Argentina eleven from training, MESSI, BANEGA in


Argentina’s latest eleven from training included Lionel MESSI and Ever BANEGA.

Jorge SAMPAOLI held a training session behind closed doors on Monday afternoon in Madrid. After speaking with Fox Sports and stating that he’s hopeful of playing on Tuesday, Lionel MESSI appears to be getting his wish granted as he was part of the team which trained on Monday. Here were the eleven players:


Five players who started the 2-0 win against Italy would once more be in the starting line-up, that is to say Fabricio BUSTOS, Nicolas OTAMENDI, Nicolas TAGLIAFICO, Giovani LO CELSO and Gonzalo HIGUAIN. Ever BANEGA who came on as a substitute and scored against Italy would also start.

Sergio ROMERO would regain his starting position in between the goal posts while full backs Fabricio BUSTOS and Nicolas TAGLIAFICO get a second consecutive run out. It could be that SAMPAOLI is looking to see if they can both cement their spots in Russia. Marcos ROJO gets a rare start in the center of the back line as the Manchester United man is usually deployed as a left back. He would start alongside Nicolas OTAMENDI.

In midfield., Javier MASCHERANO comes in place for Lucas BIGLIA as the veteran is included in the eleven. Ever BANEGA who impressed after coming on against Italy gets the start. MEZA would receive his first ever cap for his country and what opposition and what an opportunity it is for him to impress the boss. Lionel MESSI needs no introduction as he is likely to play only 45 minutes. Giovano LO CELSO gets a second run out while Gonzalo HIGUAIN gets the nod ahead of Lautaro MARTINEZ.

While this line-up is not confirmed, it is the eleven which trained on Monday afternoon and bar any possibly small changes (should MESSI not start), this looks to be the starting eleven who will play in Madrid.


  1. Messi needs to play tn this kind of matches.Argentina should win this kind of matches it will boost the confidence of the team.I think Lanzini should play he is vital player now for NT after Messi.Players are almost set but we need chemistry between them so why to rest main players.

    • Lanzini is injured and sampaoli will not open all his cards as Spain may be our quarter final opponent

  2. Ugh I woke up today all excited thinking Messi would be playing but guess not. This is so frustrating. Why have Messi in the starting lineup during training if he’s so called “injured”?? Makes no sense. Also, if the purpose of the friendly is to
    test new players, then why partner Masch and Biglia again?? Why not have Banega and Pablo sitting right in front of the defense then have Perotti/Acuna on the left with either Pavon/Correa flanking the right??

    This is just silly and pointless!

    • I think it’s a good thing for messi to rest as much as he can,because of the titles Barcelona wants to win this season which will take a lot from messi.

      But yes they must test all new players who’s on the NT now.

      • I like to think that lanzini are going to do good for Argentina in the world cup.

        But dam would I like to see Roberto pereyra in those central midfield positions.baring in mind that he also plays in the English premier league, so he’s all about physicality and speed with he’s game experience as a player and he’s great game potential, defence and attack.

    • Hope Martinez get some playing time..also he better not get a red card cause our young players tend to be all nervous and wanna do too much too early,Just take your time and do what’s require by the coach . Play smart and make die hard fan like us go crazy tonight

  3. Seems quite obvious to me that Samp will use this 4-3-2-1 system. Since the 2 previous friendlies in Nov, he keeps the 3-men midfield, which allows him to practice the possession ball football. The only change was to switch from 3-3-3-1 to 4-3-2-1. But in any case, Lo Celso has always been the starter, as a versatile midfielder, he can play in all position and replace anyone. To me, Lo Celso + Maschereno + Lanzini could be the best option. I see the perfect balance with these 3 men, Lo Celso can help defending and Lanzini is a hard worker, that can compensate a bit Maschereno.

    Otherwise, I don’t know if any other team else than Argentina with such a high accuracy of passing, maybe only Spain is better. I feel quite confident with this new system.

  4. This is a friendly game and Sampaoli need to test his players selections. Operating the plan B is more important than the result. Resting Messi is agreeable as this is Samp clever tricks not to show the full force. Just curious to see that Correa and Martinez will get the chance to play.

