Lautaro MARTINEZ scores and Lisandro LOPEZ misses two penalty kicks

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It was a night of unbelievable events in the Copa Libertadores as Lautaro MARTINEZ scored and Lisandro LOPEZ missed two penalty kicks before finally convering on his third in Racing Club’s 4-0 win against Vasco da Gama.

Former FC Porto and Lyon man Lisandro LOPEZ missed a pair of first half penalty kicks for Racing Club despite his team scoring twice in the opening 45 minutes. Ricardi CENTURION opened the scoring in 33rd minute to give Racing a 1-0 lead. Lautaro MARTINEZ added a second for his club as his reputation continues to grow. Matias ZARACHO added a third for Racing Club.

The third time was definitely a charm for Lisandro LOPEZ as he finally got his goal off a penalty kick. There were some inevitable comparisons being done to Martin PALERMO’s infamous match against Colombia at the 1999 Copa America for Argentina where he missed three penalty kicks in a single match. However, LOPEZ wasn’t going to pull that kind of hattrick.

109 Comments

  1. My 35 MEMBERS SQUAD. I’ve mentioned the age of each player, whoscored rating for the season and the matches they have played so far both as starter and sub. Please go through the list and let me know your comments.

    Goalkeepers – 4:

    Sergio ROMERO – 31 (Manchester United) –
    Franco ARMANI – 31 (River Plate) – 6.94 (10)
    Wilfredo CABALLERO – 36 (Chelsea)
    GERONIMO RULLI – 25 (Real Sociedad) – 6.42 (23)

    Left Back – 3:
    Nicolás TAGLIAFICO – 25 (Ajax) – 7.22 (13)
    Cristan ANSALDI – 31 (Inter Milan) – 6.97 (15+5)
    Marcos ACUNA – 26 (Sporting Lisbon) – 7.25 (24+3)

    Right Back – 3:
    Fabricio BUSTOS – 21 (Independiente) – 6.92 (10+1)
    Gabriel MERCADO – 31 (Sevilla) – 6.83 (20+1)
    Eduardo SALVIO – 27 (Benfica) – 7.10 (18+4)

    Central Defenders – 6:

    Nicolás OTAMENDI – 30 (Manchester City) – 7.14 (31+1)
    Ezquiel GARAY – 31 (Valencia) – 6.74 (19+1)
    Federico FAZIO – 31 (AS Roma) – 7.22 (26+2)
    Emmanuel MAMMANA – 22 (Zenit St. Petersburg) – 7.2 (16)
    Mateo MUSACHHIO – 27 (AC Milan) – 6.57 (12+2)
    German PEZELLA – 26 (Fiorentina) – 7.02 (29)

    Defensive Midfielders – 4:

    Matias KRANEVITTER – 24 (Zenit St. Petersburg) – 6.66 (12+5)
    Rodrigo BATTAGLIA – 26 (Sporting Lisbon) – 6.79 (17+12)
    Guido PIZARRO – 28 (Sevilla) – 6.91 (17+4)
    Javier MASCHERANO (Heibei Fortune)

    Central Midfielders – 4:

    Enzo PEREZ – 32 (River Plate) – 6.81 (14+2)
    Ever BANEGA – 29 (Sevilla) – 7.01 (21+6)
    Giovani LO CELSO – 22 (PSG) – 7.04 (14+15)
    Leandro PAREDES – 23 (Zenit St. Petersburg) – 7.32 (20+3)

    Attacking Midfielders – 6:

    Javier PASTORE – 28 (PSG) – 7.01 (11+9)
    Ángel DI MARIA – 30 (PSG) – 7.39 (23+4)
    Manuel LANZINI – 25 (West Ham United) – 7.05 (19+2)
    Maxi MEZA – 25 (Independiente) – 7.33 (13+2)
    Cristian PAVON – 22 (Boca Juniors) – 7.45 (23)
    Diego PEROTTI – 29 (AS Roma) – 7.16 (16+7)

    Forwards – 5:

    Lionel MESSI – 30 (FC Barcelona) – 8.77 (29+2)
    Sergio AGUERO – 29 (Manchester City) – 7.81 (22+3)
    Paulo DYBALA – 24 (Juventus) – 7.88 (21+6)
    Lautaro MARTINEZ – 20 (Racing Club) – 7.62 (17)
    Mauro ICARDI – 25 (Inter Milan) – 7.24 (28)

    NOTABLE OMISSIONS (from Sampa’s rumoured 35 members squad)

