Jorge SAMPAOLI confirms Argentina team, press conference


Argentina National Team coach Jorge SAMPAOLI spoke at a press conference on Friday where he confirmed the starting eleven but also commented on a number of topics.

With the same eleven players training together for the sixth consecutive day, SAMPAOLI has went ahead and confirmed the team which will start against Iceland. Here’s what he had to say about the starting line-up:

“I understand that it’s not necessary to hide the team because it’s already been decided on. Tomorrow’s starting team will be CABALLERO; SALVIO, OTAMENDI, ROJO, TAGLIAFICO; MASCHERANO, BIGLIA; MEZA, MESSI, DI MARIA; AGUERO.

“We have went with CABALLERO because we’ve had more time working with him. But all three are at a high level.

“My idea at the moment is to protect the midfield a bit. The test of time has shown us that the partnership between BIGLIA and MASCHERANO would assure us of some of the fragilities we have which could be fixed in a short term.”

He also spoke about the team itself, stating that they have managed to fix some things up.

“We are very excited about what the team has done ahead of the World Cup. They arrive behind one idea and they will surely be very well prepared. During this time, we have managed to fix up some things which we lacked. Tomorrow, I expect a decisive Argentina that will show that it’s still a world force in football.”

In regards to Iceland, SAMPAOLI hopes the pressure will be on the team:

“With respect to the level of the opponent we face, we have to neutralize them from the beginning. Not only are they tall but they also take advange of the second ball. We have worked on that. Iceland are going to be a very difficult team because they put a lot of people in defense and will try to hit us on the counter.

“Argentina have to play and try to get rid of any pressure. We are working on that. We hope that the pressure will be on Iceland and we go out to play without it.”

SAMPAOLI went on to speak about Lionel MESSI, Paulo DYBALA and Marcos ROJO:

“I see MESSI very well, very excited. With what he is capable of, there shouldn’t be a lot of pressure, we have to enjoy his play. I don’t see this World Cup as MESSI’s last. We must perfectly understand what MESSI needs and he must also know what his team mates need.

“Paulo (DYBALA) has had a very gratifying preparation for us. We will see at which time or in which match we can use him.

“Marcos (ROJO) gives us an attacking profile. We are Argentina and we have to have an identity that goes with our play. Marcos gives us a good option to start the attack from the back. MEZA is at the same level as the rest of the team.”

He also commented on what it means for him to coach Argentina at the World Cup:

“Representing my country at a World Cup is something special in my life. I will try to live it with a lot of intensity and to make the best decisions. Putting together the team, we first have to take into consideration the form, which were very similar.”


  1. I always knew Iceland would be our Hardest Opponents in Group Stage. We ll have more open space against the other 2.
    We Drew .. Not the end of the World. Its Football. We will win the next 2 and this will make us stronger. We are Argentina. If we think we cannot beat Croatia and Nigeria then Sorry we are not Argentina.

    • I am gutted with wrong penalty calls. Hopefully we won’t get another one against us.

      From WC ’90 to now referees let two penalties against us, and one in final ’90 vs Germany and another in group stage 2002 against England. Both are wrong calls by reputable referees!! One handed the cup to the Germans and the other dumping us out of the Worldcup

      • Salvio makes more runs down the right wing and good at overlap which would be perfect for messi
        Rojo proved to be awesome left back under sabella

        But as Salvio is RB that’s why Sampaoli playing double 5

  2. So generally we are bothered with spine of our team: Otamendi, Rojo, Mascherano, Biglia, Aguero (health) with being optimistic of wings: Salvio, Tagliafico, Meza, Di Maria, Messi. Middle zone should be crucial.

    • Agree… I don’t think mache and biglia will be a KO combo.. it’s just to start the WC.. I think 3rd group game will not have the two in the middle start.. we have multiple subs for up top (dybala, hig) .. otemandi and rojo might not change much unless ( fazio or ansaldi get a nod ) but we will see..

      • Fazio is slow. Rojo has WC experience (though not at this position). I think Rojo is player who is able to mobilize his concentration on tournaments and be really solid as it was in 2014. Before that tournament he was unpredictable with his mistakes.

        On the other hand Rojo (but Otamendi too) was part that lost against Spain. That’s scary all the middle defensive and midfield players were there. Hope they learn a lot on that game.

        So, I must to admit thanks to God I don’t have to choice between ROjo/Fazio.
        Only hope Sampaoli know what he is doing by taking Rojo and Biglia.

      • My opinion…

        First.. this game I would have put fazio vs rojo.. due to size, minutes played, and his smart play…

        I can understand why he put rojo, because he wants rojo to bring the ball up like Godin does for Uruguay. Having mache drop in to his spot defensively.

        Corners and free kicks will worry me.. maybe sampi told caballero to be aggressive on these, but then why not Armani?

        Either way I’m pumped ! Hoping rojo and otemandi kick butt today.. I want to see rojo call, confident, no stupid fouls or hot head !

  3. I have watched the highlights of all iceland matches . They good in corners argentina will have to take care of that especially rojo and otamendi.

  4. Ronaldo is not just lucky. When I’m watching him I think he is first of all athlete among footballers. Being tall and muscular he has also incredible physical conditions. I think you may describe his playing on 3 words that are also motto of Olimpic Games and athletics:

    ‘citius, altius, fortius’

    Ronaldo is being:

    running faster than others – citius

    jumping by head higher than others – altius

    shooting more powerfull than others – fortius

    99% of his goals is because of the traits. Yesterday on 1st goal (foul) he show the first thing running into penalty box; on second goal the third. all that with a bit of luck because fortune favors the brave.

