Cesar Luis MENOTTI: “Poor BUSTOS…”


The legend that is Cesar Luis MENOTTI came out and spoke about Argentina’s recent 6-1 catastrophic loss against Spain.

World Cup winner with Argentina in 1978 as a coach, MENOTTI has always been a stand out figure in Argentinian football. Here’s what he had to say about the loss on Tuesday:

Cesar Luis MENOTTI on the match:

“The decision to play against Spain was not SAMPAOLI’s decision nor that of the current AFA members. It’s a problem for SAMPAOLI but it’a his responsibility.

“This is where the coach has to make decisions and take responsinility. Argentina can put together a strong team because they have the best and all the National Teams fear MESSI. I have faith that Argentina can have a good World Cup, I see them among the 8 best teams.

Cesar Luis MENOTTI on Fabricio BUSTOS:

“Fabricio BUSTOS, poor guy, he must be crying… they left him all alone. This result can be resolved with ideas and short term planning. It’s the time that worries me.”


  1. I hope everyone has calm down a little bit.

    Go and read this. Here you will find pretty much all the answers you need. Not much is going to be changed after this Spain defeat.


    A few points that everyone wrongly feared –

    ** There is not going to be a dramatic change in the squad selection.
    ** The double pivot of Masche Biglia will not be seen again.
    ** The coach isn’t fully convinced of Higuain.
    ** Dybala is on a very tight rope, but he’s not out yet.
    ** Lanzini shows better attributes to play besides Messi than Dybala.

    I think come the first match of the world cup, our starting lineup will be very similar to the Italy match. Bustos will be benched. Messi will come in place of Lo Celso, and Aguero will replace Higuain.

    Mercado Otamendi Fazio Tagliafico
    Lanzini……..Messi…….Di Maria

    IMO this is the best we could do right now and there is nobody who is playing anywhere will improve this team other than Icardi. But I will be able to live with that.

    • still sampaoli is adament i think he needs to rectify his approach,hasn’t given pablo perez a real run then why call him.
      what’s the point in taking mascherano to squad at the cost an effective DM i don’t know and won’t give chance to ikerdi (how can coach possess this sort of mindset.)
      Bullshit old hags gonna continue at expense of kranevitter and other good players ,I really feel sorry for messi this management don’t want him to be world champion that’s why they gonna continue with shithole banega ,biglia .we are doomed.
      Paredes will hardly get a chance according to the report at least call pastore and lamela and battaglia but no same old story will persist.

    • But Acuna can replace dimaria

      Or lanzini is LW
      SO DYBALA plays RW

      DImaria cannot be trusted again injury prone last World cup also

      Lo cleso/paredes plays CDN FOR PSG

  2. AFA and it’s corrupt nature is to blame for the 80% of the debacle we found ourselves in just a couple of months before the WC. 3 coaches and very little continuity, an over-reliance on the old guard that are not up to the task anymore.

    Some of the few positives from the two friendlies:

    – We have found our fullbacks, especially in left-back. In his interview to Fox Sports Argentina, Juan Pablo Sorin praised Tagliafico’s performance against Italy, particularly in the first half. He also liked Bustos. Back four should stay intact.

    – Fazio should partner Otamendi. They compliment each other well. Funes Mori and Rojo were unlucky with their injuries and there is not enough time for them to catch up.

    – Meza has shown his Independiente form despite his debut in difficult circumstances, he should be part of this team.

    – Lanzini and Lo Celso played well and give us options in midfield.




    —–Messi———-Lo Celso/Lanzini/Lamela/Meza—————Acuña/Perotti


    Dybala and Di Maria as subs if needed

    • I don’t think Paredes will go to the World Cup. He wasn’t that good against Italy. If this was a test/exam to look at several of the new players I would give Lanzini a A, Taglifico B+, Meza B+, Lo Celso B, Bustos C-, Parades D, Willy C+ (would have been B+ if not for the Spain game), Fazio A, Rojo C- Perotti C+. With options like Pizarro, Augusto, Enzo, Lamela available for selection, Paredes didn’t do himself any good especially with his poor back pass against Italy. Playing in Rissia too doesn’t help his case because of the lowly teams in Russia.

      • with one mistake you ruled paredes out but very fond of shithole banega who hides himself against quality sides like spain.
        Sabella knew he is a loser that’s why given the chance to gago.Didn’t even included him in the worldcup squad.
        I wish Sabella continued.
        Pastore is 100times better then this loser,but the management is reluctant to him a single chance.

        • Yea, let’s pretend Banega didn’t score the winning goal against Italy. Paredes play in a JOKE league in Russia which is no help to the Argentinean national team. If Paredes was any good he would be in a better league. Pastore is a bench warmer in Paris.

          • In what league did “paulinho” play before he came to Barcelona???

            In what league did “garay” play before he came to valencia???

  3. Hello, I read in the news in ole that GARAY wants to play from Argentina National Team but he said he has never refused to play from Argentina but According to him in the news that it’s up to Coach. He is waiting for his call. I really don’t understand why he was not called?? He can be the strong pillar in Argentine weak back line.

  4. Ghostdeini

    “I read in the Argentine press that Paredes has lost points to be selected for the World cup and will not be selected, because of that pass. Biglia who was horrible in both games is untouchable…and we wonder that we always fail. Some lost souls criticize a player like Tagliafico who with LO Celso were the only players who tried and played with heart”.