    Gonzalo HIGUAIN – 30 (Juventus) – 7.37 (27+2) – I would select him if Aguero is not recovered
    from injury
    Lucas BIGLIA – 32 (Lazio) – 6.87 (21+4) – I had excluded him even before he got injured
    Marcos ROJO – 28 (Manchester United) – 6.6 (6+1) – Didn’t play much this season.
    Ramiro FUNES MORI – 27 (Everton) – 6.35 (0+1) – Didn’t play even a single game this season
    Pablo PEREZ – 32 (Boca Juniors) – 7.2 (16+1)
    Emiliano RIGONI – 25 (Zenit St. Petersburg) – 6.37 (7+7)
    Nahuel GUZMAN – 32 (Tigres, Mexico)
    Agustin MARCHESIN –

    NOTABLE MENTIONS

    Attack:
    Franco CERVI – 23 (Benfica) – 7.44 (26+1)
    Angel CORREA – 23 (Atletico Madrid) – 6.92 (23+9)
    Joaquin CORREA – 23 (Sevilla) – 6.79 (14+5)
    Alejandro GOMEZ – 30 (Atlanta) – 7.6 (25+2)
    Lucas ALARIO – 25 (Bayer Leverkusen) – 6.98 (14)
    Ezquiel LAVEZZI – 32 (Hebei CFFC) – 8.18 (27)

    Midfield:
    Lucas OCAMPOS – 23 (Marseille) – 7.02 (18+8)
    Lucas CASTRO – 29 (Chievo) – 7.11 (20+1)
    Sebastian DRIUSSI – 22 (Zenit St. Petersburg) – 6.74 (15+7)

    Defensive Midfield:
    Leonardo GIL – 26 (Rosario Central) – 7.17 (17+1)
    Santiago ASCACIBAR – 21 (VfB Stuttgurt) – 6.9 (24+2)

    Defense:
    Emilliano INSUA – 29 (VfB Stuttgurt) – 6.87 (20+1)
    Cristian LEMA – 28 (Belgrano) – 7.63 (21)
    Gonzalo PIOVI – 23 (Argentinos Juniors) – 7.44 (13)
    German CONTI – 23 (Colon) – 7.5 (21)
    Frederico Fernandez – 29 (Swansea) – 6.82 (27)

    GK:
    Leandro CHICHIZOLA – 28 (Las Palmas) – 6.65 (23)

  2. Rojo is not picked by man u even in bench for quite a few matches. Does anyone know what is the situation. We should not take players to wc who has not played enugh this season or was injured for long period. Garay playing everyday for valence is a much better option. Garay Fazio and Otamendi these three CB should be selected on current form

    • absolutely right rojo and mori should not be picked specially rojo should not be picked he was awful against spain and in pl games for manu when he was fit

  3. Augreo is sure starter of Argentina.He said he would come to training in twenty days.Even if he is injured he will start in world cup.Only one of Higuain or Icardi will go to world cup.Dybla should be dropped he depends very much on his teammates(like pogba in juve)

    • There is no ”Higuain or Icardi” dilemma, it’s only Higuaín. There has been no indication that Icardi will be selected for the world cup. Icardi couldn’t even start ahead of Benedetto of all players. Aguero will be healthy, Pep gave him the rest of the season off so that he could recover fully for the world cup instead of rushing him back for meaningless end of season EPL games. I really like Dybala but he has been a massive let down. Flop dribbling, flop shooting and flop passing are a common thing for Dybala wearing the Argentina jersey.

      • Flop dribbling, flop shooting, flop passing and A MAJOR FLOP AT EVERY FINAL are all common things for HIGUAIN wearing the Argentina jersey. If there is a god (and he’s/she’s kind) Higuain will pick up an injury that will keep him from going to the WC, then and only then will Argentina have a chance.

        • Sure, like Argentina under performing at the 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 world cups because of Higuaín? It’s laughable because without Higuaín, Argentina would be crashing out at the quarterfinal stage for a third consecutive world cup. Let that sink in. No matter how hard you try you can’t debunk what I wrote. Argentina haven’t made a semifinal in over 25 years, and guess what? It was Higuaín goal that took them to the semis in 2014. Dybala has been a massive flop this season even at Juventus. I will admit though; Dybala was better during his Palermo FC days. And no, Higuaín won’t pick up any injury as you wish. And yes, there is a sovereign God!

          • Oh please, Belgium didn’t have a single shot on goal! Argentina was dominating that game and most certainly would’ve made it with or without Higuain, and it was because of him Argentina lost out on 3 freaking finals!!! Let THAT sink in.

            Dybala has been a “massive flop” in Juve?????? Honestly Kid it’s becoming harder and harder to take you seriously.

