Latest from Sunday’s Argentina training session


Still in Barcelona, the Argentina National Team trained on Sunday morning and Jorge SAMPAOLI separated the team into two groups.

Per a report by TyC Sports, the first group consisted of 15 players (mostly the defensive minded ones) with the second group strictly being attacking minded players. Here were the two groups:

Group 1:
Nahuel GUZMÁN, Franco ARMANI, Willy CABALLERO, Cristian ANSALDI, Eduardo SALVIO, Gabriel MERCADO, Federico FAZIO, Marcos ROJO, Nicolás OTAMENDI, Nicolás TAGLIAFICO, Marcos ACUÑA, Lucas BIGLIA, Javier MASCHERANO, Giovani LO CELSO and Éver BANEGA.

Group 2:
Lionel MESSI, Paulo DYBALA, Cristian PAVÓN, Ángel DI MARÍA, Sergio AGÜERO, Manuel LANZINI, Gonzalo HIGUAÍN and Maxi MEZA.

The first group worked on defensive exercises while the second on offensive exercises.

In the middle of it all, Lionel MESSI scored a free kick against goalkeeper Willy CABALLERO in training. This came after Friday’s report that MESSI stayed after training where he took free kicks against Nahuel GUZMAN. MESSI reportedly scored 18 out of the 20 free kicks he took.


  1. Brazil looking super strong.I don’t give importance when Germany play badly in friendlies they always like that.Germany will pick up their game in according to me top favorites are Brazil Argentina Spain Germany.

      • favourates never won a tournment…. on the day messi can beat anyone…. on the day aguero destroy any team…. small team can beat top team… we have weapoans… we need to use them properly…. i m sure messi will perform 5 out of 4 match…. we will win against spain brazill germany… who ever comes our way….. but when messi is having of day… others need to perform…. thats why we are not favorites…. if those match can happen in group stage or knockout…… if that happen in group stage… other player won the match…. when knock out goes and messi clicks no one stop him… i hope that will happen this time…. last time group stage //// this time knock out….

        • If Argentina to win anything they need a solid defense like Brazil which can soak pressure.and a functional midfield what we don’t have for ages but with locelso lanzini Meza banega pavon etc we have hope.very curious to see what improvement this long training camp can make and I believe sampaoli can fix the defense as well just players need to be obedient and give their all in the field

  2. I see campaign of arrogance has started already, as always in big tournament. 2 days ago – France, Yesterday – Germany, today – Brazil.
    It took few people just 3 days to totally bring into question fovourites position of the national teams. 3 of 4 main favourites. I see Spain must be next. But what for do that? If we really feel strong we need not such depreciation.

    The fact is Brazil was outstanding in qualifiers while Argentina barely qualified – that’s the basis to see Brazil as one of favourites. While people are ready to advance Argentina to the first group already (without real base) and easy drop Brazil from the row of favourites. Qualifiers are here the most substantial base to estimate. At least until WC.

    • That’s a stupid way to look at it.
      Columbia & Peru had a better campaign than us. Does that make them a better team than us in a tournament like World Cup?
      No, never. There are many factors.

    • Brazil was outstanding in qualifiers you say.
      Bielsa’s Argentina team in 2002 was spectacular in qualifiers while a disjointed Brazil team huffed and puffed through qualifying to finish 3rd
      With Batistuta, Crespo plus Bielsa’s solid tactics many people said it was the team to win the World Cup
      Come 2002, what happened?
      Argentina out of group stage
      Brazil wins the world cup
      Argentina’s bad luck and slight overconfidence cost them dear
      But Brazil reinvented themselves and Scolari got the best out of the dangerous top heavy squad
      Just look at that Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Kaka. Similar to Messi, Dybala, Aguero, Lo Celso, Higuain
      I believe history will repeat itself but with swapped teams
      Although its very difficult for Brazil to crash out of their group(which would be very satisfying to see though) because it’s looking easy for them, I predict France or Germany to defeat them. Heck, even Uruguay can.
      Remember, Scolari wasn’t popular in dropping Romario(star player) just like how Sampaoli got the flak for dropping Icardi. He preferred to give faith over Ronaldo despite his confidence was an all time low since 1998 WC Final(similar to how Higuain’s situation is, his problem seems to be a psychological one, don’t laugh, Higuain on his prime is lethal, he just needs some confidence boosts)
      2002 Brazil wasn’t that special compared to previous Brazil squads(high standards of Brazil) but they clicked as a team, and their top players were confident in themselves, that’s what matters
      Sampaoli is trying to instil confidence in all of his players by giving all of them chances to play in friendlies and training sessions.
      Remember, if these group of players are confident in themselves, we will destroy any opponent in our way
      Vamos, La Albiceleste! This year, this Cup is ours!

