World Cup countdown: 50 days, Argentina moment number 40, Roberto AYALA


As part of the 50 days, 50 Argentina World Cup moments, we will be counting down the top 50 Argentina moments at a World Cup using the daily number.

We are just 40 days until the start of the FIFA World Cup and in 40th place we have Roberto AYALA playing in his 40th match for Argentina vs. Jamaica at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

The first player to appear twice in our FIFA World Cup list, AYALA’s 40th match for his country came against the Reggae Boyz at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. An impressive 5-0 victory by Daniel PASSARELLA’s men ensured their passage into the second round (where we got our moment number 45 of the list).

Three goals by Gabriel BATISTUTA and two by Ariel ORTEGA meant that Roberto AYALA’s men in defence were able to keep a clean shit their first two matches (they would ultimately go on to keep a third clean shit against Croatia).

Here was Argentina’s starting XI for the match:

1. Carlos ROA
2. Roberto AYALA
3. Jose CHAMOT
5. Matias ALMEYDA
6. Roberto SENSINI
7. Claudio LOPEZ
8. Diego SIMEONE
9. Gabriel BATISTUTA
10. Ariel ORTEGA
11. Juan Sebastian VERON
22. Javier ZANETTI

If you missed it, here are our 50 World Cup moments:
50: Sergio ROMERO gets 50th cap vs. Switzerland at 2014 FIFA World Cup.
49: Roberto AYALA scores in the 49th minute vs. Germany at 2006 FIFA World Cup.
48: Angel DI MARIA’s 48th cap for Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina at 2014 FIFA World Cup.
47: Mario KEMPES scores Argentina’s 47th goal all time at the 1978 FIFA World Cup vs. Peru.
46: Jorge VALDANO scores in the 46th minute at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
45: Javier ZANETTI scores in the 45th minute vs. England at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
44: Gabriel BATISTUTA scores goal number 44 in his Argentina career at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
43: Gonzalo HIGUAIN receives cap number 43 for Argentina vs. Germany in the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
42: Pedro PASCULLI scores in the 42nd minute for Argentina vs. Uruguay at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
41: Maxi RODRÍGUEZ scores in the 41st minute for Argentina vs. Serbia & Montenegro at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.


  1. Other top teams also are having issues.
    Germany – nueur, boaeting , stindl
    France – kosceilny
    England – John stones
    All of them are key players & mostly out of wc with injuries.
    Biglia injury can also be a blessing if battaglia is selected .

  2. Oh My God.Sampoli is doing nothing for right back position. Bustos is too young he can be easily dominated by opposition team’s quality winger.Mercado is not that good.He looks like fat and his Sevilla season is disaster for him.How can be a coach of such calibre so heedless about that.Mercado and Bustos not going to help the team.We need some new faces sad but reality.

    • Bustos, Ansaldi or Fabrizio Angileri – left back of best in last months Argentina club who can play also RB.

    • Ansaldi is a safe bet & can also be left & right back up option. Sampoali has called him earlier also( he was in squad against Russia & nig ). But dosent look coach is convinced as there was no meeting in Italy.
      Mercado while has been disappointing somehow plays at a better level in national jersey ( like Romero) .
      While bustos was outplayed against Spain, I think he will play well in world cup.
      Btw what happened to Jose Luiz Gomez. Did he retire after the Copa liberatores goof up?

      • He was going to be back of last weeks but suffer another health problems and will not be fit in this season:

      • Bustos, the second RB, Salvio and Battaglia should be there as Salvio and Battaglia can play RB in emergency.

      • The only problem with Bustos is that he is going ahead on right flank so bravely that is permanent risk of being counter attacked. But just like Zabaleta was on WC nothing more than ordinary defender (rarely attacking as in club), Bustos role may be apted to WC conditions.

        To see how it is with Meza and Bustos, watch Independiente within 2 hour.

        • He lacked defensive discipline and also very short I don’t like bustos as rb.but the problem is Mercado also in poor form.ansaldi should be picked but sampaoli strangely omitting him unswervingly

  3. Is there space for both lautaro and pavon together in final 23 with messi aguero higuain and dybala???
    My guess : pavon
    With Mache biglia banega lanzini locelso dimaria who will fill the remaining two slots…?
    My guess:paredes meza
    With otamendi fazio mercado tagliafico who will be there in remaining 3 slots..
    My guess: salvio acuna rojo
    Romero and 2 gks
    My guess: cabellero armani….

    • Salvio, acuna will not come in defense. Their chance for final23 is in midfield. So it will be bustos, mostly pezella & rojo( seeing that sampaoli did not meet ansaldi in Europe). U need a proper cb in the defense subs & pezella shld make it over muri.
      In midfield, I think acuna will come instead of parades. It’s parades or banega & sampaoli will prefer banega.

      • Agree with all you have said…i have a strong feeling that salvio will be in the final squad…on paper he may be in midfield but bustos will be out…
        I dont think pezzella will be in 23.banega/paredes is ok but if paredes is going to be dropped then i think enzo will be in….
        A room for acuna in midfield will be in expense of meza….mori in place of acuna and acuna in place of meza….
        I am not saying these are all good for us….predictions based on calculations!!

        • Enzo will be a good addition in midfield subs. Imo meza is a starter. I think perotti & salvio will miss out.. I like salvio
          Based on coach preference & injury scene , I am predicting as below.
          Bustos – otamendi – fazio – tagliafico
          Meza – battaglia – lo celso – dimaria
          Messi – aguero

          Remaining players
          Mercado, pezella ( mori), rojo
          Enzo, lanzini, acuna, banega
          Higuain, pavon dybala
          Cabellero , guzman

  4. To me, it was the best world cup in terms of football quality of play. There were outsiders like Croatia, Nigeria, Chile and Denmark playing great football, Italy and England had both very balanced team and great players, the whole world discovered Japan with Nakata, Brazil with the best team on the paper, France with its incredible defense and fighting spirit, …etc. But to me, the best team of this competition was Netherlands and unfortunately Argentina played against them in quarter-finals. What a shame that we couldn’t see the trio Redondo-Veron-Ortega playing together.

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