    Indeed that’s comepletely crazy and possible only in Argentina NT. The new players may do mistake only one time the old may play shit 9/10 matches. Discrimination. Ancient régime holds on. THe old players are so much lifeless. They were not seeming like team that lost 1:6. Bustos the only have cried?

    I think till the end of the year Bustos will be in Europe and then people will take him as quite different player. That normal unfair bias.

    Most of Mundo memebers always sway with the wind . Act like moody crowd. THey are always so quick on judging, both positive as negative swaying on both sides but always to extremities. Once Pavon had assists they immadietely were praising him. Now Mundo forgot about him because of his performance against Spain. After Italy game Bustos was so much liked. They have Meza now. I just wait for Meza’ first stumble to see again this unstable, capricious crowd.

    Why they act in this way? Because they know nothing about the new players apart the performances in NT. If everoone following Meza or any other player in Argentina league he will know what he can and what he can’t do. Hence one game (good or poor) can’t shape my general opinion about a player.

    If Sampaoli will drop Bustos now it will be hard to trust in this guy more. How many players for 1/2 games. He called up before RB Jose Luis Gomez for one game, Icardi not much more, Nacho for few minutes and so on…

    • Gonzalo, what is more worrying is that the people who are in charge are even more moody. Why is it more worrying? Because they are the real people who can make a change and make decisions, while we fans just talk and what we talk or write doesn’t old weight, People in charge must keep calm and not listen to what other moody people say, because their decisions have repercussions. For example if Sampaoli doesn’t take Dybala, Paredes, Tagliafico, Lanzini he makes a decision, but if he fails he must live with the repercussions and leave the job because he is not up to the task. doing your best is one thing but leaving better players out for worse players is a decision that can’t be forgiven. While we as fans can talk and write but our opinions are not decisions and we have no repercussions.He is also paid to get the job done and the team is not the property of anyone so I just want to say that we must do our best, by doing our best we maybe win or lose, but at least we did our best. not doing our best is unacceptable.

    • I’ve been watching Meza in idenpendiante and he’s damn good, versatile, skilled and athletic but honestly I didn’t think he would do THIS well against Spain especially in the first half. I really hope he continues to develop because another good performance like that in the WC and europe will come calling.
      Another player I want to see get a chance is Gonzalo Pity, River have been terrible yet he continued to do well and he’s similar to Meza in many respects (young, energetic, versatile, hella skilled) but not as defensively disciplined. As much as I love Lanzini, his fitness is in question and I wouldn’t depend on him to play for 4 or 5 games let alone 7 (if by a miracle Argentina makes it that far) and the likes of Meza and Pity can be very useful.

  5. Kranevitter, Locelceo, Meza, (1)Perez, Lanzini, ,Banega,

    Dimaria, Salvio, Perotti,

    Messi, Dyabala,Martinez,Icardi


    Romero, Romero, Romero

    Best 11

    Mercado Fazio Otamendi Acuna


    Meza Locelceo

    Dimaria Lmessi Perotti

  6. I said before and I’ll say it again, Argentina have everything to be the team they want to be for example: all central midfielders such as pastore,roberto pereyra, paredes,enzo perez,banega, locelso, biglia,mascherano etc.

    How is it possible that Argentina can’t come up with a solid and ballance midfield trio.

    Yes many of them are not on form,so,work with them to gain their best form. Same goes for defence and the attackers.

    Argentina have everything.

  7. So many negative comments were written about Bustos. But is that what he deserves from us?….No

    Bustos is a very good RB with very big potential. In Spain game he wasn’t at his best, that is true but can we judge him in only one bad game? The simple answer is NO.

    The Netherlands heavily defeated and humiliated Spain in 2014 wc while having their best defenders in their starting XI. What about if we say Ramos and Pique aren’t good enough to be in spanish team staring line-up because they were part of that weak Spanish team?

    Guys, we have to watch football with open eyes not with emotions and our preferences.

    Anybody who knows football will praise Bustos for his hard work and loyalty for the team. He did his best unlike Higuain who is nothing but lazy and careless player with very low football qualities.

    • He was poor in defending in both the matches and yes pique and Ramos is also shaky come wc you will see that.we need to protect our defence first so Mercado should start.bustos may start against lesser teams who will park the bus.he may be useful for those opponents but against Spain Germany France or brazil we need more defensive cover

    • Busto is talented and have the potential to be a great player, but as of today, I don’t see him having an impact for Argentina. Bustos struggled against Insigne, Carvajal and Isco. You think it will get any easier at the world cup for him? Moreover, the result against Spain have already hurt his confidence. I would keep Tagliafico on the team but Bustos is still green and need more time to develop in order to be an effective player for Argentina.

      I had talented friends who participated at the 2001 U20 world cup in Argentina who never made it big. Myself and many others thought they would become something special in the long term, but it wasn’t meant to be. This is football and life, nobody is being hard on Bustos, he was just in over his head and out of his league against Spain. Maybe after two to three season of more playing time we can see how he fully develop as a player? Is that too hard to ask for? Bustos is not world cup material let alone a world cup winning player.

      • @Kid, “Bustos is not world cup material let alone a world cup winning player”

        You said the same thing about Lanzini 3-4 months ago. If I remember correctly you said “he is an overrated player playing for an EPL relegation candidate team”. Another time you said “he knows that he is not part of Sampa’s project for 2018 WC”.