  3. Sampaoli apparently saw all the players are tired so suspended training for tomorrow for giving rest to players.

  4. in 1990 we had much much worst team than Brasil but we win. we didn t afraid them we play smart and with little luck too we win. we can do that again. plus we have much more better team than 1990 s.

  5. Peru defeated this same Croatian team and all we have is crickets in the media. Brazil win against Croatia and all we read is Brazil is even more of a favorite to win the world cup (I knew this would happen, exactly as I wrote in my last comment here). Brazil are the kings of friendlies, Scolari went into 2014 word undefeated by like 18 games and look sound defensively too. Brazil win against Croatia proves nothing, all it shows was that Peru had a more dominant performance against Croatia. Croatia is a small football nation with 2-4 prominent players, was anyone expecting a different result against Brazil? Brazil is always favorite at every senior FIFA World Cup even back in 2002 they were still considered as one of the favorites to win despite a poor world cup qualification.

    As for Olympics, it took Neymar like two tournaments to win an Olympic Gold medal. Brazil Lost in 2012 to Mexico and barely won over Germany on home soil back in 2016 despite Germany not sending any serious senior members who was qualify to play as the three over age players. Argentina won the Olympic Gold medal in 2008 and 2004, so why is Neymar winning it in 2016 bigger than Argentina winning it back to back? Put the Mickey Mouse Confederation Cup aside and you will realize Brazil haven’t reach a final either at the world cup or the Copa America since 2007 and the last time Brazil made a world cup final was 2002. Brazil is always a great team, but recent history shows while they have great players, the team consistently collapse at major tournaments (2006, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016 are some examples).

    Argentina right now have great players and a strong overall team. If some countries had one or two of Argentina national team players, they would make full use of it. Look at the difference Alaba can make for Austria, he makes is teams mates even better. It’s a shame Austria, Chile, Italy and Holland are not at the world cup, the tournament would have been much better and more competitive. Italy in Germany group would have been better than Sweden. Chile in Portugal and Spain group would have been interesting. Holland in England, Belgium and Tunisia group would have been better. Austria could have easily replaced anyone of Iceland or Croatia in Argentina group.

    • True. Brazil is always the most overrated team . I even their players are overrated.
      can’t forget the way media created hype on players like Thiago Silva n David Luiz. Especially that long haired joker. He was a nightmare to all of his club managers. I didn’t get shocked when he conceded 7 goals in 180 minutes.
      Another dude, Oscar where is he?
      “He was the finest playmaker ever” just before the 2014 World cup., Same for Kaka & Robinho in 2010.. all of them disappeared after the World cup. ..

    • Welcome back kiddo.

      Just don’t start jinxing us by claiming us the favorite and deeming Brazil, Germany, Spain and France as minnows.

      Just for once admit that they have the better players position by position bar Messi and just watch us play and pray that we win.

  6. Argentina is far better team than Croatia if you take individual quality of players. We have many more outstanding footballers. If only Sampaoli will enough capable to make team of the individuals no need to worry in other case every team may be a threat for us. That’s all.

  7. The friendlies are really not much meaningful as I see players want first of all avoid any injury to be on WC.

    As for me:

    Spain, France, Brazil, Germany – still first row fovourites

    Argentina, Belgium, England, Portugal, Uruguay – second row but I expectate at least one of the team in semis

    Peru, Mexico, Colombia- third row while one of the teams may go far (I hope Peru)

    • I agree on your ranking but I wouldn’t put Germany in top flight. They are in the 2nd tier and I also expect them to get eliminated early in the competition this time because they don’t have lots of goal scorers.

