support from audiences,he said that he has taken lots of pressure for his country in his back .
    *)Forward scoreline is
    ——-Aguero 1-0 Higuain
    *)Locelso attracts attention,he is new gago

  7. after the game against Israel i think we will have clear picture about the preparation and the level will be our team. right now Sampaoli is building the team.

  8. I don’t want to see mascherano salvio and higuain starting.salvio will be destroyed by any decent opponent.mascherano is shit right now.and higuain has become a bum.about dimaria I don’t know.he can sometimes be useful but he also can be dropped

  9. With Salvio, who is a proper winger, in the 11, there is no need for a wing forward like Lanzini or Meza. If messi can combine with Pavon on left, Salvio on right, Lo Celso in the centre and Aguero ahead, we have a winning combination. With this we can play double defensive pivot of biglia and Mascherano allowing Lo Celso to be more central and attacking.

    Cabellaro;Salvio, Otamendi, Fazio, Tagliafico; Mascherano, Biglia, Lo Celso; Messi, Aguero, Pavon

    • What u said makes sense. But double pivot would kill our game. May be we can play Banega at RM position a la Rakitic role. That would strengthen our midfield further.

      But the problem is with wingers like Lanzini & Meza, we not only get wing play but also hard press & speed which we won’t get with an extra midfielder.

    • Lanzini/Meza can play inside and outside; Salvio can’t do that; At times, Messi likes to drift to the right wing; So Salvio won’t be useful; His best position is wing-back in 3-3-1-3 formation or as right back in 4 men defence;
      Lanzini had a good game last night; Not a gr8 one; I don’t know why people are not happy with his performance; Of course he can offer more;
      Lo Celso has been excellent; Wonder if he can put up that performances against top teams;

  10. Sampaoli

    I’m very excited because I see a lot of amateurism in these guys, that excitement excites me, that helps me get excited about Argentina working as a team, the desire of these players is a vital factor.

  11. I could not watch the game. I just saw the highlights. I find Messi around the center of the pitch and creating opportunities. I am wondering how the overall play was, did we see any other playing creating chances apart from Messi. How was our wing play? are they still looking to find Messi or going forward?

    • from what i saw yesterday the style of our offense was similar to 1990 team s. the difference is in the place of Diego was Messi and beside him players supporting him with much more quality than those in 1990.

      • 1990 was a poor team was carried by the goalkeeper and maradona.I can see very slow game from Argentina.I can surely say they were not much serious.Israel is much tougher opponent than Haiti we will see whether we improved or not in that match.i don’t see any point in playing Haiti.should have played a mediocre European opponent.just like France played Ireland.

        • yes of course. the style was similar. not the players. the players supporting Messi have much much much more quality than those beside Diego. day by day our team will became better and better. the bond between players will became more and more too. you have right too about Haiti but unfortunately no european team could travel to argentina just to play friendly with us. especially this period of time. that is why AFA choose an opponent that was able travel to Argentina.

          • Thanks Cox4 & Anuparno, i was expecting more of a wing play and swift transition from midfield to attack. I dont think we will play that way. I always wanted Argentina to play beautifully and win. I would like to see the beautiful game in the WC from our side.

    • Locelso aguero pavon salvio tagliafico created chances.lanzini was ok .linked up with messi few times but overall not that great.dimaria and higuain was a flop.banega linked up very well with messi.mascherano as usual looks old and shaky.even Haitians easily getting past him 2-3 times in the match.defence has nothing to do.goalkeeper has nothing to do.messi apart from scoring and 1assist not played seriously.he was cautious to evade any injury.aguero looks sharp and if he continues like this even stronger teams will struggle to contain him.

      • But end of the day it’s just Haiti we should have played better against them.we should have scored at least 6 goals.sampaoli needs to work really hard.today they will go to Barcelona and the real training camp starts there.in ezeiza training facility is not world class.in Barcelona full team will train for 2 weeks.this 2 weeks will be vital.this team still needs time to gel.we have. Finally found a superb midfielder in locelso need another 2 midfielders to perform if we want to have a good world cup

        • Lanzini is good against average teams only. Sampa must play Meza to provide width, treat and cover against stronger teams like Germany, Spain and Brazil.