        Now, have you seen who Lanzini is and how much talent he has?

        If you are brave enough you are gonna realize that you were wrong in your judgement about him, but if you aren’t so you will come up with some cheap excuses.

        About Bustos and his big potential, do you know some of Europe’s elite clubs are fighting over him and want to secure his signature?

        • On one of my recent post I said Lanzini and Lo Celso should be on the Argentina team even before the Italy game. After the Russian tour, I said Lanzini and Lo Celso were the only youngster who impressed me since Sampaoli took over.

          Unlike Dybala and Icardi, Lanzini proved himself to be a worthy contender for the world cup. He wasn’t relying on name recognition or the fact that he plays in the EPL. Just bring on Lamela next and we’re all set. This doesn’t mean I’m against Dybala being on the team by the way.

          ”About Bustos and his big potential, do you know some of Europe’s elite clubs are fighting over him and want to secure his signature?”

          What does this have to do with the world cup? Even if he is purchase by a big club from Europe he is bound to go on loan to a smaller team. If you haven’t notice, the big clubs buy 19/20-year-old players then send on loan. Zuculini is a perfect example; this happen to him in his early Manchester City days.

          • Agree, lanzini + ?CDM? – Lo Celso are my preferred mids. So much talent, can’t wait to see them in action!!

            As for Icardi and Dybala, only a fucking moron would leave them at home, especially considering Messi, Di Maria, Lanzini, and Paredes were injured and left us with little creativity

          • I know some young players are bought by big clubs and then offload them to smaller teams to gain first team spot and experience with those smaller teams. But there are exceptions and Lo Celso is the perfect example for that, coz, you know, PSG refused to loan him out to other clubs and the only reason is that Unai noticed that Lo Celso will soon be a first team player. Instead of him they sent Goncalo Guedes on loan.

            If Bustos goes to a big European club he will adopt their sytem quickly and will be in their starting line-up within a very short period of time, mark my words.

            Look, when Lo Celso fouled on Kroos and conceded the penalty many of our friends (here on Mundo) said within no time he is not a NT material but those who have real football knowledge didn’t criticize him for that. Bustos’s case is the same. The guy didn’t get ANY help from those who sorrounded him.

            What is the logic behind putting Mascherano and Biglia at the same time in the starting XI if they can’t offer any protection?

      • Kid, so you would keep Tagliafico in the team, eh? So generous of you! Not so long ago you were calling him “poor man’s version of Lucas Orban”…😂

  8. Argentina have the greatest strikers yet only one is on the field per game. What’s the point of having the best strikers in the world if you can’t transition 2 or 3 of them into the starting XI? Higuaín, Aguero, Dybala, Martinez and Icardi should all be on the world cup roster. At the end of the day, midfield and defense is not Argentina strength. The strength of the team is in the attack, so why holding back? I would’ve rather lose 6-5 to Spain than 6-1. This was embarrassing given the attack Argentina possess.

    What was the point of keeping Martinez on the bench against Spain? imo Higuain, Martinez and Meza should have started against Spain with Banega, Lo Celso and Mascherano (against Spain Masche was the only option) in midfield playing a 4-3-3 formation, with the younger Meza and Martinez helping the team defend deep when the ball is with the opposing team or go with Higuaín and Martinez in a 4-4-2 formation with Banega, Lo Celso, Perotti and Meza in midfield. What’s the point of Argentina having all these strikers yet the current Argentina manager is afraid of using them in a game?

    Samapoli just need to build a team where the midfield and defense can hold its own then unleash the team strength which is the attack. If Argentina is going to win the world cup it will be because of their attackers. Even if the team defends well, at some point they will likely concede goals. Argentina should be the Real Madrid of international football despite not having a great LB and RB on the team.

    I must say, Sampaoli was right in that Argentina did not need to play against Spain right right now. I have been saying before they announced the friendlies that Italy and Holland/Turkey/Austria/Slovakia/Slovenia should have been Argentina two opponents. The team is in a building process for the world cup and this defeat against Spain probably knock the confidence out of the team especially the young players. Physically and mentally Argentina wasn’t ready for the game against Spain. Argentina did not need to play against a Spain or Germany before the world to measure the team progress. Players were injured and Sampaoli had no choice but to experiment in some area. The problem is, the timing was bad for Argentina against a team like Spain with seasonal players who compete in the semifinal/final of the UCL in the last four season. The goal of winning the world cup at this point for Argentina seems hopeless, but with God all things are possible.

    I also agree with @Richard; Argentina need to forget these Gattuso, Masche, Biglia type players going forward in other tournaments. Players like Kraneviiter and Ascacibar are of these same breed of players. I don’t see them making a difference on the national team to be honest. In Argentina, it seems like there are more focus on developing world class strikers and less focus on developing technical hybrid midfielders, RB and LB players. Even if a team defense has weaknesses, a good midfield can sometimes cover for the deficiency in a back line.

    At this point I don’t know what Sampaoli can do or who he can select to have an impact at the world cup. My answer is, Sampaoli need to go bold with is attackers. Select all of Messi, Di Maria, Aguero, Higuain, Dybala, Icardi for the world cup along with Lamela, Lanzini, Banega, Lo Celso, Pizarro, Masche/Biglia, Perotti, Alejandro Gomez and Augusto Fernandez. I like Enzo Perez but he like Bigla and Mascherano are so yesterday and they’re all approaching their mid-thirties now. Moreover, Enzo Perez is injury prone and lack discipline, he had way too many yellow and red cards while playing at Valencia and because of this lack of discipline and injuries he missed a lot of Valencia game. Defense and goalkeepers is anybody guess, I presume the usually suspect will be on the team.

