Jorge SAMPAOLI’s press conference on latest Argentina squad


Argentina National Team coach Jorge SAMPAOLI’s press conference following the latest squad list is an interesting one, with names like Carlos TEVEZ, Paulo DYBALA and Fernando GAGO all mentioned.

With the coach releasing the latest squad on Thursday, the big talk was the exclusion of two European based heavyweights, Mauro ICARDI and Paulo DYBALA. Coach Jorge SAMPAOLI commented on it all. Here’s what he had to say:

Jorge SAMPAOLI’s press conference

“I don’t think it’s ideal to play against Spain, Italy and Israel and (AFA) president TAPIA already knows my opinion about it. I would have preferred that the game against Israel be played in Barcelona, but we have to comply. TAPIA told me that they are unavoidable commitments.

“We’re looking to call-up a right sided defender from the domestic league. If necessary, on current form, Carlos TEVEZ will be evaluated, just like a lot of other players.”

Jorge SAMPAOLI on Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

“Most of the players on the list are starters with their teams. Heading into the World Cup and with the little time we have, we have to know that incorporating players that don;t have a connection with the rest is a risk. We are always analyzing the players called-up and how they can be used at the World Cup.

“The certainties I have in regards to the list is 80%, it’s the other 20% that’s the most difficult. We have to build something that fills us with enthusiasm. We are convinced that we can have a great World Cup. Nothing can distract me of my goal which is to call-up the best players and put together the best performance for the Argentina National Team. We are analyzing very closely every player. We want the best players to be there, the one’s with the most experience.”

“That MASCHERANO is able to play 90 minutes every Sunday to me is better. A World Cup is not easy and he has experience.”


“DYBALA, GOMEZ and ICARDI are players that we know very well. We want to see others to continue to compare them. These two matches won’t define anything for anyone. Our job as coaches is that the team’s connection with MESSI is the best it can be. We have to take advantage of Leo. Paulo DYBALA is an extremely valuable player. He’s coming off an injury and we think it’s better for him to regain his form with his club and not be on the list. I saw a more mature HIGUAIN. The players give you a certainty that if put together, we could have a great World Cup.

“We won’t be playing for points but playing to progress as a collective unit that will give us more security. We will have opponents who are tough up front.

“I watched Fernando GAGO. I saw in him a very respected player with a lot of enthusiasm. Lautaro MARTINEZ is a player that we’ve been following for some time. His present form allows us to analyze his possible call-up. PAVON is a player that is part of our process and to us appears to be important in the way we see the play. The local based players we are going to keep watching. I’m watching them all.”

Jorge SAMPAOLI on Argentina’s goalkeepers

“We have been evaluating the goalkeeping situation for some time. I think that looking at someone who has never been called-up to get incorporated with the little time we have, is difficult. Sergio ROMERO is a player that when asked to play, he does it in an acceptable way. We talked with his coach and we hope he has more minutes ahead of the World Cup.”


  1. 8I can’t understand how a coach with so many experience can’t see that Banega is useless. If you call Benaga u could easily call Battaglia who I think is better. I don’t understand either the choice of Lanzini. If you call LoCelso and Paredes you dont need Lanzini. We dont need playmaker, we have Messi. All we have to do is put two forwards in front and Messi behind. A player like Dybala can come off the bench and help messi in the build up if needed. We don’t have to twist and turn we have quality players if used efficiently can make a great WC.

    • We don’t need playmaker??? Most delusional comment ever read then barca would have dropped iniesta coutinho etc football not like that messi needs 2 playmaker behind him and 1 striker to finish chances and a quality winger who can play 1-2 with messi and a solid defence behind him and Argentina is unstoppable

      • I don’t know how long you have been watching football but I am gonna remind you when we had Maradonna, he was the only playmaker that we had. The team turned around and for him. We didn’t have and we didn’t need another playmaker. In our case right now we don’t have a playemaker and we won’t have one. We must stop fooling ourselves. Messi can play the playmaker role better than any player in the world. Let him play as a playmaker and play two forwards in front. There is nothing delusional in that

        • Messi is no maradona plus today’s game changed a lot without a functional midfield and defense and solid backline we can’t win the wc mark my words

          • even maradona cant win anything with the current argentina squad. football has changed alot since the 2000’s. if messi played before 2000′ argentina would hv had a world cup. football has evolved & revolved at the same time. tactics hv overtaken individual’s of nowadays attack & defend as a unit leaving very little spaces even for the greatest dribbler to manoeuvre. what argentina needs to do to hv a chance of lifting the world cup, is to find technically gifted players who can pass the ball in tight space with fluidity. all the teams that won the world cup since 2002 hv had great midfielders to complement their strikers. italy had pirlo, spain had xavi, iniesta, xabi & busi. germany has an ozil & kroos. messi has done his best for argentina just like maradona would hv done in today’s football. i blame argentina football for sticking with primitve football of trying to dribble the whole pitch instead of teaching youngsters the basics of football like passing & how to control the ball. we need to change our system starting from the grass roots if we want to win the WC.