        • @Anuparno
          No we should have not at all. We should not have risk it. We cant afford any inhuries before even playing the WC thats why Sampa chose Haiti. Not to look fancy on the scoreboard or bully the minnows. No one gave 100% yesterday. They took it easy and had a good time out there together. So stop worrying or over analysing this game. It was a warm up and everyone had a decent stretch. Thats all. Dont Judge yet.

    • Nobody expect from Higuain to be Bale style player. He never was and he never will be. He is striker. his work is different. he can help the team and we expect him to do.

      • As if Icardi is the greatest we had everbseen & never missed chances.
        He missed a better chance against Ecuador when team was 3_1 ahead, no pressure

      • Cox4: Higuain is a striker? what did he strike? how many goals did he score for Argentina, how many goals did he score in his last 7 games with Juventus? He strikes shit for sure.

  12. what i see yesterday i liked that. coach and players working hard and till game against Iceland they will be better. every day passing our team will became better and better. Yesterday we didn t kill a giant of course. just it was one goodbye to the public before our team leaves Argentina.

  13. i give advice to all those that all time complain about our experience players like Di maria Higuain Mascherano Biglia etc People we have one very good U20 ARGENTINA NATIONAL TEAM. if you are bored to see the big team you can watch that U20 team. you all will be satisfied. for the rest people that understand little bit from football they sure understand that to win a world cup it is needed one combination of experience and young.
    that is why in every team around the world they have young players and bigger age players.

  14. …………………….Caballero

    ………………..Otamendi..Fazio
    Salvio………………………………….Tagliafico

    Meza……..Lo Celso..Mascherano…….Pavon

    ……………..Messi….Aguero

    Lanzini for Meza
    Di Maria for Pavon
    Banega/Biglia for Lo Celso (it depends upon actual result)

    I think Lanzini should start but on the other hand it seems Salvio/Meza on right wing and Tagliafico/Pavon on left will give us most fastness, energy and moving.

    • The most funny about this guy is that he is so efficient despite his ordinary dribbling and general ball control unlike Di Maria who is very showy but just of poor decision making and especially final pass.

      • Exactly. I thought the same. Dimaria is better in every aspect than Pavon but final pass. Pavon is better in the quality final pass.

        • Di Maria is still the world best assister from 2009 in the big leagues. Interesting. Because his passing especially his crosses either bad or perfect (easy goal), other players passes on the other hand average, bad, good (but rarely perfect) thats the reason Di Maria has much more assists than any other player on the world.

          • “Because his passing especially his crosses either bad or perfect”

            – I agree and that’s why I’ve been always saying Di Maria kicking is LOTTERY. Personally I have not nerves to his unpredictability

  15. Higuaín, Diva Maria, and Mascherano are all rubbish, three wasted spots should’ve been filled with other reliable hard working players. I still see the team as a one man show, no improvement for whatsoever.

    Lanzini is so overrated on this forum, the guy is just average and sub material. That’s the problem of our squad, most players are subs for their clubs and we don’t have real starters including defenders and goalkeepers.

    Messi was honest and realistic by saying we can’t reach the level of the likes of Brazil, Spain, France and Germany because our preparation came too late. Winning a world cup requires that same players play together for a long time.

    Higuaín will remain a starter as Sampaoli and Messi want him to start no matter what this entire world project or claim. That’s why he’s not playing for his life knowing that his spot is guaranteed. As for the headless chicken, I think he’s the luckiest Argentinian player in the NT history, with a crappy armature play, he’s still selected for world cup and as a starter. Pathetic and sickening.

    • Get a life. Enough of this friend’s company. Even if you believe in that, atleast be logical. Aguero is more close to Messi than Pipita.

      Provided Aguero is fully fit, he will be our starting forward. Again, not because he is closer to Messi as u may like to believe, lol. But because he is better in one-two and scoring goals (at least at the NT) than Higuain.

      Higuain has wasn’t a disaster in the match as some likes to portray. He had a major hand in our second goal and this second goal boosted our confidence.

      I saw his great goal in training, he also works hard, so it’s understandable why he is being selected. However, due to some reason he is not able to take his chances in real games. Any way, there won’t be much problem since Aguero is our first choice any way.