    Spain right now is the best football country on the planet, and I’m not talking about just their national team, they also have the best league with the best players and consistently made the UCL final with three different la Liga teams in the last five season. Not to mention winning three straight Europa League with Sevilla. The two best coach in England right now are former La Liga coaches; Pep and Pochettino. There is more Spanish influence in the EPL than any other nation right now. The Spanish national team is benefiting from having the best league, the best individuals playing in La Liga and the best youth programs in the world. Nobody comes close to Spain right now in terms of their football development. Watch all the teams in La Liga, they’re all technically gifted, this is why English team struggles against even a team like Celto Vigo i.e. Manchester United vs Celto Vigo during the Europa League at Old Trafford last season.

    The AFA need to take a step back and rebuild Argentina football infrastructure, there is no shame in saying this. Currently with Aimar, the AFA is heading in the right direction with the youth team.

    When Italy/Serie A dominated world football in the 1980’s through to the mid 1990’s it benefited Argentina national team because some of Argentina best players were in the league at the time. In Spain today, only Messi is prominent star from Argentina. Real Madrid used to be a haven for Argentinean players but that have long dried up. Argentina need technical hybrid midfield players who passes the ball well and make the hard things look simple. This is what Argentina currently lacks in midfield today, but this comes with years of experience and no one can expect a young Argentina midfield with little experience to be going toe to toe with Busquet or Toni Kroos. But as I’ve said earlier, if attack is Argentina strength the coach need to go big with it, and see what happen instead of keeping majority of the strikers on the bench and off the team.

    • Clear point ALERT
      Whatever you said really make sense

      I too wish for lamela, Augusto, pizzaro, Enzo to replace waste biglia
      Banega is better in coming sub
      Pizzaro is better than biglia and mascherano if in CDM to just defend

      Pablo, Paredes, martinez, meza, pavon, perroti should be tried for next friendlies

      We need copa 2016 deadlier squad for WC

      Arg will be tough opponent with this lineup in attack

      DYBALA (RW)

      MESSI (CAM/CF)

      LANZINI (LW)


      LO CELSO MIDFIELD (attacking creativity and best thru balls)


      IF DIMARIA starts LW, then play LANZINI MIDFIELD

    • Ok let’s play with 10 attacking players and a GK. Lol.

      We need just one #9. We have Messi as the next attacking threat any way – which will make our attack best in the world cup already. Our wingers would also bring goals.

  9. [Very Long-post Alert]

    The best part of 1-6 loss is that we can only improve from here, it cannot be worse than this. We touched the bottom and from here I can see only one direction for the team.

    There were plenty of flaws against Spain (even against Italy) but there were plenty of positives as well. Let’s not consider this result as a complete match but divide this match in 2 halves.

    1st half: Apart from Higuain’s silly miss and defense opened during both the goals (will discuss later) there are plenty of positives to take away from our first half.

    – We created more chances (3 shots on target and 6 off target compared to Spain’s 2 on target and 4 off-target)
    – Our movement and passing were just superb. Spain committed 9 fouls were as we only 5, showed how much they were under pressure.
    – In Spain, against full-strength Spanish team our 2nd string boys kept the ball position 53%, completed more passes which was unbelievable for me.

    In the 2nd half if could have hold Spain for 15 minutes’ things could have been different. But unfortunately, Spain scored early goal in the 2nd half and that spoiled the spirit of our young Argentine team. After that it was nothing left in the game and we were clueless. Spain just attacked and attacked to score 3 more goals.

    Now the issues/flaws I observed during the match:

    – High-defensive line: Against Spain I always found Otamendi around Centre-half, Mascherano further in upfront, Rojo nowhere, Bustos struggling against Isco and Alba. As a result, every attack from Spain opened-up our defense. Sampoli should watch the best club and national teams who plays in high-defensive line. You cannot play such high line football unless you have a very strong midfield, very good ball-players in defense and midfield and most importantly you need fast defenders. Look at the midfield of Spain or Germany, highly superior. Plus, all the defenders are very good ball players including goal-keeper. We cannot play like this way. We must need to be compact in defense and always need to keep the defensive shape.

    – Midfield: What was the responsibility given to Mascherano and Banega? For almost 60 minutes of the match I found it funny when I saw Mascherano seems took the play making responsibility, playing almost as a number # 10, making passes and Banega was invisible. Banega was supposed to do that task and Mascherano should hold the defensive line or break the attack with Bigila, but I was disappointed what I saw.
    I liked Meza but I found him all over the place. Is there any role defined for them? I am honestly curious.

    – Upfront and Goal-keeper: Nothing more about Higuain, it’s enough. No offense but I really want Higuain to suffer from some injuries before the World Cup else even if he is not physically fit he will be in Russia. Now Sampoli dropped Dybala and Icardi to play Martinez. But what is the use of calling him if no playing time given (15 minutes when team is 4 goals down, it’s not a chance). Romero reacted it late when scored their first goal and Willy unable to save a single shot out of 5 is disappointing. But no choice, we must deal with these guys.

