Maxi MEZA on Argentina radar, Italy announce squad


Maxi MEZA of Independiente is currently on Jorge SAMPAOLI’s radar while Italy have announced their squad to face Argentina.

With the March friendly matches fast approaching, the anticipation for the squad lis is growing. Per a tweet by CLMerlo, Maximiliano MEZA of Independiente will likely make the squads for the matches against Italy and Spain. An attacking midfielder, MEZA could join the growing list of domestic based players who are getting a chance under SAMPAOLI.


From Dario BENEDETTO to Cristian PAVON to Maxi MEZA, it’ll be interesting to see how many of them (BENEDETTO excluded) not only make the squad for next month but the final squad for the FIFA World Cup.

The Italians have announced their squad to face Argentina next month. Luigi DI BIAGIO replaces Gian PIERO VENTURA announced his list for the match to face Argentina in Manchester, England. DI BIAGIO is currently the Italy U21 coach. Here’s the squad:


Simone SCUFFET (Udinese)
Alex MERET (Spal)


Alessandro BASTONI (Atalanta)
Cristiano BIRAGHI (Fiorentina)
Antonio BARRECA (Torino)
Davide BIRSACHI (Genoa)
Kevin BONIFAZI (Torino)
Federico CECCHERINI (Crotone)
Gian MARCO FERRARI (Sampdoria)
Lorenzo VENUTI (Benevento)
Francesco ZAMPANO (Udinese)


Daniele BASELLI (Torino)
Barco BENASSI (Fiorentina)
Danilo CATALDI (Benevento)
Alberto GRASSI (Spal)
Rolando MANDRAGORA (Crotone)
Lorenzo PELLEGRINI (AS Roma)


Domenico BERARDI (Sassuolo)
Gianluca CAPRARI (Sampdoria)
Federico CHIESA (Fiorentina)
Federico DI FRANCESCO (Bologna)
Roberto INGLESE (Chievo Verona)
Andrea PINAMONTI (Inter)
Matteo POLITANO (sassuolo)


  1. this B team of ITALY is as good as it will be good preparation for us….lots of new faces are not good now bcoz we are running against we must stick to safer options and select a few new young faces..
    will be in squad

    • So why would the new Italian coach select players who’ve failed Italy from 2010 through to 2018?. This is a good move for Italy given their poor performance in the last several years. Italy went out during the world cup group stage back in 2010, follow up by another group stage exit at the 2014 world cup, and to add incing on the cake, failing to qualify for the 2018 world cup. Do you really think Italy is in any position to talk about B or A or C players?

  2. Afa should have cancelled the friendly against Italy and play any other team look they picked a farmers team not a good way to prepare for wc

  3. wow. thats humiliating for us. look at the squad they are calling up to face us. well. thats how it is. we became so mediocre its pathetic. italy 3 – argentina 1.

  4. anuparno: Are you really comparing Argentina midfielders to players from Levante, Crystal Palace and Wigan? Gees dude, if you have nothing constructive to write then give up the keyboard for a second. Are you saying that an Argentina midfield consist of the likes of Di Maria, Banega, Lamela, Lo Celso, Mascherano, Biglia etc. (Messi if you add him to the bunch)) are all at the standard of Wigan and Levante? Are you serious? And no, Argentina midfield is not that bad, you on the other hand just don’t have a clue on the subject you’re talking about.

    As Xavi said several months ago, the Spanish players are no better than Argentina, and that Argentina is equal to Spain. Xavi also said Argentina problem is that the team always seems to play tense. I’ve always notice this with the Argentina national team and it was obvious against Peru and Venezuela in qualifiers. Argentina was far superior to both teams yet they were playing like the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz which almost cost them a world cup spot.

    Keep telling yourself Argentina problem is the midfield. Creating 20 plus chances per game and failing to convert one or two of them is not a midfield problem. When was the last time Argentina midfield was dominated by an opposing team?

    The simple and honest answer is that Argentina problem has always been the two wide position, i.e. LB and RB. Argentina only two genuine RB’s I have seen play were Zanetti and Zabaleta while everyone else who played in the wing back position for Argentina over the years were played out of their natural position; guys like Heinze, Colocinni, Sorin, Rojo and Mercardo. If a team possess two great LB and RB their midfield automatically becomes more effective. You guys look at midfielders as some guy who is going to come out of nowhere and racked up assist after assist, this has never been true. I’ve been watching Argentina for a long time, and none of the past teams I have seen play are any better than today’s current Argentina team especially in midfield. Today Argentina national team have way more depth on the field except in the LB and RB positions.