      • On what basis you are putting Brazil along with Spain & Paper lions France?
        Brazil has nothing to be put anywhere near to Spain n France

        • On what basis you are not putting them there? I do that on matter of fact basis. They won qualifiers in South America with great style. Is that not enough? The qualifiers are not meaningles friendlies.

  8. Nice to hear Practicing hard on defensive and offensive wise by making in different groups.
    But i think all the players must need training on physical agility and insane speed workouts. Certainly We are not in physically best shape for world cup.
    Especially these 4 old and slow guys Mascheranho, Biglia, Higuain, Banega should be trained separately on physical agility training and speed training. These training will boost thier inner self confidence which is seriously lacking currently. Hope they will train themselves

  9. For Brazil, the dependency on Neymar is less than Argentina depending on Messi..

    But Sampaoli has picked a more versatile utility players than star players..My only gripe is defence, much preferred to have player like Garay, Mussachio than Fazio..but no team is perfect..

  10. Friendlies can only show the level or style of play for a team but can’t be taken for granted. We defeated Germany in a friendly last world cup, but in a competitive game, their sub young player kicked our ass. The only time where friendlies can be a concern when a team is defeated back to back games and in big margin results (aka 6-1, 4-2). It is a fact and a measure used by football pundits even if we don’t like it.

    • i agree with you 100% just about Germans in last world cup they didn t kick our ass. yes we lost but we was unlucky too. for not mention that referee didn t give us a clear penalty when their goalkeeper make karate move and almost send Higuain to hospital.

  11. Analyzing Brazil’s weakness and strength from this game. 1st half Brasil defense was comfortable containing the Croatian attack and in the second half when Neymar came in and Coutinho dropped to midfield then Croatia was unable to press like before and also was having really difficult time handling Brazilian attack. But the way World cup bracket is setup we don’t need to worry about Brazil until the finals. Coming back to Croatia. There is no doubt when they field their full strength team against us Croatia will be the toughest opponent in the group for us. Talking about Brazil’s weakness . One of the reason Brazilian defense wasn’t tested too much was Mandzukic wasn’t playing today. I know this is just a friendly and coaches are trying their strategies but if the opponent team manage to shut off the supply from Coutinho and don’t let Neymar play with the ball in the D-box for too long this Brazilian team is like our team from 2014 . A very defensive team. They have good CMs on the paper like Casemiro,Willian,Fernandinho and Paulinho but they really lack good attacking players in the their team. They have a limited attack in Neymar,Coutinho,Firmino and Gabriel Jesus. But there no confusion about their defense. Super good!!

    • Good post. Brazil lost only once in almost 2 years. Their defence is rock solid. They are the team to beat and therefore favorites.

  12. if we make our defense like 2014 we will have very good chances to win the cup. all the teams that will face us they will try take advantage our week spot. but there is not many teams that can play us offensively. even those they will not risk so much i believe.

  13. We have to wait and see. Currently it seems to me that argentina team has the most desire to win .
    For sure we are better than french but the world cup is played with details you could be the best on the pitch and lose in penaltys or in extra time
    Argentina was the best team in the 2 last copa america but the penalties never determine the talent
    We had to be focused on every matchday and took it properly
    The only teams that could be dangerous for us is brazil germany and spain they had more automatism and more time behind them but i m confident i see in messi something that he didnt had last wc i m pretty sure it will be his workd cup this time if he won’t have injuries

  14. Croatia is good team but ours is better i believe. in center of defense they are very poor. if we give pressure to defense line we can score easy.

    • When Neymar plays for his country, he always scores. As for the chicken head, I know only one which happens to be in our team. He has another name: Diva, look at me I’m better than Messi.

      • I had the displeasure of seeing a chicken have its head chopped off when I was about 8, watching that poor creature run around aimlessly was very distressing and that BEST describes DiMaria, AKA Headless-chicken while the Brazilian runs around thinking he is the best thing since sliced bread and cries like a child when he doesn’t get his way.

        • Dfox: I don’t pay attention to what young bloggers are saying on here who jump into conclusion after 45 min of the game, forgetting that the match is 90 min plus extra time. At the end Brazil did beat Croatia by 2, Neymar scored although he’s not completely recovered or he would be a starter. That shows how Brazil is prepared to challenge any team.