    NOW, one point is very much clear that there are teams who are individually superior than us like Spain, Brazil, Germany, France. But we have one weapon, that none of these team has is Lionel Messi. The presence of Lionel Messi can make the difference. So we need to make sure that Messi gets enough chance to play his best football.

    Takeaway from these 2 matches are,

    – Lo Celso
    – Tagliafico
    – Manzini
    – Meza (to some extent)

    Which is not bad to find 4 players from 2 matches who showed plenty of promise and might be in Russia.

    We still have 70 days to prepare for World Cup and I was discussing with one of my friend how we can improve. So these are few points I can think off.

    Defense (7):

    1. No 3 men defense and it has to be 4 men in defense. My preferred defense would be Marcado-Fazio-Otamendi-Acuna.

    Marcado – Bustos looked good while going forward but really struggled against Alba and Isco. Sometimes even if you are not superior in term of skills, your physical presence can play huge role. Remember one of our most criticized Right back, Roncaglia? In several matches, he was up against Neymar (for both against Brazil and Barcelona) but he always had the last laugh, because failed to outscore his physical strength. So, if we lack skill we need physical strength there.

    Otamendi – He is error prone, still our best defender and definite starter for World Cup.

    Fazio or Mascherano Vs Pezulla – Out of these 3 Mascherano is better ball player but we need the presence of Fazio to defend set pieces. Also Fazio is no short of playing time. So Otamendi-Fazio should be our Center back pair. Mascherano can play both in defense and midfield, so will remain. As a backup Pezulla can be considered ahead of Rojo and Funes Mori. Rojo is done and Funes Mori returned from injury after 12 months, how can you consider him?

    Acuna – Despite Tagliafico impressed during these 2 matches but I will choose Acuna to occupy left back spot. Good part is he is balance while attack and despite not typical left-back still not hesitate while defending. Also can play as left attacking midfielder or left winger. Tagliafico will be his backup. In case if Di Maria is injured then Acuna can play in Di Maria’s place whereas Tagliafico can play as left back.

    My 7 men defense would be: Marcado, Fazio, Otamendi, Acuna, Tagliafico, Mascherano, Bustos/Pezulla/Funes Mori.

    Midfield (8):

    Our weakest area and Sampoli must need to work on midfield. Over the years our most used midfielders are Bigila, Banega, Mascherano and Enzo Perez. Tata used the same, Bauza used the same and so is Sampoli. But by now Sampoli should realize that Bigila-Banega-Mascherano midfield is not working at all, neither Banega-Bigila (as both are very slow) nor Mascherano-Bigila (too defensive). We must need to find balance in midfield. Despite all the criticism one thing is clear that Bigila is our defensive midfielder. He is no world class but unfortunately, he is the best man available there. Most importantly he makes fewer mistakes.

    Sampoli can think about 2 formations, 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1.

    In 4-3-3 formation: Our midfield should be [Lo Celso – Bigila – Enzo Perez/Pardes/Banega] where Bigila’s responsibility would be only to cover the defensive line, nothing else, no attack, no play making or no funny things and both Banega and Lo Celso should play as deep-laying playmaker. Enzo Perez can be tried for Banega/Pardes to provide much needed physicality in the midfield. I wish Meza provided some defensive cover against Spain.

    2nd option can be tried 4-2-3-1

    Here in 2 men defensive midfield, I was thinking about 2 combinations. It must be either Bigila-Lo Celso or Mascherano-Banega. Simple because we cannot afford to use 2 slow midfielders at a time. So it has be either Bigila and Lo Celso where Bigila will cover the defense and Lo Celso will try to link with attacking midfielders else Banega and Mascherano can be tried where Mascherano will cover the defense and Banega will linkup with attackers (not the way they played against Spain).

    In 3 men attacking midfield, 2 players are always centain. Messi and Di Maria. Now for 3rd place we can think about Lanzini or Dybala. So it can be Di Maria – Messi- Lanzini or Messi-Dybala-Di Maria.

    => Di Maria – Messi- Lanzini – Traditionally Di maria will play in left but I won’t mind to try Di Maria in right and Lanzini in Left. Lanzini always plays in left for WHU and if Di Maria moves in right, he will be closer to Messi. As they are playing for long, so they could link better.

    => Messi-Dybala-Di Maria – Here I want Dybala to play in middle behind number # 9 and Messi in right. However, Messi will always drift down to middle and in that case Dybala must need to occupy right wing or need to move further up in the field to receive the pass from Messi. In case Di Maria is not playing well, just change him for Lanzini.

    So our midfield will look like,

    —–Banega-Mascherano OR Lo Celse-Bigila —
    —Di Maria —– Messi—– Lanzini———
    —-Messi——– Di Maria—- Di Maria——

    In Messi-Dybala partnership only important is Dybala need to understand how Messi moves. When Messi moving in middle Dybala need to move in upfront or in right and need to make himself available to receive pass from Messi. Dybala need to understand that he needs to play 2nd fiddle here. We cannot block Messi’s movement, so Dybala must need to adjust.

    So my 8 men midfield would be: Bigila, Di Maria, Lo Celso, Enzo Perez, Lanzini, Banega, Pardes, Meza.

    Number # 9:

    In 4-2-3-1 formation: If Kun is 100% physically fit then Kun should lead our attacking line this is simple. If Kun not 100% fit (which is very likely) it must be Icardi.