    Above all, this game will be a good evaluation for Sampaoli – do he really need Dybala? and do the team can compete without Messi.

  5. again mascherano and biglia?? experimenting too much and agin back to old what is proven that not good

  6. I don’t think Messi and Aguero are really injured. I think they’re just being rested. Having read Sampaoli saying he didn’t want to play Spain now. I think he is playing smart by not showing the football world the capabilities of his full strength side. Excluding Messi and Aguero means reduced firepower up front. That’s my opinion though.

    • aguero is injured no doubt about that.yes he is not showing all his cards.messi aguero dimaria all r not there plus lanzini also.defence he is full strength but that due to the fact that he wants to test this defence against the best.i still feel caballero is better suited than romero to start in wc.romero is awful in passing and playing from the back not good atall with the feet.our goalkeeper situation is midfield we r playing meza who if plays well can be selected but its a big if.spain is very very strong to be honest

    • I agree with you, I don’t think messi is injured maybe aguero.

      And for romero and don’t see any reason for not keeping him as first choice keeper. I

    • I agree. Messi tends to play in these kind of condition for Barca but for Argentina, I think it is done strategically. However i want Messi to rest in meaningless la liga games especially away games since Barca do not need messi that much for la liga. They already have healthy lead.

    • Agreed.

      These are just resting tactics for players, which is good. I don’t give a shit if aguero is injured or not coz that loser won’t do shit in WC if he comes along.

  7. I’m glad Messi is not playing. No need to risk him, let him watch from the luxury seats for now.
    Let the rest of team do their jobs without the Messi pacifier!

  8. Probable team
    bustos, otamendi, rojo ,tagliafico;
    mascherano ,biglia or Pablo Perez;
    Meza ,banega, locelso or pavon;

    • Imo it’s not that bad to watch Argentina play without Leo. The team was accused many times of being very dependent on Messi. The game against Italy we saw a good first half and the team was playing collectively as a unit.

      Leo was and still is the best player in the team but other players in the team have to show their qualities when the team’s talisman isn’t on the field.

      • That’s true Dadir. I like how Sampaoli is slowly forming a team that can play well and effectively despite of our best player’s absence.

  9. Messi doesn’t miss a single minute of playing time for barca if he could help it. i am sure he will be fully fit to face roma and would play 90 mins. yes he is the greatest player ever but when the team is to built around him he needs to take these friendlies more seriously. all the more reason why dybala should be in the squad.

    • The thing with messi in a team is that he doesn’t need much help,so leaving him out of these friendlies is good so that the rest of the attacking players can show that if messi gets injured or the opposition keeps him(leo) out of the game than we know that their are others players that will step up.

      Remember that one of Argentina big problem for the last couple of years is that they depend to much on messi which one of the reason Argentina have scored so few goals especially in wotld cup qualifiers.

      So I think this is a good thing to play without messi.

  10. To get into the Comment box scrolling all the way down, we can directly come to Argentina itself to voice our opinion. Such is the time taken. By the way tough to get logic of TV telecast. They know very well Argentina and Brazil is most followed in India but they are telecasting England Italy. Must be friend of Sampaoli. Messi played in central and Dembele in right against Bilbao at least as per the formation at the start. Almost Neuer played as a sweeper at last world cup, the demands of life and football are changing every second, all the three Messi Dybala and Sampaoli must blame themselves.

  11. What is the stat that favor that Dybala and Icardi are must for the Team? Some sound that they are more important than Messi. I know Dybala is a great talent, but he along with Icardi should earn their place in the team. Messi assisted icardi in QF, but he could not even control the ball. No offense, I love Albiceleste more than anyone………

  12. Let’s cut it short about Dybala!

    In Sampaoli’s system the flanks are the wheels of the team. Where Dybala couldn’t fit, since Messi has the free role. Paulo IMO fits a 4,4,2 formation as a second striker, with similarities to Delpiero if you all remember. Otherwise, he’s a shadow for Messi. In other case, he could be our number 9, a spearhead of our attack, which I have no doubt he’s a better finisher then all the the contenders in Sampa’s roaster.
    With Messi on the field, La joya could be our 9 backed by two speady wingers and Messi behind him, or in a 4,4,2 with Leo having a deeper role in the midfield, where no wingers on the lest. The thing that’s seems not suiting Baldi’s plan!