      • i think our forward line should be messi aguero dybala icardi higuain/martinez.so out of martinez and higuain 1 should go.but sampa will pick higs i know.and most probably will pick martinez also.according to me messi aguero dybala higuain martinez is sure.but sampa including icardi as a safety measure as if aguero is not fit before june then sampa will pick icardi in place of aguero.

  4. If anybody can actually see what goes around a football field,
    Otamendi and biglia are the key to our world cup.
    Accept it or not.
    And for those criticising biglia check out his performances lately.

  5. Didir10: I’m done talking football with you man.. Everything you say from now on and before have always been irrelevant to me. I’m sure Didir10 opinions matters more and not Xavi and Guardiola opinions. I wonder how many professional stadiums have Didir10 ever perform in before? Give us some history on your long sporting career? Greets and ADIOS!

    • Kid..please can you tell how many match you have played. Someones comments may seem irelevent to you, but everyone is here just sharing there views. If you can judge icardi with his 3 or 4 games, anyone can judge higuain with more than 80 games he played for argentina. The fact is…he is totally a shit

      • “If you can judge icardi with his 3 or 4 games, anyone can judge higuain with more than 80 games he played for argentina. The fact is…he is totally a shit”

        @Argentina, you nailed it, man!

    • @Kid, I also wonder how many World Cups you won that made you ignore the opinion of a WC winner (Jorge Valdano) on choker Higuain and blindly stick to your opinion. 😂😂😂😂

  6. It is assured that selfie guy is out. Now we just need the guy with the biggest fatty butt in football history- Higuaín to be snubbed due to his poor jogging abilities.

  7. The latest news about Aguero suggests that the likelyhood of him being 100% fit for the WC is impossible. Only Aguero can lie his way into the squad like he did the last WC (when he was not fully fit going into the tournament).
    Aguero is one guy, who has never stepped up in his career after the brilliant 2011-12 season. Had he been an improved player, he should have been dominating the Pl the way Messi and Ronaldo have dominated La Liga. No, Aguero has been satisfied with mediocrity and huge pay checks. His level is close to or a little over 20 goals a season, and happy to be considered a top 5 striker in the Pl instead of striving to be the best.
    Going back to his injury update news, it looks like bad news for him this time, as the AFA have indicated that they won’t take any risks with unfit players, and great news for us fans, that we won’t have to put up with his mediocrity at the World Cup. Anyone, I repeat anyone, who replaces him won’t do any worse than him. Whether they do better than him is another matter, but surely won’t and can’t do any worse than him. One down, Higuain, Mascherano and Biglia to go. Highly unlikely but just wishful thinking.

    There’s no better no.9 (becos CR7 is not a human when it comes to goalscoring) than Messi in the world when he plays a false 9. Put him as close to the opposition box, and it has already solved u a million problems, I wonder why no NT manager wants to try that.

  8. Nomatter how much we fans cry lets be realistic Sampaoli and his staff have already chosen their core players… Its evident that Sampa’s starting XI will be
    ———————-Romero
    Mercado Fazio Otamendi Tagliafico
    ——–Biglia Mascherano Banega
    ——————Messi Dimaria
    ———————–Higuain

    But if these players don’t perform in first 2 matches then he will have to make changes so lets all pray our subs/backups/bench players are picked wisely…

    • Never ever…..with Banega,Biglia and Mascherano starting… Argentina can pack their bag…in group stage itself. I believe Sampaoli is not blind…!

    • No Biglia and masch in the midfield at the same time, I guarantee u that much. Pipita won’t start if Aguero is fit (he may still make it) and Lanzini is likely to the be starting.

      If all fit, this will likely be the starting line up (for 1 or 2 games max because atleast 2 out Lanzini, Kun and Maria will pick up an injury):

      ——————Romero
      Mercado Fazio Otamendi Tagliafico
      ——– Biglia——– Banega
      —Messi ——Lanzini———Dimaria
      ——————Aguero

  9. Amit, well said bro, and everything you said about Banega especially this season is true and well written. People here live in an alternate universe when it comes to certain players. For a few here (and they’re in the minority, they just talk the loudest, same with the vote on who should be Argentina number one goalkeeper, if you listen to some of the comments here you would think Romero is hated by the majority which is not the case) they don’t like Banega so he can never be good in their eyes no matter how good he has been throughout this current season. There is a cult of personality going on here with regards to certain players, and I don’t even need to bring them up here because they are nobodies in terms of top level football players. These same guys are Honduran and Panamanian level players.