    In 4-3-3 formation: 3 men forward line should be Messi-Kun/Icardi-Di Maria. Perotti can be the backup for Di maria. Also, we can try for Messi-Icardi/L. Martinez-Kun as 3 men forward in case we need goals.

    So my 5 men forwards would be: Messi, Kun, Dybala, Icardi, Perotti/Angel Correa/ L. Martinez.

    My 23 men Team for World Cup:

    (GK) Romero, Willy, Guzman; (DF) Marcado, Fazio, Otamendi, Acuna, Tagliafico, Mascherano, Bustos/Pezulla/Funes Mori; (MF) Bigila, Di Maria, Lo Celso, Enzo Perez, Lanzini, Banega, Pardes, Meza; (ST) Messi, Kun, Dybala, Icardi, L. Martinez/Perotti/Angel Correa.

    I was in a dilemma to include Pardes here but as he is playing in Russia then there is every possibility that Pardes will be included in 23 men team. In that case may be Bustos or any one of Meza/Enzo will be dropped.

    Looking for your opinions guys…

    • I totally agree with your 23

      But now Arg need Augusto, pizzaro in midfield to replace biglia for sure
      Augusto/Lamela can replace paredes
      Pavon should also be included
      Meza is better than Enzo
      But Enzo is better than biglia

      Correa is good playmaker plus finisher /Perroti

  10. After watching these two games with the available players the Argentina World Cup team (my choice):





    total 23 players

    1. Acuna can play as LB position also.
    2. Don’t play Mascherano Biglia together. Mascherano is the starter.
    3. we need one good RB, DM and keeper
    4. Hope Pardes will improve
    5. stating midfield combination pardes lecelso Mascherano
    6. Dybala can play in sub of aguero or locelso . He should play every match.

  11. I want to see that six will be …
    Dybala—-Gray—-Peredes—lamela -Battagolia—Meza..
    We should convince Gray any way—-

    My team will be——-


    Lo Celso ——–Peredes—-—Meza——
    ———-Lanzini ———-—maria———-
    (some Arial power pageant at midnight also)

    • What happened to this Higuain fan boy? You not gonna say Higuain this, Higuain that, he is top scorer in Seri A blah blah blah?

  12. Bustos soon will be in Europe. Not without reason he is called “Il trattore”. Bayern and Napoli already interested. He has a fantastic stamina. First of all more than anyone of our fullbacks attaking minded RB. He is also good defender however needs some time to find chemistry with the rest of defence. Bustos, despite he is short, can handle with tall and strong attacking players. 1 months ago he have played in Recopa against such Brazilians from club champion of South America – Gremio. And he did well (watch below). As for his attacking abilities – people just should watch him in club to understand what he has to give for us.


    • The problem is if the midfield is mascherano and biglia then we cant put Bustos in field(or any attacking fullbacks). We need strong mid to cover him until then mercado is safer option

    • Bustos was caught poorly marking his winger multiple times both vs spain and italy. He is ok attacking but defensively he is mediocre. Taglafico did much better. For me Mercado is a much much better option. Mercado is much better defensively and is a bigger scoring option on corners and set pieces.

      • 1. I didn’t saw Mercado defending better than Bustos against Spain

        2. If whoever want to judge wheter Bustos is good or bad defensively should give him more games with chance to find any understanding with pratners from defense and midfield. As it was said – he had not enough support from our DMs

        3. After what I saw from him in Independiente I must to say he is more than just “ok” in attack. Much more to see from him if only will have more minutes

  13. I still think this team with current setup wont be troubled in the group stage . It is playing way more attractive football than what we saw prior to Sampaoli. It may even win the group matches with good margin. But their defense will be challenged in the knock out stage. The team of 2010 suffered against Germany probably for having no experienced fullbacks. Current team has those similar lacking in defense. Sampaoli will probably find a work around for that. But I wonder why after the 3rd or 4th goal team didn’t find a way to stop all what was going wrong. It is a fragile team mentally. I am afraid such psychological issues may not be fixed so quickly.

  14. Battaglia played for Sporting classic No.5. The deepest midfielder and did so well. Watch his CL performances for example against Barcelona. He is fantastic, tall destroyer this team needs. I think Sampaoli is going to call him up:


    • I don’t think he will be called.if he was in sampaoli’s plan he should have been called in this friendlies.mayb because he is playing in a small club he is overlooked by sampaoli.i hope he called up in the 35 man training camp.if he then impress sampa in training he should b called for 23 man squad.but battaglia’s chance is close to 0 it seems

    • Battaglia is superb, he’s strong, athletic, skilled with the ball and versatile (played RB in europa league and was surprisingly good), he’s still my favored holding midfielder with Enzo and Ascacibar as backup options.

  15. Saw some posts here, for the DM position, I really don’t think Lo Celso should be used in this position anymore. Emery used him in this position just for temporary. He is more like a regista, similar to Banega. Biglia actually is not a real DM but more a CM. Ascacibar is a great player but should have been tried before, now it’s too late. Some people here mentioned Battaglia, he is not a true DM but more a box to box player. Kranevitter had a solid performance against Russia, I just don’t understand why he wasn’t used anymore after that game. Samp was so desperate that he called back Gago last year.