        • I agree. Messi is no longer a striker, he is a 10. Especially since our depth is forwards. What the team needs is a good supporting cast next and behind Messi. Athletic, hard working and able players. Especially wingbacks like Dani Alves and Gordi Alba have been at Barca.

          Acuña… Masch…. DiMaria….
          Tagla.. Ota.. Rojo .. Mercado

    • Banega and Battaglia are two quite different types. It’s not that Banega is comepletely useless (he is incomparably better passer than mediocree in this point Battaglia) but he is lacking of energy and defensive skills of Battaglia (skills that are decisive in crucial moments of tournament). IMO Battaglia is must for us in post-Masche mifield, Banega is not. Among the groupe of misdielders currently called up I don’t see a configuration that might make defensively tight midfield unless Mascherano will somehow back in best shape of No.5

      • Mascherano and biglia is the answer biglia this season playing really well for ac Milan our defence is also a concern not as solid as a wc winning team

  2. some of the words I gathered were “experience” “no time” “integrated”… all key words that he will bank on the group of friends.
    It’s unfair that the other coaches have time but our coaches never.
    In Argentina a year is only 182 days while in other countries 365 days.
    If you don’t have time and need them integrated why not call Dybala to be with the squad?
    Aha he was injured and needs time. Ok then why call up Funes Mori who hasn’t played a game in months? Why call up Salvio who is injured? ah ok your logic, rules and decisions making doesn’t apply to everyone, you are just selective and take directions from other so you can’t even explain them.
    but I also read between the lines “I fear Spain will beat me and my selections will be criticized”
    The best response was about Romero:
    “acceptable” this is not an endorsement at all.
    Sorry to bother you Sampaoli! I had hope in you and now I am losing hope because you are turning into Bauza, Martino, Sabella, Batista, Maradona, etc…
    Hope we win the Cup because we have many enemies in our ranks who don’t care about the team but want to earn dollars.
    I ma losing

    • Sabella?? You want to say finishing top of the wc qualifier reaching wc final aftr 24 years and only lost in dieing moment of extra time is an underachievement?? Ur so called best players like zanetti cambiaso riquelme aimar never achieved anything and messi and friends reached 3 consecutive finals and only loosing to Germany is an under achievement and what makes you think those newcomers will smashed all opponents and win double of Copa and wc?? Let me tell you Argentina youth football in tatters this is the golden generation and after this generation passes you guys will even struggle to reach quarters and its a fact.give some respect cup win is not a walk in the park.from 88 years of wc history how many time Argentina actually manage to win it?? Only 2 times.that too one came while hosting it and other time a certain Diego maradona’s individual many countries manage to win it ?? Very few .Netherlands with illustrious history can’t win it.sampaoli is not a novice he left the sevilla club and bigger club offers just for his patriotism towards Argentina.respect that .he chooses love for his country over money Argentina not even played a single match in wc and u guys reacting like we r out in group stages also.he is the coach he trains them he knows how good his players are.let him work before u criticise.

      • Did Sabella reach the final? Yes! Could he have done better? Yes! He prepared and spent time on the fantastic four and 5-3-2 formations only to learn that he wasted his time throughout the group phase and it took injuries to force him playing the 4-4-2 formation which he then betrayed in the second half of the final by subbing lavezzi who was playing great for aguero who was poor and injured. He should have called the best players and bank on them not end up like when Germany scored everybody knew it was over because the werent any alternatives there to make a change. 2006 team never lost and held 70 % of possession against Germany in Germany. The coach cost them ,although I like Pekerman and admire his style he failed us so I cant be biased and say he was different and he left out Zanetti. The man you say hasnt won anything. Pekerman and Maradona should be ashamed for excluding him. Zanetti is everything whats wrong with our team. This is a guy who is the model professional. Hardworking Gentleman who never in his life took shoetcuts. His behaviour on and off the pitch is to be admired. He never complained or said anything even though he was treated like shit from us. If I ever have a son I will teach to him about him because he is a man. People who support what we did to Zanetti should be ashamed. So should you because you cant aprreciate an honorable man like him. Honor is lacking in our team and people like you support dishonor snd injustice so we lose and you run away while I stay here since the beginning of this site always calling out when I fell something is not right because I want the team to succeed and dont want them to leave any stones unturned. I am not happy with acceptable or good, I want better and the best. You must have misunderstood money was not aimed at Sampaoli, it was at the afa and some players that need to wear our shirt for sponsors. I like Sampaoli and I feel he is not being himself lately and I would be a hipocrit if I stay silent because I criticized Bauza for doing the same thing as Sampaoli is doing now. Wrong is wrong. Nobody can guarantee us the world cup, all they can do is give their best! Which we sadly dont do because we always leave important players at home which we later regret.