    What you said about Banega; Pep, Mourinho, Xavi, Gary Lineker, Lampard, Scholes etc. have all said the same thing especially this year/current season. Pep was in previous years. These people here watch the game with a blind fold on, they’re rooting for certain players to fail, try to pick out the bad in their performance and forget about all the other good moments. Xavi said Banega is a top player, he should know because he played against him!! Am I to believe some below average player in Portugal or Germany or Russia is going to orchestrate Argentina midfield at the highest level of football this summer with no prior experience playing in top level knockout games? The haters need to go watch Banega against Bayern Munich at the Alianz Arena in the UCL game several weeks ago and come back and talk to me. Class is one thing, being talented is another thing. There are a lot of talented Honduran, Mexican, Costa Rican, USA players out there right now, this doesn’t make them world beaters. There are a lot of Honduran and Mexican level players in the Argentina Primeira right now. The worst team in Spain/La Liga right now would easily defeat the best teams in the Argentina Primeira. A Premeira game or a South American game right now is not at the level of the world cup. Watching those games is like saying wow, River Plate or Racing is going to win the FIFA club world cup, but we all know what the reality is, these South American teams and players are always out of their league when playing outside of their own continent, they even struggle against the CONCACAF, Asian and African teams.

    Banega was great during the 2016 Copa America, he scored and assist against Chile during the first game, and end up being one of, if not Argentina best player at the tournament. They try to ignore the fact that he came on against Italy and score what was the winning goal. Name me two or three moments where Banega turnover of the football have cost Argentina a goal? In Sevilla, Banega is their highest paid player, he is their star man, get standing ovation every time he walks off the pitch, won trophies with the same club. On here, people are comparing Banega with other Argentina players who are in Russia and Portugal playing against farmers (and nothing is wrong with being a farmer) and part time football players. Always like seeing these lineups where they tuck Messi on the team with a bunch of irrelevant players.

    • “The worst team in Spain/La Liga right now would easily defeat the best teams in the Argentina Primeira”

      If that was true then I would like really not to see any single player of Argentina league nowhere near of NT.

      If that was true the good performances in NT such inferior league players like Bustos (against Italy) or Meza (against Spain) would be inexplicable just like the fact the stream of local league players going to Europe is incessant.

      I remember you laughing for example at Joaquin Correa (in Sampdoria times) when we were talking about him in NT context. Now you want him… There’s many such exmples (Lo Celso is another) as you depreciate literally every single player. Wait and see not long for Meza, Martinez, Bustos, Pavon in Europe and within some time you will try to pretend as they never were being playing in local league having no roots.

    • ” Name me two or three moments where Banega turnover of the football have cost Argentina a goal?”

      @Kid, I thought you were watching Spain vs Arg with two big, open eyes, but now I realized that you either didn’t watch the game carefully or you want to ignore something. Go and watch Spain’s 4th goal and later tell me what you see with your own eyes. Against Nigeria in the build up of their equalizer goal, a Nigerian player outclassed Banega before passing the ball to Iheanacho who assisted Iwob’s equalizer.

      Do you want to convince me this guy is what Argentina needs in midfield? Being very slow and lacking defense abilities and not having going forward mentality all make this guy worthless in Argentina jersey.

      If Xavi, Guardiola, or any other person praises Banega that doesn’t mean anything if this guy can’t show his qualities on the pitch when it matters most. Xavi was also a huge fan of Nicolas Gaitan who ended up in China. Do we also need Gaitan (though I believe his contribution would be way, way better than that of Banega) for the NT right now because he was praised by Xavi?

      • Dadir, you just hate banega & that’s why such a one sided view. I was just seeing the Nigeria game & the equalizer has pezella, lo celso , banega & goalie to blame. Infact locelso was closer to Nigerian player than banega & both were beaten. Did u also see the 22nd minute where banega’s long pass was a killer bforr di Maria & aguero botch it up. Hear Ray hudson’s commentary on that pass . His free kick goal is conveniently forgotten by u in same match. I agree when it comes to higuain & biglia. But aguero & banega – no way buddy. They r needed in final team ..banega may not be a starter but will definitely add value in a long tournament . Also remember that the new heroes have a long way to go.. lanzini & meza injured after just 1 good match.. lo celso is good ..but we saw him gassed out in same Nigeria match after 1st half & destroyed in crucial psg-madrid knockout. CL saw banega bossing man utd & bayern.
        So my submission is while the Young blood definitely is a blessing, key experienced players like aguero & banega are also needed.

        • @Amit. I think it is only this far that you can go to make your point. Banega is class! People would like to advocate for their choices only by dawngrading and naming others. I don’t need to nullify the quaity of Parades, Lanzini and Meza to show how good Banega is. To once utter dismay, some of them have even less to do with the role that Banega plays case in point being Lanzini, Ascacibar and Meza. If we have to make a Pareto optimal efficiency analysis; the team will get benefited by droping out players who have redendunt attributes. As such the most of the forwards, despite thier class, should probably be ignored since the team has Messi and other wings with goal scoring instinct.