    So seems like we don’t have other option than Maschereno. From what I saw in the past, it’s possible to play and win without DM. For example the trademark of Juventus with 1 regista and 2 box to box type players. Few years ago, they had Pirlo, Pogba and Vidal, now with Pjanic, Matuidi and Khedira. The idea is to have 2 box to box to compensate the lack of DM, the regista can play either behind them or on the same line. So forget system like 3421, 442 or 4231, with only 2 midfielders in the middle, they will get smashed like last night. The solution, inspired from Juve, is to have 3 midfielders.

    Do we have that kind of players?

    Regista: Lo Celso, Paredes and Banega.
    Box to box: Enzo Perez

    So not enough box to box for replicating that style. Maybe Acuna can play as a box to box too, like Di Maria few years ago. A midfield Lo Celso, Enzo Perez and Acuna could make things happen. Otherwise Samp should call back Kranevitter in order to have Kranevitter+Lo Celso+Enzo, just like the game against Russia.

  16. I think one poor performance wont affect Bustos’s career since he has potential! He may move to Bayern or some other European club soon. Meanwhile Ajax makes a bid for Lisandro Magallan which was rejected by Boca!

    • Bustos soon will be in Europe. Not without reason he is called “Il trattore”. Bayern and Napoli already interested. He has a fantastic stamina. First of all more than anyone of our fullbacks attaking minded RB. He is also good defender however needs some time to find chemistry with the rest of defence. Bustos, despite he is short, can handle with tall and strong attacking players. 1 months ago he have played in Recopa against such Brazilians from club champion of South America – Gremio. And he did well (watch below). As for his attacking abilities – people just should watch him in club to understand what he has to give for us.


  17. According to Michael Cox ” Makelele essentially dropped deeper and sacrificed himself for the team in the autumn of his career “. Our match against Spain can be summed up in the 18′. Meza controlled the ball nicely and gave to Higuain who shot poorly to the hands of keeper. But you can see Biglia running for the ball like a second striker and how can he go that far being a defensive midfielder. The primary reason for Mascherano for his cult status in Barca is attributed to his sacrifice to go forward and be disciplined to stay in defense or midfield. But all the old stars take their own freedom and play out of position when it comes to national team. Why Bustos don’t get the help from Biglia or Mascherano. Simple.. they are out of position. Busqets is soo disciplined. Maybe Spain don’t have a player like Messi or Mascherano to dictate the dressing room ( no other option other than coming to this conclusion ). So every player respects their coach and position.

  18. If really Mascherano is so necessary for the team for the sake of leadership then put him in the coaching staff…but please not for the team itself!! Aside from that 2006 WC and that game against Netherland 2014. He cost us so many problems. Not that guy please!!

  19. How can one ignore this guy.. Rodrigo Battaglia
    Especially when you have very limited resources in DM & RB;

    He can play in RB position as well;

    No.of matches played for ARG senior team – 0
    He can be a great addition to the squad;

    I just think he and Garay are the missing pieces of Sampaoli’s squad

  20. I would just like to stress, Spain’s best players on the night were Isco, Thiago and Iniesta. 3 seasonal and integrated players at club and country.
    Asensio is 1 for the future but he didn’t bother Taglifiaco so much for us to be concerned.
    It is worth mentioning that Busquets and David Silva were missing. Otherwise that was pretty much the best 11 for Spain.
    They clearly had the 4-1 defeat in their minds in Buenos Aires back in 2010. The intensity at which they played was alot to be admired.
    But I can guarantee that Spain would think twice to commit players forward once Messi and Di Maria are in the picture.
    The press are banging on about we only have 1 Messi and we need 3, the point is 1 Messi is enough for opposition teams to hesitate in committing number of players going forward.
    Messi would have a field day if Jordi Alba couldn’t be bothered to track back.
    Leaving Busquets to follow Messi. Which in turn gives Di Maria and Banega to drift into open spaces.
    When we play Spain in the quarters I can guarantee the Spain will be more conservative.
    Di Maria will give Dani Carvajal a new headache.
    Aguero is lighter and sharper this season and is doing what is asked from him by Pep. He has had his usual every season injury now. So by the time he’s up to match sharpness it will be May come June.
    I dont think we will have enough to beat Spain in the quarter but we will make them sweat for it.

    • Make them sweat for the lost and loosing 10-0 same thing what is the difference?? Both case we r out in quarters

  21. Sabella once said “We think we are a great footballing nation we are not”.Its true the team has underachieved over the decades. When Brazil had kept all there players Argentina kept giving good players to Italy Spain etc. The game has changed , top players play in Europe. Our number 10’s just play in wings in top European clubs like Lamela,Pastore etc. In club Football players train day in day out and buy into manager’s ideas and philosophies. An international manager has to work with what he has and limited opportunities he gets during a season in friendlies etc. This is where AFA has messed with managers for last 15 years and the golden boy and its generation are on its final chance. Look at Germany or Uruguay manager continuity helps.The team is not blessed with great talent except in final third. Sampaoli’s appointment is easily 2 or 3 years late, he doesn’t have the players,time to implement his ideas and his constant calling up of different players also hasn’t helped.Sampaoli himself has said half the job was done by Bielsa in Chile before he took over and when Chile players came to prime he enjoyed the success. That doesn’t mean he is a bad manager but his constant changing of formation and different players is so 2008-10 Maradona.

    The defence has to be top priority, the goalie and first choice defenders look okay but the backup’s are basically midfielders Acuna,Salvio . If one of the first choice is suspended or injured then its a problem.The same for midfield players past their prime or inexperienced.We have a great forward can’t figure out how to use.

