Jorge SAMPAOLI press conference: “We have to get an early goal”


Argentina National Team coach Jorge SAMPAOLI held a press conference on Monday discussing the match against Venezuela.

The coach discussed a variety of topics, from Lionel MESSI, his supposed rift with MESSI, Paulo DYBALA, Venezuela and much more. Here’s what the coach had to say:

On the match against Venezuela:

“For me, it’s important for us to believe in our own capabilities. We have to go looking for the points. We have to get an early goal that way the opponent has to look for another gameplan. I’m not of the idea of having a starting eleven that is set in stone. Playing a back and forth game against Venezuela would benefit them. It doesn’t depend on who Venezuela plays, it depends on what we want and need from the match.

On the Argentina National Team

“It’s good to have a set of players who are prepared to play. Argentina’s formation depends on what we want from the match. Every match will be increasingly more difficult to resolve because the pressure is there to qualify for the World Cup. It’s easy to love someone when they win, but the beautiful thing is wanting them to win.

On Lionel MESSI

“A player like BANEGA gives MESSI the chance to move into the opponenet’s area. MESSI is fully involved so that Argentina qualify for the World Cup. It’s difficult to remove the Messi dependency from a team when Leo is there.

Argentina coach SAMPAOLI denies media rift between himself and MESSI:

“We live in a society where when a lie is told a thousand times, it becomes the truth.

On individual players

“Angel DI MARIA is a fundimental player for us. He played all three matches with me as coach. DYBALA is a player that can give a lot to the Argentina National Team. The partnerships are there: Leo and Di Maria, Banega and Leo, we’re working on Leo and Dybala, Leo and Icardi.”


  1. Take out Biglia for either Pizzaro or Augusto Fernandez. This is the problem with the lineup, who are the players that will make an overlapping run from midfield to the flanks to receive a pass from either Di Maria or Acosta? It sure isn’t Biglia. Put Biglia on the bench, he and Mascherano should not be on the pitch at the same time irrespective of both their position in the lineup, unless the team is defending a lead or closing out a game. I like Biglia, and for me he is a fine player, but what’s with the obsession over the guy in every single starting XI? It’s guaranteed Argentina will have 75% possession of the ball with or without Biglia playing at the Estadio Monumental. We need a box to box player in the lineup hence why either Pizzaro (my preference) or Augusto (I don’t think he played enough games since coming back from injury) should be in the starting XI. The Argentina midfield need players who can make runs to the flank and back to the midfield and unfortunately, Biglia is not that guy. Football today demand players with pace and that is the part of Biglia game that is lacking, Argentina doesn’t need to be Spain 2.0, plenty of possession and win by one goal and two goal margins a game.

    Another scenario; when the ball is at Di Maria feet or Acosta on the flanks, Argentina need an overlapping player, at least two players on the edge of the opponent 18-yard box who are in a good position to strike the ball on goal and, Icardi at the top of the six-yard box, this is how the goals will come. No need for pointless crosses from anyone hoping it will somehow reach to Icardi forehead. As long as the team make the pitch big against Venezuela they will score goals, on the other hand, if all the ball is consistently center around the middle of the park, then sadly for Argentina it will be deja vu all over again. Let’s stop being Messi dependency also, he doesn’t need to touch the ball 99 times out of a 100, if other players are in better advancing position on the field give the ball to them instead of bringing it back to the midfield so that Messi can get a touch on the ball, this is the team problem. Argentina will struggle to score counter attacking goals as long as the ball keep on coming back to Messi in midfield. Sometimes Messi can be the last person who touches the ball, and that last touch will be in a dangerous area on the pitch. Once Messi have the ball in midfield, ten Venezuelan players will be behind the ball, and picking out a great pass on goal in that situation sometimes become very difficult even if you’re Messi.

    If Messi was in the same situation playing for Argentina as he was with Barcelona at the Bernabeu last season he would have never scored that goal because nobody on the Argentina team would have showed the guts like what Sergio Roberto did and ignore Messi after he receives the pass from Busquets all the way in Barcelona own half. Sergio Roberto glance two times behind him to see where Messi was and still didn’t pass to him. The team needs to learn how to play with Messi and without Messi, enough of the Messi dependency. The team will not win the world cup with this strategy because it limits the entire team ability going forward in attack. I love Messi as a brother, but he needs to run more and get more involve with the play when the ball is not at his feet, scoring a goal for Argentina doesn’t always have to come from a one two between Messi and another player, if this is the case going forward, Argentina will still struggle to score goals. I want to see people shooting at goal when they’re in range to shoot and pass the ball to the best available players in the most advanced area on the pitch.