          E. Perez is anyways competing with Banega who would arguably do things simply better. people have cemented their stand backing it with conspiracies and advocating on the basis that “all of the old batche players are worthless except for Leo.” The truth is many of the new batch players have yet to prove themselves even for Olympic and youth WC games. For the record Banega has never been called to the world cup which contradicts the friendhip theory/conspiracy.

          I ‘ve no scintilia of daubt that Banega, E.Perez, Locelso and Biglia(since Ascacibar was not given any chance todate) will be going to Russia.

    • In the 2nd half against Nigeria (and the entire match against Spain) he was an absolute no show but then he comes in for a few minutes against Italy and scores a goal and that’s Banega for ya, consistently inconsistent both with the NT and Sevilla and I don’t need to listen to Pep and Mourinho to know this, infact if he was so good why haven’t they even tried to buy him? He certainly wouldn’t cost that much because he ain’t worth that much.
      Kid when (not if) your boys higuain, banega, biglia, rojo and mascherano all step out on that field and s**t the bed don’t you dare come on this board and start complaining about how the NT let you down.

      • mamoun: Calm down man, you’re getting way too emotional. You wasn’t like this before, I know you man.

  10. Why is Gago’s name is still being brought into discussion? Don’t Sampaoli and his team already know that he is our Owen Hargreaves… I don’t watch Argentine league but is Gago having a season of his life there without any injury? I know he had a lot of potential but injuries destroyed him..if not I would have Lamela instead of him in a heartbeat!! Guy is very underrated!!

    Rojo Masch Biglia Banega higuain & Funes mori are going no matter what… AFA took too long to fire Tata and the skeleton face… Sampaoli had no time to build his team..So Banega n Biglia will be going to try their best to book our tickets back asap!!

    • There an invisble hand that works very hard to put the pieces of the puzzle together. This hand is gonna select injury-ruined Gago over young talented midfielders and finished-and-flop Higuain over in form Icardi.

    • I am fairly sure sampaoli will not make a blunder of picking gago again. This will just be a rumour. That crucial qualifier he played was like a comedy..broke down in less than 5 minutes without anyone touching him.

  11. Martinez is young and have a powerful shooting and driblling skill. I prefer him rather than Higuain although Higuain haa more experienced but his time is over. Martinez, Pavon, Meza and Lo Celso will be the surprise factor and new strenght that can give lights for N/T.

    • Actually no risk taking Martinez over higuain. Higuain definitely will not click in knockout. Worst case even if Martinez fails, it will be a great experience of first world cup for our future superstar

  12. First and foremost is choosing 100% fit player with match fitness and it will be possible if the all player played each and every match respective of their club.. And the squad must be whatever it is but exclude rojo mori biglia banega higuain mascherano.. Squad should be like this

    Garay otamendi pezella tagliafico bustos ansaldi and added another left back

    Meza A.correa J.correa lanzini battaglia ascacibar parades

    Messi icardi dybala lautaro Martinez

    This all player should be included in 23 man list

  13. Why Sampoli is not selecting Ansaldi.Against Spain Bustos Otamendi Taglafico conceded four goals and even after the replacement of Bustos by Mercado we again conceded two more goals.But all these players will participate in our four man back line in world cup.Just Fazio is different case.Bustos is too young he can not handle world class winger,Mercado I do not think he is fullback type material.In Sevilla he is transfered into center back role.Ansaldi is only option for right back otherwise our forwards have to do miracles. Ansaldi will give fluidity to our attack.Lamela should go to world cup Paredes can be dropped.

  14. Its been a while i am writting in this site, but i am one of the regular followers. I read the optimistic comments of gonzalo, el pipita, richard, dadir, waveride. I liked how kid defend the old gems, new thoughts of argentina 2018 and leo messi. Crirical analysis of perotti and amit is also amazed me. Dolon’s new team in every post also made me happy. We done all of these only because for the love for sky blue and white.
    Only a few months left, and i am hopeful. I think football owes messi the glory. I hopeful that higuin will not choke again if he get the chance, ottamendi will be the rock, di maria will have the full crosdinf accuracy, lanzini will be the creator, banega will be at his best, and messi..he is gonna do whatever he wants. This team will play the football which make everyone smile. I need the trophy for argentina like the other 100 millions fan in Bangladesh, you are right, there are more than 100 millions argentine fan in Bangladesh. We wish and pray for argentina.
    Vamos argentina

  15. It is almost sure Argentina will be in KO stage of the WC if big upset didn’t happen. I believe there will be at least one game ends in Penalties. Who will be our takers..? If Garay not going to WC..we lost one taker..!
    Messi, Dybala, Lanzini, Aguero\Higuain, Perotti…anybody else better than those? I don’t think all these 5/6 will play same time.