      I was most disappointed with DiMaria. He tried to score when he should have returned the ball to Messi. That was a definite goal which Messi used to score a lot at Barca. That improper decision making and going for glory has been DiMaria’s problem over the years.

      I’m also surprised to see your lack of respect for Mascherano. He may not be at the same level of 2014, but he still played well within his limits. He is a fighter and can give creative long passes. He has become slower and that is a major problem in attack and defense, but you should never disrespect Mashe. He has been our second best player in the past decade.

    • @Argentina2018,”man show, no improvement for whatsoever. Lanzini is so overrated on this forum, the guy is just average and sub material. That’s the problem of our squad, most players are subs for their clubs and we don’t have real starters including defenders and goalkeepers.”

      SORRY, I STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH YOUR ANALYSIS ABOUT LANZINI. MAYBE YOU DO NOT WATCH THE EPL, LANZINI IS NOT A SUB FOR HIS CLUB…JUST BECAUSE HE DID NOT SHINE IN THIS GAME DOES NOT MEAN HE IS OVERRATED OR NOT UP TO THE TASKS AHEAD…HE IS A VERY CONFIDENT PLAYER ON THE BALL. SORRY MATE…TRY AGAIN.

  16. The good news is now we have quality young players unlike 2014.
    Let us hope crazy sampaoli opens his eyes and starts Pavon.

  17. My review of the game.
    Defense->
    Caballero had nothing to do the whole game. Our defenders also had a pretty relaxed night nothing much to do. Next match I would like to see Mercado and Rojo starting as our CBs. Last few months Masch has been playing some really good long balls but its his defensive side we are worried about and he also wasn’t tested that much. The one time he had to do something the Haiti player got better of him and was able to sneak in the pass into dangerous area inside the D-box which was little concerning. Its also not the game where we could judge Tagliafico and Acuna. Salvio tried hard but he also couldn’t get pass any of the Haiti defenders!!

    Midfield->
    Lo-celso had a good game. Kept the ball moving. Glad he will start over Banega who along with Di-maria haven’t been able to make the final pass/cross worth something! Especially Di-maria can’t stop disappointing us. What a poor game from Di-maria. He couldn’t get anything right today. While his replacement Pavon had a very good game. Glad Sampa selected him .Lanzini however looked a bit rusty. He looked like Banega part-2 today. I hope he is not another inconsistent player. He was selected in place of Enzo who seldom disappointed us. He is suppose to keep possession of the ball and also create chances so that Messi don’t have to drop deep. He truly looked a below average player from bottom ranked EPL club today. Meza didn’t have much to do but next match I want to see Meza start ahead of Lanzini.

    Attack->
    Other than the cross for the second goal Higuain wasted at least 3 chances today. He and Di-maria can’t stop disappointing us. But Aguero looked sharp. Lets hope he can stay fit and needs to be handled delicately by Sampaoli . Fully fit Aguero is unstoppable. Higuain would have wasted the chance Aguero converted. We only looked better after Aguero and Pavon got in.

    Higuain, Di-maria and Lanzini are the flops of today.

  18. Lanzini on left would be better than Di Maria.Di maria is very talented player no doubt but he still needs to learn football.Sometimes he plays like a school going kid who always make same mistakes again and again.Lanzini on left and Meza or Pavon on right.

  19. I was traveling back home from out of town for work and managed to watch the 2nd half on my phone.

    Messi was Messi, a smooth operator as always, Kun scoring was a huge positive and we want to see more of that a whole lot more, Pavon looked fast, big, under control and on the same page with La Pulga.
    DiMaria, where have you gone……..at least NOW we have somebody that can occupy his spot who has Messi’s ears and eyes.
    Good win.

  20. It is Messi team, Only Messi can make the team becoming great.The whole team rely on Messi. However, he need a full support from his team mates and coaching staffs. Hopefully Pavon, Meza, Dybala, Lanzini, Otamendi,Tagfliaco,Salvio,Banega, Lo Celso and Aquero and Willy will have a full fit body and fresh legs to helps him reach his dreams. Consider the opponents Arg is still not so impressive, slow counter, lots of missed chances and nervous coach does not look good,

    Haiti friendly did showed Sampaoli how to select the best fit players that can works with his playing style, and a lesson to evaluate the role of Higuain,Maria and Mascherano.

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