Javier MASCHERANO: “A World Cup is not simple”


Argentina talisman Javier MASCHERANO spoke at a press conference on Wednesday.

The assistant captain of the team spoke about his role in the team, the World Cup and much more. Here’s what he had to say:

“ROMERO’s injury is very sensitive, not only on a footballing level but on a human level. He’s been our starting goalkeeper for the past 10 years. These are things in football which could happen. We have to wish GUZMAN the best and move forward.

“We have suffered but there’s optimism from the day the coach took over that he has the trust of the 23 players. Many times football is capricious and incomprehensible. We are aware that a World Cup is not simple but we have to go and compete.

“It’s clear that for me, this is my last chance. Hopefully we can be at the top. The most important thing is to show that Argentina is competitive. I never would have imagined the career I’ve had with Argentina. I know what I can bring and I know what I am missing. My only concern in the past 15 years has been to be at the top.

“We can’t be guided by thoughts that are coming from the outside. We know that there are things we have to improve but that doesn’t have to play against us. With the National Team, you have to constantly go through a test. I’m going to do my best and the coach will decide.

“It’s clear that Argentina have often been in unfavorable conditions against top opponents but it’s been able to bring us forward. It’s a competitive gene which the team has.

“Argentina is always competitive. The Argentine player always has something extra and it’s for that reason he is wanted by many (teams) around the world. The preparation has started early in order to reach the World Cup in the best way possible.

“Everyone who comes to help us is welcome. Pablo (AIMAR) can not only be important for us in the tactical department but also on the human side. It’s essential to build a good group with a good atmosphere. The coach is going to need all 23 players, not just the 11 (starters).

“I’m a soldier. I’m available for when the coach needs me. That’s my role today. I’ve competed my entire life and my job is to make the coach’s job as difficult as possible.

“Argentina’s idea will be to play through possession, to have a structure and to avoid transitions. That’s what 80% of the teams do to hurt you.”


  1. even De Gea and Neuer also concede error, between feb-march period all argentine player lost from including meesi too, otmendi epl best defender of the season concedes error so caballero shouldn’t blame for a single match, whenever caballero played looks comfortable against any opponent in club label, Caballero is best penalty saver, He was tensed indeed but Spain match was his 2nd NT game now in word cup Guzman is highest cap but less than 10 so just imagine lack of experience may cost us, as undisputed no1 Romero is no more Sampaoli will choose best from Armani Cabarello Guzman, caballero at 36 debuts in NT proves Sampaoli searching sweeper keeper. Many things experience is the key but i prefer from so Armani leads the race but nothing is bigger than system if Armani isn’t good with feet then cabarello should be no1 plus experience put him much ahead ot others

  2. big news coming in.sampaoli will wait until monday to see mercado gets fit or not.if mercado unable to train normally then sampaoli will remove mercado and include pizzaro in 23 man squad and mascherano will be considered as a defender.

    • The main backup for Fazio and Otamendi is just Rojo right now. Mercado and Mascherano can play as CB in emergency situations. If Mercado not fit, going for Battaglia/Enzo will be better option as they can play in different role. Else we have to go for Pazella as he can be a proper backup for CB. CB/DM position is always crucial as there is a high chance of injury and suspension.

    • Its not a bad thing..infact i was expecting this to happen…ansaldi and salvio can fill his void…we badly need a CM for the knockout games for sure….
      Biglia locelso banega combo will not be enough against strong opponents….
      Biglia pizzaro
      Meza. Lanzini
      Messi aguero
      Will be more stable….

    • With Sampaoli’s high line defense chances of us conceding goals because of Masch getting outrun by younger players from opponent team will always be there. Fazio and Masch as our centre backs its not very wise to play high line.

    • for that and for million other things like that JAVIER MASCHERANO will be LEGEND of Argentina forever.
      his name will be written beside all the Legends of ARGENTINA.

  3. Those who wishing injuries to players.. you are not fans. You are something else, apart from being shitty cry babies.. instead of becoming laughing stocks here, those guys, please stop your filth in this group..