    As simple as that!!

    • Sampaoli likes mobile striker like aguero of old and the youngster martinez but somehow can’t see that dybala can play that role with perfection. He was 9 for palermo & even does play there for juve sometimes.

  13. Today’s match will gives us a clue how far the team has progressed so far. I don’t care about results just to see who can cement their spots. Last match, Lanzini, Parades, Lo Celso, Bustos and Tagliafico showed their worth.
    As for Dybala and Icardi, they must prove their worth to the team. Dybala is not Messi. He is not yet a great playmaker-cum-scorer. People talking about Higuain choking under pressure but Dybala and Icardi flopped under pressure too in the WCQs. Let me ask Mundo, what makes you guys think that they will come good at an even bigger stage with magnified pressure? The best is that they find form and consistency. Yhat will help their case. I’m more than sure that they will both be invited to the provisional WC camp of 35. But they better learn and adapt quickly coz Sampaoli might be undecided on his final 23 but make no mistake he knows how he wants his team to play. So he will take players that functions for his system.
    Btw for all victories, there was a sacrificial lamb. Maradona in 78 and Ramon Diaz and Passarella in 86.

    • how is meza?? i saw some youtube clippings looks like he has speed some trickery but passing and decision making is quite he hold the ball for too much rather pass it to some players .so i dont think he can impress though i dont know sampaoli what wants for him.he must have seen something so he starting him against spain.i still believe apart from banega locelso and somewhat lanzini we lacking in creative part.

      • Meza’s passing is not outstanding but he is much energetic player to perhaps give us more movementes between lines. Wewill see. He also needs more than just one start.

        • so he is out of contention for wc as it seems.and passing is the most important thing for a midfielder.we need a iniesta or xavi but we dont have that

          • Who said passing is the most important thing for a midfielder? Brazil also has not own Iniesta and the are among favourites. You shouldn’t think so schematic.

        • Yes there system is different they have best fullbacks Marcelo or dani alves they have a superb midfielder in coutinho great dm in caseimiro there wingers also quite good.we lack many things plus our system is more based on possession rather than counters so that’s what I’m saying we need 1-2 high technical midfielders to maintain the possession plus also have that creative spark needed for breaking the defences

          • Like him or not but Sampaoli is not going to conceive any other “Iniesta” for us than Banega. We may only pray not to see him completely in Messi’s shadow when the second will take all the playmaking duties as it was in future. So pessimistic forecast is that we may have midfielders/playmakers (Banega/Paredes/Lo Celso or whoever) only nominally while in presence of Messi all our potential creators have turned into Messi’s attendants only – with 5 metres long non-creative passes only that run down to our captain as through a funnel.

    • That’s correct what you are saying, but the same can be said about “higuan” and “aguero” both of them have been “shit” for national team.

      The problem that Argentina have is that the top players with the big status such as dybala aguero higuan pastore and even banega they just can’t seem to hit the heights when playing for their NT.

      So what this tells me is that Argentina have everything these players just needs to hit form. But at the end every body must get a fair chance to proof their worth.

  14. I am still not convinced about Dybala or Icardi as starters. If given a choice I would pick Dybala as a sub. Icardi just does not fit into Sampaoli’s system. He has been very inconsistent at Inter and will not succeed against teams that park the bus. Sampoli is looking at players that are quick and flexible in attack and pressing. For me Dybala was a sureshot for Sampaoli till his personal issues and injury manifested at Juventus. He had to go through counselling sessions and apparently Nedved spent time with him and gave an ultimatum. The good part is he has come out of that. The six strikers for me are Messi, Higuain, Aguero,Dybala, Angel Correa and Lauro Martinez.