    Aguero is good at scoring goals from inside the box, so what is the answer here? PUT THE BALL inside the box from the flanks so Aguero can get the opportunity to score instead of having Aguero playing 30 yards from the opponent goal in order to get a touch on the ball. This is true for Higuaín and Icardi too, if they don’t get service they won’t score, and I’m talking about Service from the wide areas not hoping for Pirlo to somehow magically appear for Argentina and create a goal scoring chance. We have Messi the greatest chance creator in the game today, better than any midfielder right now. What Sampaoli need to do is sure up the flanks both in attack and defense.

    You guys don’t get, it doesn’t matter who Argentina play in midfield, as soon as the opponent hear about Messi they’re going to constantly crowd the midfield in order to make life on the pitch difficult for Argentina. The answer to this is not to over dose the midfield, the solution is to create width for Messi and the Argentina strikers (Hence why Sampaoli use Di Maria and Acuna on the flanks). At Sevilla Banega always have options on the flanks to pass the ball to. At Barcelona they use the flanks a lot. At Real Madrid, majority of the team attack flows through Marcelo (attacking machine) and Carvajal on the flanks. The same for Bayern Munich, most of their attacking moves always end with the flank players putting the ball inside the opponent 18-yard box.

    The opposing teams are not going to give Argentina a lot of room in midfield so this is where Sampaoli need to flex his muscles.

    As I watched Chelsea vs Barcelona the other day, the first thing came to my mind was Argentina vs Iceland. The goal was a fortunate one for Barcelona, Iniesta and Messi were just in the right place at the right time to punish Chelsea for their unforced error, this was not a goal Barcelona midfield made possible. Barcelona midfield was average against Chelsea, and given the poor form Chelsea was in, this is a game Barcelona should have won handily. Barcelona slow midfield was expose over and over again on the Chelsea counter attacks. People need to stop pretending as if this current Barcelona midfield is as effective as past Barcelona midfield. Barcelona with this team will not win the UCL this season. Outside of the home game win against Juventus, every other Barcelona UCL game has been below par. Barcelona midfield is no blueprint for Argentina success at the 2018 world cup. So please enough with the Argentina need an Iniesta and Busquets, this is Argentina not La Masia. Moreover, Spain is not the only team to ever win a world cup. Sampaoli doesn’t need a Barcelona/La Masia blue print in order to win the world cup with Messi. And why would Sampaoli want to copy a team he already defeated at the 2014 world cup with Chile? Sabella showed that Messi can be as lethal for Argentina as he was for Barcelona without trying to have Argentina play like Barcelona. I don’t want to see Argentina becomeing a poor man’s Barcelona. Argentina just need to recapture a little bit of the Sabellla 2012/2013 national team games, 2016 Copa America, 2004 Olympic gold medal run, and the 2006 world cup team performance against Serbia. This is all the blueprint Sampaoli need for success. Argentina will have their game against Spain, and everyone will get to see that Spain is no way a superior national team to Argentina including yourself.

  5. Hats off to Sampaoli for addressing obvious issues with the squad and trying out options that he feels worthy of calling up. His expansive brand of football requires much more time to succeed and we don’t have it. Still he is refusing to go with safer options. I think we will have a competitive squad and quality bench in the end.

    • They have enough talents I don’t see the need now for too much experiment should identify the core players and 1-2 tweeks and play in march friendlies he will not get any meaningful friendlies after this set of matches before wc so chemistry will not be there in wc if he still experiments a lot he just needs to solve the midfield issue our offence is super on paper and defence has also solid players but in midfield we may give competition to a side like levante or crystal palace or Wigan yes we are that bad

      • One would assume Sampaoli has a core line-up in his mind. Yet he is looking at new players which means he is not entirely happy with what he has already seen. He might be looking for players who can come off the bench and provide tactical flexibility. Team chemistry will definitelly suffer. But you cant blame him for that given the time he has had.

        • But if you want to win world cup you have to do all things perfectly and there is very little time left sampaoli now have to make this team a world beater with whatever he has if u cant play beautiful football then make this a defensively super strong and hope messi does some magic total football can’t be achieved in such a short span of time

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