    • I AGREE WITH YOU 100% MY FRIEND. this is something beyond be bad fan. first of all it is NOT HUMAN to wish something like this. they should FIRST start be HUMANS and after goog fans. NOT EVEN TO ENEMIES should exist this kind of wishes. how much more to people that serve the team they suppose they support.

  4. Cabarello isn’t bad as you’re expecting, he is a sweeper GK which suits sampaoli style, year ago he is Pep no1, also better understanding with Otamendi, only age is not his side but his experience in big clubs, pressure match put him ahead of Armani according to me, if Armani isn’t good with feet then cabarello should be no1, with out sweeper GK you can’t play pressing football what sampaoli style needs

    • he makes too much mistakes.armani makes some wonder saves.armani is a regular for his club.caballero for a long time a club bench player and he didnt look confident in spain match.so in big match he can be tensed and in the process can make mistake.2nd goal was his mistake .he passed straight to the opponent in a dangerous area.if 1 mistake from paredes was enough to eliminate him from 23 then why not cabaleero.why different yardsticks for different players.i can see some politics here.

  5. Going into the world cup , we still seem so unsettled , especially in the defensive side. Not really getting the warm, fuzzy feeling. Check it out:

    (On a lighter note wrt all the middle names)
    Willy “FA cup Maestro” Cabellero
    Nahuel “My Dad is pissed so I’m back in the squad” Guzman
    Franco “suede shoes” Armani
    Cristian “I should have been selected a decade back, but now I am an unknown” Ansaldi

    Handicapped Squad:

    Marcos “Rabona” Rojo
    Marcus “I just do my thang” Acuna
    Lucas “Backpass” Biglia
    Sergio “I’m fit, not really, I’m kidding, ah hell substitute me” Aguero
    Eduardo “Hell I got selected but where the heck do I play?!” Salvio

    Here’s the projected starting line up:

    Traffic Cone
    Unknown dude —– Otamendi—-Fazio—– Unknown dude
    Unknown dude—– Backpass——Lo celso —–Wild dude
    Messi—-Ouch I’m Hurt

    • In reality ( not finding excuses) we have been unlucky on defensive front bcos of injuries.
      Funes Mori, rojo, Augusto ( CDM) all badly depreciated post their 2016/17 bad injuries & long layoffs. If they had maintainted the 16-17 levels, they wld have all been starters . Add to that now Romero exit. Hence I say we have been unlucky in this department.
      But u never know, many a times in WC it is the unexpected who ends up standing tall. So ansaldi, Armani , tagliafico can end up also putting up a superlative performance

      • I hope so bro. Just feel Sampaoli is playing with house money when it came to selecting so many players who are either injured/coming off an injury/ not starters. I can understand 2-3 players in a 23 man squad, but in this case, it’s heavily skewed.

  6. “We can’t be guided by thoughts that are coming from the outside”

    totally agree with Masche ; as outside voice is so noisy, Read the Romario’s wife comments that he can recover in 2 weeks and should not be write off and Wanda Icardi said that her husband should be the no 9. Well, World cup is a heated bowl as all want to be selected. The best thing to do is to fully concentrate and focus within the squad as one team and spirit. That’s why not just a talented count but the ability to adapt and work together in harmony is a key value for consideration.

  7. Thankfully Armani completed his last match of the season for river plate.he comes out with no injury.so now hope somehow he become no.1 choice goalie.we can’t trust caballero.

    • Cabarello isn’t bad as you’re expecting, he is a sweeper GK which suits sampaoli style, year ago he is Pep no1, also better understanding with Otamendi, only age is not his side but his experience in big clubs, pressure match put him ahead of Armani according to me, if Armani isn’t good with feet then cabarello should be no1, with out sweeper GK you can’t play pressing football what sampaoli style needs

      • in spain game it doesnt look like he has any understanding with otamnedi.he was piss poor in spain game.he was decent in italy game though.but this kind of inconsistency is not good.he looked nervous in spain game.so he can commit mistakes in big games and later half of the tournament.this is all because of he is a bench warmer.then he played some cup game mayb final and he was awful even worse than the spain game.