          Brazil is the top favorite this world cup, even Messi and all experts who are pragmatic and go with logic think Brazil is the team to beat. We may don’t like to hear, but it’s true. They have a great coach, world class players who’ve been playing together for quite some time now. Croatia is a tough opponent and it was just a friendly so don’t expect Brazil to go with all their guns in this game, they also have strategies and things to keep for the right time when they peak.

          If I have money today and put it on a team that may win this WC, I would put it on either Brazil or France, we are talking about risking money not wishful thinking here or rubbish talk. Like Messi said, reaching the semi final would be considered an achievement for Argentina considering the circumstances during qualifying and getting a coach in the dying minutes.


            Tener en casa a tu papá
            Te juro que aunque pasen los años
            Nunca nos vamos a olvidar

            Que el Diego los gambeteó
            Que el Cani los vacunó

            DE ITALIA HASTA HOY!!!

          • I never questioned his skill-set nor did I his countries capabilities or their cohesion as a team, I was simply stating the obvious about the man but if I had to pick a player from that team, It would be Marcelo.

            He dribbles, passes, crosses like nobody business, defends, runs, occupies space and holds the ball…..did I miss anything?

        • Results ?
          why did you mention it here ?
          you want to prove something or what ?
          like it or not , Neymar is great and capable player. period.
          and regarding the results , i guess he won the Confederations Cup 2013 with brazil and he was the best player in the tournament.

        • Brazil won Gold and Confederations Cup with Neymar;
          Neymar always excelled with his National Team;

          For Russia, Brazil is one of the well prepared teams to win it all;
          Underestimating them is not a wise thing;

        • Neymar may play rubbish sometimes for his club, but for Brazil, he’s a beast and doesn’t disappoint. He’s the type of player we talk about when putting his country jersey on, he accelerates his game mentally and physically.

  15. I watched France-Italy, actually I found Deschamps’ system is quite similar to Sampaoli’s, Spain playing 433 too with similar type of players, obviously different playing style but fundamentally the same:

    Fullbacks: quite offensive minded.
    CB: solid in defense with good passing skill.
    Midfield: 1 real DM with decent passing skill + 2 CM so 1 more involved in the creation with high defensive contribution and the other more box to box, able to play as AM.
    Attack: 1 half-9 leader+1 forward+1 young and talented winger-forward

    When I look at player by player, except the DM position, I don’t see France better than Argentina. Actually for some positions, Sampaoli has even much better players, for example, I find Lloris very average GK.

    Spain is the most balanced team on the paper. When players like Javi Martinez and Marcos Alonso are not even selected, you can see how strong is this team.

  16. Brazil’s midfield lacks creativity that is a plus point for opposition teams.Even Germany has not won a single match after the end of their WC Qualification and even lost two matches against Brazil and Austria.
    Paulinho and Casemiro could not provide creativity.

    • Brazil is actually playing the same way that they did in 2002. On the paper it’s a 433 but it’s more a 343 with Casemiro playing as libero and the fullbacks play as wingers. The problem is that their stoppers don’t have great passing skill and in the middle, Fernandinho and Paulinho are very defensive players.

    • Iceland and Croatia will park all their busses against us. Only Nigeria prefer attacking play.

        • guled: I will remind you when time arrives, Croatia won’t play attacking football against Messi and his troops, they will play defensively. We shall see.

  17. Croatia is a strong team.
    Brazil very weak.
    The midfield is controlled by Rakitc Modric Kovacic and they play today without Mandzukic.
     And they have a new player in the striker position
    Rebic scored 2 goals in the final (DFB Cup) against Bayern Munich. Bayern lost 3: 1 a few weeks ago.

  18. I’m not happy with our past few performance … especially transition defense but Argentina has always looked passive, not playing with huevo, lackadaisical !! But with sampaoli and his enthusiasm I think argentina will have a killer instinct for one …

  19. Croatia is going to be our toughest opponent, at least from what I am seeing against Brazil.
    almost 30 mins into the game and its mainly in Brazil’s half.

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