    The formation and first choice personal should have been fixed and backups should be based on personal not on formation. Like Dybala if Messi is used and Lamela if Di Maria is injured etc.With this result the Euphoria or false hopes not there, but the players would have taken a beating in confidence.

    Can’t wait for Bolivia,Israel matches.

  22. Remember Brazil 1-7 to Germany in WC in front of their own fans..?? But they came back stronger..!
    I believe the same way Argentina will come back stronger. We are lucky it happened before WC and not in WC.

    • Argentina WINS WORLD CUP with this XI

      Romero (World cup final experience)


      Mori/Fazio (or any other better option like pezzela)

      Salvio (RWB)
      LO celso (CDM) (for psg Vs real he played CDM)
      Lanzini (CM)
      Acuna (LWB) better than Dimaria(injury prone)
      DYBALA (CAM)


      MESSI (RF/CAM) will moves around depending on rival tactics



    • No, that’s incorrect! After Brazil’s 1-7 they came back with Dunga. Who did poor with Brazil at Copa 2015 and 2016.

      But yes, we are lucky that this happened before word cup.

  23. Arg is running out of time. too much experience with the playing formation and players cost us a lot. The last game with Spain were a best lesson not to be mistakenly brings the wrong players again. Enough for stupidity and brave enough to select the fit players that can perform and play as a teamwork cohesively. You have the best player in the history, why not take the advantage. We have the best mid field players and young strikers. why doubt them ?. Vamos Arg

  24. I think there’s big gamble happrning this World Cup.

    Other big teams now thinks Argentina have defence problem

    But when Messi plays the style is different even rivals can’t attack all the time. Moreover Messi makes others free and give ample space

    Argentina WORLD CUP game will be joyous to watch

    Our Trump card on world cup



    3 –





    8 – Messi Dybala Lanzini Locelso should be in the XI for creativity and danger

    9 – Icardi no pace so Aguero should start if hes fit

  25. In the Netherlands there are plenty of talk shows on football. They were discussing the Spain Argentina match last night and one former international made an interesting remark. He said that Argentina is holding on to a player type that is becoming rapidly obsolete: the Gattuso type, a midfielder who solely focuses on breaking the opponent’s attack and recovering possession. He said that modern teams (and named Germany and Spain and several club teams) put three or four all-round players in midfield, players that can give good passes (preferably with both feet), defend and attack, cover large areas and are able to score goals. I thought about that for a while and I think he made a valid point. Players like Gattuso, Nigel De Jong and in our case Mascherano and Biglia are not that type of modern footballers. They hardly scored goals during their careers and are not known for their (defense splitting) passing skills (although Mascherano was pretty good at that until 2 years ago). Now I know we currently don’t have players similar to Modric, Özil, Isco, Kroos, DeBruyne, Iniesta and Eriksen, but we do have plenty of players that are pretty capable with the ball.

    • i dont think battaglia will be selected .looks like biglia gives bribe to argentina coaches.he always gets selected and his position never questioned.we have battaglia but never got the chance or mayb will not get chance in russia also.ascacibar mayb raw.paredes gets a rare start was decent accept a bad pass and news comes he may not be selected for that bad pass.then caballero also gave a bad pass .otamendi also gave a bad pass and spain scored.paredes battaglia ascacibar should atleast be invited to the training camp as probable 35 for the wc.

    • We have one dimensional midfielders. The issue in the last match was the lack of support in defense from the 3 attacking midfielders and full backs. For 4 of the 6 goals you just had Otamendi and Rojo to cover Cabellero. The fifth goal was the worst goal conceded by Argentina. Mascherano was not playing at that time. A kick from the goal keeper and two touches by the forward and a goal. Issue is getting new players at this stage is not a solution. There is lack of talent in midfield overall and in defense. A smart coach should have realized and stuck with a team. When he is not able to finalize on a formation in 11 months, there is a fundamental issue. Even against Italy there were quite a few defensive lapses. To be honest do not have expectations from the team this world cup. People talk about it is Messi’s team. In the last 35 mins there was only Biglia from the WC 14 squad. The result was 2-0. Reality is Sampaoli has tried Dybala and Icardi and the result was no better. The need in the last 6 months was to fix defense and midfield. We have basically regressed instead of progressing. I hope Garay is talked to and he makes it to the team. I do not see any option for the right back position. Sampaoli has turned out to be another crap of a coach who has no clue of either the formation or the players to be selected.

    • I totally understand where the Dutch are coming from with this.
      Basically the modern standards of a complete midfielders today are:

      Past players we had equivalent to the above were:

      The above were given the job to hustle when not in possession and when in possession to get the tempo going.

      The current crop are being conditioned to become those hybrid players at their existing clubs:
      Lo Celso
      And even Banega now at Sevilla. Notice how he lines up very close to Kondogbia.

      Whilst all this is great news for us, unfortunately it’s a little late. I believe this world cup has come a year to early for us.

  26. That’s what happens when you have 2 old snails (Mascherano and Biglia) “protecting” the defence.
    Ascacibar and Battaglia would do a better job. Actually there’s a whole bunch of combinations who would do a better job.

    Picking the 2 old men is like Sabella picking Cambiasso and Lucho Gonzalez for the 2014 World Cup. Or maradona taking Veron to South Africa, o shit that happened!!!

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