  16. I would like Sampaoli to add best players suitable for each position irrespective of where they play. If the best CM of Argentina is playing in China, Mexico, USA, UAE…or anywhere, pick him (remember 2 years before Lanzini was playing in UAE).

  17. “He can be our pirlo if situation demands a deep playmaker & can distribute very well”

    Amit, pls don’t mention Banega and Pirlo in the same post. Pirlo was a real midfield maestro and he used to CONSTANTLY entertain everybody who watched him.

    Do you remember Pirlo’s long pass to Roberto Baggio in the game Brescia drew Juve 1-1 (Seria-A 2000-01 season)? Banega dreams to deliver a single pass like that in his whole career. Pirlo used to play as a deep-lying play maker so does Banega, but that’s where their similarities end.

    This guy gives the ball away frequently in very dangerous areas which always end up in his team’s goal. He can’t hold on the ball well and fight when the ball is at his feet. Is that the kind of player that Argentina can battle with teams like Germany and Spain? The simple answer is NO. We need players who love to play football and hold their heads high even if the team is 3 or 4 goals behind. Meza, Tagliafico, and Lo Celso are the perfect example for this.

    Against Spain, I really liked how these three played when the team was in complete mess. In this game I saw Banega 3 times.

    Amit, you said, “He played upfront in that match more like a CAM which is a wrong position for him due to his lack of his mobility & making counterattack impossible”

    I think this is not an excuse, coz I saw him play in that same position at Sevilla in many games and it wasn’t a problem for him at all.

    All I saw from Banega, since the first time I saw him till today, are so many sideways and back passing and very few through balls.

    I want to see someone who can dribble and push the ball forward with speed and can hold the ball well like Lanzini, Lo Celso, and Meza, not someone slow that gives the ball away so many times like Banega.

    • Yup, the three are must IMO – Lanzini, Lo Celso, Meza + classic No.5 IMO because I don’t see us solid defensively without such player despite Lo Celso having in PSG the amount of tackles and Lanzini/Meza some abilities to defend.

      ……………….Caballero
      ………….Otamendi…Fazio
      Bustos…………………………..Tagliafico

      ……………..Lo Celso..No.5
      ….Lanzini……………………….Meza

      …………….Messi..Martinez

      • Meza is cross between Enzo/Lavezzi and just like Enzo and Lavezzi were positive discoveries in late stages of last World Cup, being our motors, this team now needs refreshing young passion and hardworkers.

        In this categories – Acuna is also player who should be near starting line up and gets many minutes as sub of Tagliafico or Meza/ Lanzini.

      • Gonzalo, I agree with you on the fact that a good #5 is a must.

        With all my respect to Mascherano, I pick Ascacibar over him right now and Battaglia over Biglia and there you have a young and energetic team that can play some real football.

        • Absolutely yes: 2 of Ascacibar/Battaglia/Marcone instead Mascherano and Biglia. With such midfield you have enough youth energy and running in crucial are of the field.

  18. Gago would be included – as far as I know our coaches. We should expectate the final list will be more similar to the previous tournaments than we think. Including all the oldies and even Gago. If Argentina want to have humilitation on WC they will got it. People who expectate Argentina somwhere near final of WC are hardly blinded by the unduly happy sun of Argentina national flag.

  19. reports coming in sampaoli going to meet angel correa joaquin correa musacchio.and waiting for gago fitness.if he fits he will go if not then ansaldi or lamela mayb picked in 35 man squad.

      • i dont know but i read that if gago not fit then his place will be filled by ansaldi or lamela.sampa is waiting on gago’s fitness thats why every source reporting 34 man squad and remaining place is reserved for gago.if sampa befor may 14 sees gago unfit then he will take another player in place of him.i think we need ansaldi more.mayb this is reported by some journalist called maria verunti or something like that i cant remember her name properly

    • Somehow sampaoli prefers pavon to angel Correa. Angel actually has played well at big stage this season & has been one of the best impact subs. Somehow missing out on national jersey. Rm/RW contenders are pavon, acorrea, salvio, lamela. I think coach preference is pavon & salvio.
      Jcorrea is super talented & a delight to watch. But he loses ball in final play. Currently perotti & acuna score over him. Add to that di Maria who is sure shot in final 23.

  20. Higuaín, Aguero, Di Maria, Mascherano, Biglia, Banega, and Rojo should be sent to the museum. A full basket of dead rotten fish is going to Russia.