    Aguero this season has been much fitter than the previous seasons primarily because of Pep. The issue at world cup will be high intensity games to be played in 7 weeks. Dybala, DiMaria and Aguero from fitness stand point are going to be liabilities. I hope all the 3 are used as subs and not starters. How much ever everyone hates Higuain, he will surely be part of the team. He is fit, presses from the front, helps in tracking back and has the ability to pass the ball in addition to scoring. Yes, he is a choker but then for me that is fate. For a 7 week tournament he would be in any country’s team. People need to understand that in all the finals we had a non existent mid field and the strikers had no supply and had to track back to get the ball and attack. The reality was in 3 matches of 120 mins each, the forwards includng Messi was burnt out due to Sabella’s system. Anyway the biggest concern today is we have probably 4 slots (Messi,DiMaria, Otamendi, Romero )decided with the world cup a few months away.This is the time you have a set of players working together to understand the coach tactics and gel as a team. I wold have expected atleast 8-9 starters finalized by now.

    • Messi, aguero, otamendi, tagliafico, mascherano/biglia ,dimaria,lanzini is sure starter so 7 places are blocked.even Romero may also be starter so 7-8 players sure that left only 3-4 players spot up for grabs

  15. I don’t get it. If both players play exactly the same and occupy same spaces, that should be a good thing to play one a starter and another as a sub. That’s why they call it substitute. Why Dybala can’t be Messi’s sub if they play exactly the same? Who can guarantee that Messi will be there 100 % fit during all 7 games in the tournament?

      • It doesn’t look like it, and that what all published articles refer to. There is feud between them to the point that Dybala is planning to join R.Madrid and compete against Messi next season. Dybala and Icardi are out because Sampaoli wouldn’t call other strikers for last friendlies just to tell them later on they are not selected after giving them hope of joining the team.

      • It is indeed intruging as to why Dybala and Icardi are not called up – whether it is due to them being ousted by certain player(s), being deemed unsuitable to the team’s tactics or dynamics by the coach, just recovered from injury and insufficient match fitness, or whatever real reason anybody else can conjure up. We will never know. Even if Sampaoli replies, it may not be the truth.

        Surely the least is to call them up, have them join up with the squad and improve communication and chemistry amongst themselves? Yes it is also possible that the coach wants to use one slot now to evaluate Higuain and another slot for Lauruto or others and whether they can still have a last fling or play in the national team.

        But then again, you would definitely need to balance and consider that there aren’t going to be much opportunities left for the core and final team to gel. When would be the next available time to call up both of them and for them to gel with the rest of the team?

        We are probably the victims of our own circumstance. Indeed we do have quite a few good strikers so much so to the point we can actually pick and choose and still remain undecided. I hope this does not become our downfall eventually.

    • If messi selected players then Banega would’ve gone to the worldcup 2014 instead of being dropped out of the 23 man squad days after Messi went on record about how much he enjoyed playing alongside Banega.

    • “As a result, Dybala has reportedly told his agent to snub Barcelona if they make a play for his signature….”
      Lol. why would Barca want him now? Barca already snubbed Dybala for a rather inexperienced Dembele. They have Coutinho on the left, Dembele on the right and trying to sign Griezman to play through the middle.
      Dybala is already at Juventus. If he doesn’t want to join a worse team like PSG, Man Utd, Chelsea, the only option he has is Madrid. These rumours tend to create stories which resembles the probable outcome but show false reasons. They said Messi don’t like Dembele because Messi wanted Dybala at Barca. Now that Dembele scored a goal against Chelsea, people don’t believe that story anymore. So they are inventing a new story with Messi’s name on it as a clickbait. Don’t believe everything they write. It ultimately hurts our team.

  16. Sampaoli said he wants the aguero of independiente. That aguero isn’t coming back but we have similar if not better player in dybala who can play as 9 and is accurate finisher & is inch taller than aguero.

    • So far, Dybala has proved nothing in the NT… He had a fair amount of chances already. I’m not against calling him but let’s be honest, from what he has showed until now he has yet to convince he can be better than Aguero.

      • Playing him as right winger or bringing him late in the game isn’t giving him a fair amount of chances.
        And what did aguero do to earn a permanent spot in the team. In Every tournament he comes as unfit & is interested in selfies.

        • To be fair to kun, when he was fit (copa 11 and 15) he performed very well, again WHEN HE IS FIT, which is a rarity now.
          If someone told me now that they could guarantee Kun’s fitness throughout the WC then I would take him over Icardi and even Dybabla! Unfortunately I can almost guarantee that kun won’t be fit for the whole tournament and if it was up to me he, pipita, Maria and Biglia would be watching the games from home.