    • All agreed on the game plan,but for me the question is do we have right personnel to execute know who the central midfielders are right?we have either dm or turtle am.ok I understand something can be done against Venezuela but about teams Uruguay who defend well or against top guns .in the current situation neither di Maria nor dybala is working attacking from the left,dropping diva for acuna would make sense imo and have dribbling right footed forward in the attacking line with icardi and messi

      • Well these players execute for their clubs week in and week out, so why is it different playing with the Argentina national team? Only Spain right now has more midfield depth than Argentina.

        Most top teams play open football like Germany, Brazil, Spain, France, Holland, (of old) and second tier teams like Croatia, Belgium, Poland etc. It’s the team that are limited that usually defend with 10 players behind the ball like Uruguay, Portugal, Switzerland and so forth.

        France drew with Luxembourg a country that is ranked 47th out of the 50 European nations. So much for all the hype over France midfield yet they failed to beat Luxembourg. All Pogba does is play for the cameras. Kante in my opinion is overrated, he covers a lot of ground but nothing is special about him as a midfielder. This French team won’t beat Sampaoli Argentina out of the realms of the emotional and tag of war CONMEBOL qualifiers. Argentina have played European teams 12 times since 2012 and only lost 1-0 to Germany at the world cup final, as you can see Argentina have no problem winning against European teams, they just need to get it right in the finals.

        • imo we have 4-5 top level players performing week in and week out unfortunately they are all strikers .we need top players in other areas midfield and are saying that only Spain has more midfield depth than us! I consider that a bold statement.we have plenty of midfielders but they are all average .we need generals in the middle of the park who can control games who can help the team take the game to the opponents and split defenders and help the backline when needed.France has Rabiot and Matuidi in the bench I dont think we have midfielders like them.Italy Belgium Portugal have better ones, never mind Brazil Spain ,Germany and France.i think the problem with France team is the coach ,I hope they keep the other hand our coach is top level ,I am confident he is gonna do a good job long term at least ,lets hope he’s going to make this team work with the players we got,fingers crossed.

    • I was watching Spain play and every time a player had the ball. 2 or 3 players would run towards his teammate in a triangle or diamond formation to give him an option of passing, even when in tight spaces. So whenever Asensio or Iniesta received pressure or double teamed, they had two or three passing options. Messi needs this with Argentina with his dribbling ability, he can have three options for a 1/2 passing similar to Isco in Spain or Argentina with Riquelme and Messi. The problem is no one is moving towards his teammate and then finding spaces to receive a pass in Argentina. You are also right with the no overlapping and diagonal runs.

  2. Diva Maria is fundamental? really? He plays one good friendly game against really poor team followed by 10 shitty performances against real men so that makes him fundamental. Same crap same dependency on Messi. It’s Messi’s magic or no other tactic in place. This world cup will be two horse race between Brazil and France why do I even bother. All the signs are there, if our midfield lead is Diva Maria, even Lord can’t help us in this misery.

    • I just rewatched last match. I don’t think is there on the world any other player that would be not droped despite so many pathetic crosses. And he is doing that long long time. But as you’ve just said he will do well once for 10 games, against weak opponent, and that’s enough for most people to make them once again convinced to Di Maria.

  3. Rumored line up and formation
    Fazio, mascherano, otamendi
    Banega, biglia, dybala
    Acosta, icardi, dimaria

    …. very interesting !! I like Messi as a midfield playmaker and dybala on the left with dimaria is interesting as well.we will have 70% possession against Venezuela and this might be what we need for a moral boosting thumping of Venezuela.

    • Agreed Gonzalo, Acuna IMO is a superb player when playing in his natural position on the LEFT side of the midfield. Against Uruguay Acuna was on the right and since he’s left footed he had to cut inside into the left inorder to attempt a cross and in doing so he ran into a wall of uruguain players, hence why Acuna was nullfied and invisible in that game.
      There are so many players that could do maria’s job better when placed on the left side including Acuna, Piatti and even Cervi. Sampa has to either instruct Angel to stop with the useless crosses and actually start attempting throughballs or drop him into the bench and treat him as an impact sub.

  4. Hi, everyone; team seems to be in good shape. Only impetus is required to be initiated. It will be triggered through a win against Venezuela.
    Vamos Argentina

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