  21. I read one Argentina online newspaper that says the speculation of the possible names for the final 23 players squad. According to them, 20 names are almost fixed, only three of them are left to complete the 23. 20 of their names have been mentioned as such Archers: Sergio Romero and Nahuel Guzmán. Defenders: Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio, Nicolás Otamendi, Nicolás Tagliafico, Marcos Rojo and Marcos Acuña. Flyers: Manuel Lanzini, Eduardo Salvio, Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Giovani Lo Celso, Éver Banega, Ángel Di María. Forwards: Cristian Pavón, Paulo Dybala, Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero and Gonzalo Higuaín.
    Others name like Lamela, Mori, Armani, Enzo Perez, Meza, Perotti, Icardi( If something happens on Aguero only) are under evaluation.

    • all are speculations .let me tell you nobody knows anything about the 35 man squad but looks like a.correa j.correa mussachio mayb new addition as sampa going to meet them

    • I would like to see Perotti, Meza, and E. Perez and Minus Mashcerano, and Higuein/ Aguero from the speculated list.

  22. Our Forwards after the injury of Aguero should be

    Messi
    Icardi
    Dybala
    A.Correa

    Correa is young and can play as a winger and stiker both. I choose him over Higuain. 😋😋

    We don’t have too many choices when it comes to keepers

    Armani/Romero/Caballero

    Armani is a regular starter at River . He is a solid goalkeeper as per the Argentine league news..

    Romero has a habit of commiting at least one big Error every game and that one error cost us in final in 2014 WC..

    Caballero can only be a backup sadly..not just the spain game but also while playing for chelsea its clear his reflexes are getting slower… But still a solid backup no doubt ..

    My starting XI

    ————————- Armani———————
    Tagliafico GarayOtamendi Mercado
    ——-Lamela—Paredes—-Enzo ——–
    ——Messi—————————–Perroti—–
    ———————— Icardi——————–

  23. Banega.. Biglia and Mascherano.. These three are going to be our biggest liabilities and chances of them getting picked are very high. The consistently inconsistent Banega is doing okay with Sevilla but he has never impressed in national Jersey. Masch and Biglia are finished we all know sadly 😢.

    Our best midfielders

    Perroti
    Enzo
    Paredes
    Dimaria
    Lanzini
    Meza
    Lo celso
    Lamela

    Lamela is a victim of selfishness of Spurs teammates otherwise his stats would look far far better. He is must for the world cup. He can score,assist trackback and defend. He is our complete midfielder!!

    Meza was very impressive against Spain young but worth every risk.

    I have been a big critique of Dimaria but he has been in very good form . Hopefully he will stay fit but i would start Perroti ahead of him.

    • I disagree on banega. He should be in final23. If he is played as a deep playmaker he is good. No point playing him as attacking midfielder. There will be matches where a deep playmaker will be required as each opponent will need a different strategy. Let’s not forget the fact that he has been the best deep playmaker in champions league this season & in Sevilla he is not playing ‘ ok’ . He is playing brilliantly at Sevilla this season. I will only agree that banega cannot be an automatic starter bcos of his slow speed , but will be of great value when team plays 4-2-3-1. He shld be in place of parades.
      Biglia is jus an ok player.. but unfortunately we don’t have a backup & maybe too late to experiment an ascacibar or battaglia…so he will be lucky to survive & also be a starter in most matches.
      Masche ( my most favorite player after maradona) unfortunately is over & should now gracefully exit.. should not spoil his legacy & waste a vital spot in final23.
      I would want to add acuna & salvio( if fit) to your list. Its maybe a fight for the left wing spot between acuna & perotti. My vote is for acuna.
      Enzo is one player who consistently plays above his skills when in national jersey.. but I think he at best can be a substitute & not an automatic starter.

      • @Amit, “If he is played as a deep playmaker he is good”

        Banega will remain Banega regardless of the position he is put. If you want to know what I am talking about pls watch Arg vs Nig, and vs Spain again and keep an eye on him.

        This guy doesn’t deserve even to be in the preliminary squad let alone going to Russia.

        When Sabella left him out he was faster, fresher, and better than he is today but Sabella saw something in him that made him take his decision.

        No more Higuain, Biglia, and Banega.

        • Dadir, I understand it’s very frustrating to see banega being inconsistent. But Spain match is a wrong example. He played upfront in that match more like a CAM which is a wrong position for him due to his lack of his mobility & making counterattack impossible.In that game mascherano & biglia were the double pivots sitting deep & that with banega upfront upsetted the midfield. He can be our pirlo if situation demands a deep playmaker & can distribute very well.