  17. I know lot of people are pessimistic especially those who support Argentina before Messi and now they hate Messi so much that they would enjoy Argentina losing.After watching Spain vs Germany last friday, as a optimistic fan i do not fear either Germany or Spain. We got the best international coach Sampoali and team is coming together at the right time to about to peak at world cup. Remember during the World cup 2014, we absolutely crush qualifier but struggled during the tournament. I see that happening to Brazil again in this tournament. As for Argentina, this year we will finally win the world cup and it is going to be a bit disappointments to those who do not like see Messi winning. If you look at Barca, there is only Messi but somehow they beat some of the best teams in the world. Same should apply to Argentina and we will win the world cup. My only concern is that Sampoali should play Messi closer to goal, just like Valverde in barca than to rely on Di maria, Huigain or Augero to finish the chances. VAMOS ARGENTINA.

    • Velverde playing messi in attacking midfielder position u should see his heat map this season u will clearly understand he is not forward anymore for barca

  18. ARGENTINA trashed Spain the last time they played a friendly, the Big four all scored, Kun, La Pulga, El Apache and El Pipita …..lets hope for a similar outcome.

      • No chance! Spaniards were the world champs since that game took place right after the 2010 WC and Spain back then was younger, faster and better than today’s version.

        No Chance nothing…pathetic Portugal won the Euros after basically not doing a damn thing all tournament long….speaking of them, Dutchy trashed them 3-0 today and pretty lady was benched, allegedly to stop idiotic fans from coming on to the pitch to look under Christina’s dress.

        NOTHING is ‘no chance’ friend.

        • “pretty lady was benched, allegedly to stop idiotic fans from coming on to the pitch to look under Christina’s dress.”

          LMAO…. i laughed harder than i should have.

    • The spaniards did not take that game seriously, not even remotely, especially since they were recovering from the high of winning the world cup.
      This time it will be alittle bit different because they need to make up for the disappointment of 2014 and 2016 tournaments, so they need to be well prepared for this WC by playing the big boys.

      I’m excited about this game, I want to see how bustos, Tagliafico, Mesa and Celso will do against Spain’s attack and creativity, also I hope Lautaro will get a chance to impress.

  19. Also super excited for tomorrow’s game.. but really, the one I am most curious about is Germany v Brasil.. first meetup since that freakish 7 – 1 last WC.. this will NOT be a friendly!

    • There wasn’t anything freakish about that outcome, in fact, it should have been 7-ZERO………so much for their clown manager guaranteeing a WC win on their home soil.

      I honestly see either a draw or a win by the Krauts.

    • @Guled, thank you for sharing. I like realistic football article. I’m tired seeing of LINE UP suggestions by keyboard coaches. Line ups don’t win games but tactics and other factors do.
      E.g. Diego, Batista, Sabella and Tata all had the same players in their teams. But was the football looking the same during the games? No. Why? That’s because of different tactics the players were instructed to execute on the pitch. So for those who only understand football from the comfort of sofas or PlayStation, in reality it’s much more complicated that. Good football teams, let alone great, are not defined by lineups but by tactics, application and adapting to the demands of the challenge presented.

      • Tactics can’t be excuted properly without the right fit and fast players in modern football. In fact it’s proven that moments of player brilliance can create something from nothing or from basic tactics. Players magic win you games not pragmatic plan written on paper. Ask Maradonna how he won it all, that was in the old days? Ok how about 2014 when our plan was way better than Germany’s tactics but they had the young hungry special player to win it for them in the dying minutes while we didn’t have that brilliance as messi was tired and we didn’t have a striker to take us there. In the early stages of world cup, good defence and tactics can take you out of the group stage but the final game is about who can score more goals, it’s a striker battle, and we all we’re screaming last time… bring me that special striker to score. Tactical scheme became ashes since we brought to world cup injured and tired attackers. Speaking of football. Our strength is attack, not defence hence we have to play with our strength and take 6 not 5 strikers and all have to be fit and able to create danger for our opponents. Aguero and Higuain are not the answer….good chemistry can’t surpass individual skills in every position. Messi and aguero chemistry filled the fairytale books but failed to imprint anything on the international level.