        • Which players we r leaving fr WC that you think should be included??? Don’t say dybala and icardi as sampaoli said they most probably be selected for WC anyways I don’t see any talented players left.this selection is perfect only concern the defence where mammana pezella or musacchio could have been called.I wonder where is basanta now he was superb in 14 wc but never been called up since

          • not supporting the guy’s argument but i think he has a point on dybala. he is no doubt the second best player after lionel messi. sampaoli should hv used this time to try & make them play together. dybala offers something higuain or aguero dont & thats high workrate & ability to take on defenders tho aguero tries to some extent. his excuse for not including dybala is bullshit to say the least. leaving him then calling a player who has played for almost a year is nonsense.

        • I’m not disrespecting zannetti and co I just stating the fact that they also didn’t win anything despite having so much better squad at least this generation which u guys dispise so badly reached 3 consecutive finals not a easy things to do give some respect that’s it yes I agree we don’t have the team to be a world champions but if they work hard they can achieve the impossible we just need some luck which was not with us against Germany that day

          • How is Zanetti supposed to win a World cup when he didnt get called up? I dont hate this generation Ore love other generations more. I just dont want package deals. I want Messi but dont want Biglia. Thats all. Here above you wrote Mascherano and biglia are our midfield solution. I dont know where you have been all these recent years but we all know that is not the solution because we tried that 100000 times. In this interview Sampaoli said after being asked about Tevez that he is looking at him. Do you believe this? I dont. Political answer thats all. He never confirmed that Dybala will be at the World cup. He just said he is a valauble player who needs to play for his club. If sampaoli would think of him that he would have called him up like he did with Salvio who is valauble to him although injured. If you dont see the writing on the wall then iI cant help you. He cant straight up I will not call him up, but he i leaning there and thinking about it. That he is even thinking about iit is wrong because we need him in the squad. Just look at every starting 11 in the first game never play in the last game. Drop of form, injuries, cards and many more reasons. You need alternatives and fresh legs.

  3. Can anyone tell me the strength and weakness of Funes Mori’s game.Is he good enough for NT.There is not so many videos of his skills especially defensive skills.What will be the role of Mascherano.I think Biglia is better.Is Mercado good for right- back position. I mean does he possess the qualities of right – back like crossing and link-up play or he is good only in defending.And what are our better right-back options.

  4. Final #23 for #WC2018#RussiA

    Forwards:-1.Messi 2.Aguero 3.Higuain/Icardi 4.Dybala 5.Dimaria 6.perotti/L.martinez

    Midfielder:- 7.Paredes 8.Locelso 9.Pavon 10.Biglia
    11.Banega 12.Acuna 13.Lanzini

    Defenders :- 15.Masche 16.Otamendi 17.Fazio 18.Mercado 19.Rojo 20.F.Mori/Tagliafico

    Goalkeepers :- 21.Caballero

  5. i understood what sampolli thinks…

    what is the best thing in this list is lanzini and locelso… i hope they can start atleast one match in the these two friendlies.. with messi it will be a different.. they both have more energy thats what argentina midfield needs…

    some of them see why dybala left out.. icardi left out.. both are not in great form… recently.. he is playing with mind game with other national teams… he knows dybala or icardi is the key.. when messi will be man marked.. he will surprise with those two weapons.. i am pretty sure dybala and icardi will be in the final 23.. when higuain is off form he will neglect… first he did with aguero and then higuain… it will give them he indicates that no body will be selected on their name.. they will be selected with their form… some of them in mundo will argue… why he called mori…. i am saying attacker wise argentina have more players… left food centerback… rojo and mori and taglifico( decent players we have) he have clear idea…. we dont have world class left or right back… but wing play is important…

    again he will go with three at the back when we are attacking..

    it will give balance..



    while defending… it will be turned into ….

    ——–marcado ———–otamendi———-macherano———rojo/taglifico….

    then we can use pavon/salvio ————-left side acuna/dimaria

    it will give perfect balance…

  6. Playing friendly just 1 week before wc is risky I hope sampa will not play our stars for that match if anybody gets injured we are in trouble

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