          • The fact is Banega in important matches (other than against Singapour) is nowhere near to be the famous playmaker people want to regard him. He is shadow of creative player. But most important is his behaviour in defence is permanent risk for our goal. Banega, Biglia, Masche must be out.

      • Amit I concurr with your logical and fact base point of view about Banega. as you pointed it out more about Biglia, he is an optionless veracity. Same about Enzo. except Lo Celso the team has failed to produce highly rated midfield players. Most of them are either Mundo hyped or picked/favoured due to an extreme hate if not frustrations against the formers. How come players like Lanzini, Parades, Lamela, Bataglia etal even closely compared with a multi dimensional and proven player like Banega? i believe only Ascacibar, hugely talented DM, has been unfairly overlooked talent.

  24. Former Argentina coach Coco Basile on Higuain’s miss in 2014 final:

    “The truth is, it’s difficult to explain what happened, because suddenly he found himself with the ball, unmarked and 20 metres away from the goal, with all the ground to cover and time to chose where to place the ball, but he vision got clouded and he did nothing of that sort and he kicked the ball somewhere else instead. The truth is, honestly, that he screwed up”.

    • This choker was in acres of space at the moment he received the ball but he didn’t know where the goal was. Expect more of that from him if he goes to Russia.

  25. Mateo Musaachio hasn’t been the same defender after his injury but he is still better than Rojo and Funes Mori… Garay and Musaachio should replace these clowns!!

    Our Defenders for the WC
    Garay
    Otamendi
    Fazio
    Taliafico
    Mercado
    Musaachio
    Ansaldi
    Bustos/Pezzella

    Sadly Garay, Ansaldi and Musaachio are not getting selected and average bench warmers like Rojo & Funes mori are going the WC.

    • i dont know if rojo and mori going.still time left for sampa to pick the squad and i believe rojo and moro should not go.there must be better options there.

    • Although he is very young but at Independiente he used to play like an experienced and matured player. I don’t know how he is doing nowadays in the MLS. Do you follow him?

      • @enganche
        i support your view and agree but i am pointing on the excessive fluidity that sampa believes and done with chile only barco can fill that void not banega.
        but the combination you mentined they can be deadly if paired with

        ansaldi-
        ——– kennemann—–
        marcone
        ————————– tagliafico
        lanzini——locelso—-meza—acunia(CENTURION)
        —‘——-MESSI
        ———————MARTINEZ

  26. Zaracho was their best, indeed. He is showing long time level of talent that makes me thinking of him as future NT player. Zaracho, Martinez, Barco, Colombatto, Ascacibar, Palacios, Foyth, Senesi – the massive talented players from last U-20 World Cup really could make great team if had better coaching.

    • Dadir10,

      I think this team could do much better than our current. Kannemann, Meza, Marcone are so vital. Meza may do what was able to do for us Lavezzi. Motor Player.

      Mercado…Garay…Otmendi…Kannemann

      Meza……Marcone…Enzo…..Acuna

      ……………Messi….Martinez

      • @Gnzalo

        I like Meza a lot and I’m sure he will have a great WC if Sampa gives him the chance to play. But unfortunately Garay, Macrone, and Kannemann will not go to Russia as they are outside of Sampa’s radar.

        Lanzini, Meza, Martinez, Pavon, Tagliafico, Bustos, and Lo Celso are my favourite players at this WC.

          • if one of three goes and ansaldi or kannemann i will love that as this gives balance to the team . lombardi often talks with sampaoli if he insists then surprise might happen and Mr. blanco of racing pointed the inclusion of centurion needed to be be taken into consideration.

        • Due credit has to be given to sampaoli for bringing good change in midfield. Now we have a fresh pool in lanzini, acuna, meza, lo celso, salvio & not discouting the experience of di Maria, Enzo, banega & biglia. The 1month camp & good willing no injuries , our midfield will look good. Just praying that ascacibar also sneaks in over biglia

      • Kanneman is a CB and not a left-back, I think Tagliafico is far better in that position. Even as a CB, I would prefer Musacchio or Pezzella.

        Lombardi is a clown IMO and should not be entertained as a serious expert 🙂

        • Pezella should make it. Mussachio is in a bad patch lately. The 3CBs in final 23 shld be otamendi, fazio & pezella. Mercado can also step in as backup cb while also functioning as RB. I hope sampaoli dosent waste spots in rojo & funes Mori who unfortunately does not have time & opportunities to get back to match fitness

        • Yes, I prefer Tagliafico over Kannemann too but if I could choose between the Lombardi line up and prefered current Samapaoli’s with Banega, Biglia, Maria and others I’m sure the Lombardi team is better. Especially with Marcone, Meza, Martinez.

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