        • I really do not understand your point…though filled with pessimism. This is the first time that I have heard that tactics do not win games but rather moments of brilliance. Ok, let’s take your argument of a certain hungry German winning the WORLD CUP for them…but why Argentina did not score in the first place…one will argue because of Low’s tactics…what moment of brilliance..? I will say your point of rebuttal is a mere fallacy…chances come one or multiple times during a game and you have to put them away buttressed with your tactics…only rare players like Messi produce moments of brilliance…Let Sampaoli do his thing.

        • Ask Maradonna how he won it all, that was in the old days?
          Dumb comment. 86 team tactic was to defend and give it to Diego. Diego goals won the quarter and semi not all the matches.
          Ok how about 2014 when our plan was way better than Germany’s tactics but they had the young hungry special player to win it for them in the dying minutes while we didn’t have that brilliance as messi was tired and we didn’t have a player to take us there.

          If you don’t understand the context of the topic, rather not comment. When coach Low threw in a fresh Gotze in the final, an attacking midfielder Gotze fir striker Klose it is calked a tactical substitution for fucks sake. Gotze a hungry striker? Get off whatever your intoxicated on.

          • Tactical substitution will come down to the right personnel to do it….the right players dumb ass. My point was all starts with the right player selection….you fool. Di Maria, lazyro or Higuain won’t do it for their nation because of their limitations and they are aging. It’s time to change and bring new blood in the attacking department. Not sure you will get it simply because you are a kid that never wants to grow up. I’m not going to argue any further….go read what media say about the useless aguero, diva, and Higuain.

  20. first post in mundo

    this should be the ideal line up
    Willy; Bustos, Otamendi, Fazio,Tagli; Biglia,Lo Celso;Di Maria, Messi, Lanzini; Aguero

    of this I’m only not sure about agueros place

    others in the squad should be

    Romero,Guzman;Rojo,Mercado,Funesmori; Mascherano, Banega; Perotti, Dybala,Salvio;Higuain,Martinez

    I would like Icardi to be in the squad at the expense of Higuain…but don’t see that happening.

    Banega should come in at 60 min mark.He is not a 90 min player any longer but still has it in him to lift the team with his momentary brilliance.Its absolutely essential that Dybala makes the squad as Messis cover.If all goes well he won’t see even a minute of action.but essential for him to be there in case messi picks up a knock.

  21. Banega has to play. He is a leader. A 3 in the middle, with Banega, Lo celso and Mascherano, the team will cover the pitch good. Good technique, passing, vision. And Lanzini, Messi and Higuain upfront.

  22. Caballero should be our goalie in the world cup. I don’t mind Romero, but come on, he can’t reach the level of Caballero or match his presence between the posts.

  23. Good lineup. 4-2-3-1 is the way to go.very interesting to see Meza.atlast he got the opportunity he may cement his place if plays well.curious to see Argentina’s approach possession based or counter attacking?? Interesting to see locelso and banega in same midfield.i will watch closely mascherano how is he??

    • In a 4-2-3-1, wouldn’t that mean Lo Celso is being deployed as a winger? If that’s the case, he won’t be that effective at all since he’s a more of a CM/AM/CDM type. I can’t see him making overlapping runs like a true winger. Unless it’s really a 4-3-2-1 where Meza is in a 3-men midfield and Lo Celso is playing in the hole, behind Higuain pulling strings along with Messi (free role).

      I can’t wait to watch that game tomorrow. Messi’s playmaking has improved drastically over the years. His free kicks are now a thing of beauty. He’ll def score a few goals at the WC…

      • Here 4-2-3-1 no wingers as such all 3 more like attacking midfielder in more advanced role.yes will see how good or how bad this Argentina team really is.we need to perform in this match so other teams fear us and that’s important.out of fear you can’t play ur natural game.defence and midfield will be seems Spain will win this match but we have to make them struggle to score against us.atleast want a fight from Argentina.don’t make it too much easy.we don’t want a 3-0 or 4-0 or 5-0 drubbing.that will be bad for our morale

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