Nicolas TAGLIAFICO on Ajax, Jordi ALBA and more


Argentine fullback and newly signed Ajax defender Nicolas TAGLIAFICO gave an interview where he discussed Ajax, Jordi ALBA and more.

In an interview with Ole, the former Independiente man spoke about a number of things. One was the main difference between football in Argentina and football in Ajax, the Argentina National Team and more. Here’s what he had to say:

The difference between football in Argentina and in Ajax:

“The main difference is that the players play out from the back. Here, the centre-backs move forward with great ease, that surprised me a lot. It’s incredible because you think that those who play in that position are generally not good with the ball but here they have great technique. If the opponent gives them space, they start running and pass the half-way line of the pitch while dominating with the ball. And they’re smart in terms of generating space. They teach them that since they were kids.”

Why is it so hard to see that in Argentina?

“Because there are two factors that play against us: The first is that lack of training and the second is the lack of patience from people. In the youth teams, up until recently, they didn’t prepare the kids to play this way. The coaches in the youth level, appear to be more concerned with the result. And if one is not formed that way, it’s difficult to put it into practice when you reach the first division.

“The defender who isn’t ready, we doubt him. They think it’s a risk to go out playing (from the back) and not a way of overcoming the opponent. The most secure way is to lob it up and just be ready.”

Who he watches to better himself in his position

“I used to always watch a lot of Lahm. He was the example of a player who understood his role within the team, that never complicated things and seemed to know so much about the game that he was capable of playing in any position.”

About Jordi ALBA’s understanding with Lionel MESSI

“I watch Jordi ALBA and I know I have to watch him more. MESSI had a relationship with Dani ALVES and now he has it with Jordi ALBA. They practically know each other off memory. Leo grabs it from the middle onto the left, Jordi goes on the overlap and gives the ball back to Leo who then scores. But there’s a great timing on it and an understanding which is logical because they train together every day. I have to be prepared for if I get my chance, to be able to do something similar.”

SAMPAOLI went to go see you in the Netherlands. One would imagine it would get you excited about being in the National Team for Russia.

“Yes. Yes, if he came to see me it was for something. One dreams of being called-up to the National Team and to have the chance to play in a World Cup. All this time, he’s been playing with a back line of three but he can also play in a back line of four. And I have to prepare myself and demonstrate here at Ajax that I deserve to be called-up.”


    • I think Juan Foyth is also one of those defenders who can dribble well and sometimes go high on the pitch to assist or score a goal.

      By the start of next season he will get more minutes and have a place in the starting line-up but untill that time he must be patient like Lo Celso did at PSG.

  1. Excellent interview. It underlines the huge differences between modern defenders and old school defenders in Argentina club teams. Football and especially training techniques have hugely improved over the past ten years including youth development. Argentine clubs need to adapt fast if they don’t want to lose more ground.

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