Gabriel BATISTUTA spoke about Argentina’s recent friendly loss to Spain, the Argentina National Team, the strikers and more.
Speaking in a recent interview, the Argentina legend stated that the players chosen for his country’s World Cup squad should be picked based off of form and not the popularity of their name. An interview translated by Juan G. Arango, here’s what Gabriel BATISTUTA had to say:
Gabriel BATISTUTA on Argentina’s loss to Spain:
“I am worried that there is not a solid base in place. I hope that the coach has realized that he has 70-80 percent of the players he’s taking. What we’ve been able to see up to now is rather disconcerting, especially when it comes to the results.
“The good thing is that there are 60 days left. They will have a prudent amount of time together. They will have about 20-25 days together, working. That is a great thing.”
Gabriel BATISTUTA on the Argentina National Team:
“I think that they the Argentine footballers are great. There is a need to work in the back and there needs to be preparation prior to the World Cup. If they do, they can have a great World Cup and be in fine form.
“If I were to separate all the lines, they don’t play at a horrible level but they are not at their maximum level. I think they can all give more individually and collectively.
“What worried me most against Spain was that there was no collective, there were no ideas. There was nothing. I am hopeful that that match was just a one-off thing. It was poor preparation for a friendly match that required maximum seriousness from all.
“From the outside, it seemed to me that match vs. Spain was like, ‘This is just a commitment we have to tend to. Let’s get it over with. In the end we conceded six goals and the repercussions were huge.
“And right now, we are still stunned after what happened. Outside of that result, I don’t think that it takes us away from the expectations we have. Our expectations are lesser or greater based on that match.”
Gabriel BATISTUTA on striker partnership:
“I am convinced that I could have played with CRESPO without any problems and there would have been more positives than negatives, but that was my situation. You are asking me about HIGUAIN and AGUERO and I honestly have no idea how they get along on the pitch.
“I believe that out of it, they get along well. One thing is to be friends off the pitch, another is to understand each other on it. I also don’t know what the coach wants out of them.”
Gabriel BATISTUTA on Lautaro MARTINEZ:
“Lautaro is very good, but he might be coming to this level a little late. He is good, but he is not better than many that are on the team already. When he goes to Europe, he will learn more, he will acquire certain characteristics. There are several things that depend on him.
“It’s up to him to take advantage of the situation. We all admire him. He is a player worthy of being on the national team, I am not sure there is space for him on this team based on who else is on the squad.”
Gabriel BATISTUTA on Argentina’s forwards:
“Argentina’s forwards are like when you open your closet and you only have one shirt. That’s what you wear. When you have more money and get four shirts, you can now choose which shirt to wear. I always prefer to have four shirts.”
Gabriel BATISTUTA on Paulo DYBALA:
“I didn’t condemn Dybala for what he said, it’s something he felt. He shouldn’t have said it because it caused exactly what it did. To hear a guy say that it is difficult to play with Messi is very difficult to understand. That is difficult for anyone that didn’t play football.
“Those that did know that there are teammates that you get along with and others you don’t regardless if they want to or if they are supreme footballers. For me it was an unfortunate comment. I don’t think he’s not on the national team because of that he’s not on the team because there is not enough room for everyone. He was struggling at Juventus, but in this last period where his form improved.
“But when he was taken out of the national team it was because he deserve be there. His form was average. Even if you look at that time, Dybala was a sub. So there is little to talk about.”
Gabriel BATISTUTA on taking in form players:
“The players that should play on the national team are the ones in the best form, not the names. We are going to a World Cup that lasts a month, three weeks. We can’t play with just names. If that were the case, Maradona would still be playing.
“If it were based on names, KEMPES and FILLOL would still be playing. As far as MASCHERANO, that is something the coach has to worry about. What I can tell you is that we can’t go to the World Cup with just names. We won’t do anything if we do. If the names are in form, great. If not, let’s set up a team.”