Argentina National Team coach Jorge SAMPAOLI held a press conference in front of the media where he discussed a number of things.
Days before the big match against Uruguay, SAMPAOLI commented on why he called-up Mauro ICARDI and not Gonzalo HIGUAIN, Lionel MESSI playing with Paulo DYBALA, preparation and much more. There’s also the latest line-up from training. Here’s what he had to say:
Jorge SAMPAOLI on Argentina vs. Uruguay
“The team is not yet confirmed but we have different alternatives to play this very important match. This match against Uruguay, we’ve been working on it for some time.
“The idea to talk with every single player has to do with achieving a union before such an important match. What matters is putting together a number of players that will strengthen the team and join the Argentina attack. The idea is to have the possibility of an Argentina team who imposes itself through a defined attacking characteristic.
“Luis SUAREZ is a very valuable striker. If he plays, he can alter the system. He’s something extra Uruguay have because he’s their best footballer. Playing STUANI is not the same.”
On calling-up Mauro ICARDI over Gonzalo HIGUAIN
“It’s to do with the analysis of what happened with the national team last time. We need a striker who, as well as goals, has the characteristics of an assist-maker. That’s we why called him up.
“We’re facing a reality in which we are left outside of Russia and, with little time left, we have to take advantage of every virtue in this squad.
“When we talked with Gonzalo, we told him why we didn’t call him up. We told him that we’re hopeful of there being an argument that he can be with us again.”
On playing Lionel MESSI and Paulo DYBALA
“It’s very important to know if MESSI and DYBALA complement each other because it would be a disadvantage for the team if they isolate themselves. Leo is looking forward to playing at another World Cup. Coaching the best in the world is very important for me, to see him train, to see him move.”
On Lucas BIGLIA
“BIGLIA arrived in a good shape. He didn’t have enough minutes with his club but I’ve been following his preparations day by day. fortunately we can count on Lucas. He has a big desire to be with us, having him in good condition is an advantage for us.”
There was also the latest line-up from training which had Leandro PAREDES in midfield. Here it is:
ROMERO; MERCADO, MASCHERANO, OTAMENDI; RIGONI, BIGLIA, PAREDES, DI MARIA; ICARDI, MESSI, DYBALA
In contrast, here was yesterday’s line-up from training:
ROMERO; MERCADO, FAZIO/MASCHERANO, OTAMENDI; DI MARIA, BIGLIA, PIZARRO, ACOSTA; DYBALA, MESSI; ICARDI
Here are clips from the training sessions:
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) August 28, 2017
— Leo Messi (@WeAreMessi) August 29, 2017