      • Also Pavon playing as a CM is not going to happen!!

        Lanzini barely tracks back and defends is he going to be a reliable Cm since we have only Biglia as a DM. Lanzini is more like a Attacking mid or am i wrong guys?

        • I am starting to think of rojo as a makeshift DM sub ( if biglia breaks down). Rojo is mobile enough, tackles hard & naturally connects with attack. I think rojo will cover pitch faster than masche . If masche comes as biglia sub, we will get regularly overrun in midfield
          Sampaoli already had acuna doing well as LB & now exploring Salvio as RB backup. So he may be game to experiment this also.

          • you are thinking too much.if argentina want some makeshift dm then i would put salvio as dm.he is quick ,hardworking,defensively good and good positional sense.rojo is not 100% anyway.

        • @vickerman – agree rojo DM is a crazy idea..but in final23 , if biglia is injured – masche is only option & he will be outrun ( going by Spain game). So maybe worth an experiment in this training month.
          Banega will be a bad option as DM as he won’t chase opposition attack.

  8. Armani must be the starter against haiti and israel. it will give whole team a huge boost if he pay good against both the team. it seems lots of players dont know how good Armani play..

    • Goycochea had played previously only in 1 international when he walked into the Russia game as pumpido’s substitute in italia90

      • Frankly I have only seen Lil bit of YouTube moments of Armani. But how is he for penalty shots? Some insights will be useful for Armani beginners😊. Caballero definitely ranks very well in penalties.

  9. With Sampaoli’s 2-3-3-2 I think Mascherano should start in front of the 2 defenders. I don’t see a better option in the squad. Mascherano should shut up and mobilize all his energy and strength for these 7 games.

    • I dont think its a base formation tbh! It is probably the formation during buildup/possession.

      Its probably a 4-2-3-1 where your fullbacks tuck inside with your pivot, your wingers are REAL wingers and your number 10 is really a second striker. They key is the #8 who acts as the hook here (I think). So basically you are getting 3 lines of players in possession during buildup with plenty of width.

      And during defense your #8 drops down midfield with your wingers, and pivot goes to defense to make two defensive lines of 5-3-2.

      So this is

      LB CB CB RB

      So during possession –


      And during defense –

      ….RB CB 5 CB LB…

      I think the system will make the fullbacks to tuck in to play interiors during possession because of our fullbacks lack of pace. I have seen Pep’s fullbacks doing it quite often. It should work as long as our wingers puts in a good shift. I know Di Maria will, he always does. And Lanzini does this too.

      So this should work in theory. I just hope we had a better pivot and a better number 8. But, then again, whoever tou pick, we dont have world class players there.

      It should work in theory. It suppresses our lack of pace in defense and lack of technique in the middle by focusing on width.

  10. I never watched Armani play so I had to dig some stuff from you tube and I must admit, I liked what I saw.
    He is tall, aggressive, agile, nimble and in that right mature age when you expect goalkeepers to have learned all they could about the position.
    He has some of Neuer in him…..coming out of the box to face rushing attackers, could be risky but high risk high reward.

  11. i don t think we will have problem till quarter finals. there we will face Spain probably but till then our team will be ready tactical physical and mentally to face them.

  12. The coach need to improve those areas by making hard training of the all 23 players not 11 from now on. The thing is to be realistic not imaginary. We need to improve physical and mentally strong enough with precise skills. If you analyse Most of time some midfielder and defenders are vulnerable after scoring one or two goal. They don’t know what to do as a team so that they will not concede any goal.
    We can never do any soft training fearing of injuries in this short time before WC. We have enough potential powerhouse players roaring outside of the squad.

  13. Well this settles it I guess. Caballero will be the starting GK because he is better with the ball.


    I like and support the idea tbh. If your goalie can not pass the ball in a highline, he’s no good. Thw whole system depends on ball circulation and if your GK just wants to kick the ball out, you lose possession and control of the match.

    • i still wait until armani join the group.armani may start.caballero will be injured after 2-3 match anyway.he is 36 and he is not as fit as buffon so he may struggle.

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