    Add to that his mentall strenghts and you have goal machine

    • As per my opinion he is Lucky to be mentioned in the same breath as MESSI. There is no way he is anywhere close to MESSI. Being Fast & Fit & Higher Jumper wont make any one a great player. ISCO is far better player. Unfortunately that CR7 shit scores so many goals by Penalties and Tap in’s. Occasionally gud goals too. He is talented but not even top 3 players in the world now.

      • The tap in goals are possible in penalty box crowd by his speed and acceleration + physical strenghts – the things he is reportedly working on tirelessly.

        You are estimating him perhaps only by ball playing abilities, with abstract of his physical conditions…

        Isco is not better than Ronaldo even being better on the ball. For the same reasons as Tyson Gay or Asafa Powell or even Michael Johnson despite having faster pace (and being relatively to height faster) are not better than Usuain Bolt who is – thanks to nature – much taller, had longer legs and finally better results.

        • We are overhyping Portugal and Ronaldo’s goals. David dea make complete mess and spain are not focused due to coach change. Also Portugal style is good against team like spain. Hence they draw. I wont be surprised if Portugal draw both against isarel and Moroco and exit out of group stage. Ronaldo is good in counter attack but when he has to initiate the play, Messi is much better. Also, teams that rely on one player to score all goals never win the world cup.

          • “Ronaldo is good in counter attack but when he has to initiate the play, Messi is much better”.

            No doubt.

            But in toughest games in final stages there is a lot of ugly football with not much space for creative players and in that conditions inches of physical strenghts or fast makes often difference.

  5. Starting xi has strength
    Messi Aguero Dimaria already made dangerous challenges In the mind of Iceland defence

    Mascherano Otamendi Tagliafico are also good in defence
    Midfield is always a concern but I think sampaoli have fix it atleast now…
    Meza was brilliant against Spain,Meza has his own brilliance
    #bench strength- very very good bench

    Dybala Locelso Pavon are fantastic to have
    …other coach may have start with them

    So finally Argentina team is not going to be easy for Iceland
    Keep faith
    We will get good result today
    Just can’t wait
    Time arriving
    Vamos Vamos Vamos
    Hope Sampaoli will make good impact subs..
    And wish no one injured…
    Vamos Argentinos
    #Meri Doosri Country

  6. Last 3 World Cups for 12 years no team could defeat us accept Germany. We bettered all the others, European or South American; African or Asian. Iceland cant beat us in WC even if Messi does not play. Relax all and enjoy the match together.

  7. I didn’t watch matches of Iceland lately. But from highlights of their friendlies, they are not any special. They defends well, attack with heart. But every one of our players can easily out power their players. But still as any other team, they are capable of giving shocks. Our players must be wise. They are tall, it’s an advantage for them certainly. Especially when they attack…

    But that can be their disadvantage as well. There is a common weakness to all tall, but technically poorer teams. They will struggle in off-air attacks with short passes, especially inside box. Aguero will be perfect to utilize it compared to Higuain.
    I hope Di Maria will be wise enough to avoid unwanted high crosses which will waste on Iceland heads. Instead he should keep the ball & try to penetrate along the boundary line. Kind of Iniesta/Jordi alba type attack…. They are pretty vunerable there.. Pavon is the best in our team for that. if Di Maria disappoints (i hope he won’t) sampoli should bring in Pavon asap..

    Hope everything works well. Can’t wait…

    Vaaaamos Argentina..

  8. Its like this in DEAD POOL “Luck is not a Super power” “Yeah It is” “No it isnt” “Well lets agree that it is”

    I mean CR7 is the Luckiest player in the World. I mean WTF he only had may be 50 touches or something in the whole match(Well he is a striker so its obvious” But still? He dived at the slightest touch to get a penalty Messi wont never do that. Then De Gea – What the Hell Man, This a WC that too your first Match(Who the commentator was describing as THE BEST GK IN THE WORLD) gifted a Goal to CR7. The last goal i have to give to him He was so focused. CR7 wants to be remembered as the Best player, he is so focused and pumped up into that. he know it that if he wins there is no argument remains. I hate to say this but Portugal (Not a gud team) with CR7 will be a team to watch out for. But he is Lucky that his Name is been described in the same breath as Messi, I don’t see anything special in him not by any angle. he is so lucky.

    SPAIN – I mean look at the players man I thought they are invincible but they can be defeated (But we cant defeat them, Our playing Style is not what can Penetrate Spain, Ours is similar to them) They are so good in controlling the Ball they have so many great players in all the positions. But teams like Germany, Brazil who can be good Counter attacking teams can definitely beat them. In yesterdays match itself during the First Half they would have conceded 2 goals in Counters there were only 2 defenders with too much space at back of course Ramos & pique are great defenders but i don’t think they are Fast.

  9. Never been this nervous before the Argentina opening match in World Cup. Such a beautiful feeling. With these players and this coach anything and everything is possible. We could lose all three or win all seven. Im hoping that it will be the latter and Argentina will play as a team, not as a bunch of individuals. So after four years of waiting: here we go folks! Vamos Argentina! 💙

  10. Come On ! Iceland is a Cinderella team , i mean just a 330,000 populations country. the manager is a dentist with only their captain playing abroad at Everton and long rest due to injured. Arg as a giant must win against Iceland. No excuse and debate which players are playing as all the squad must be well performed and ready to adopt with strategy.

    Fully trusted with Meza, Salvio, Kun and Di Maria could work in harmony with Messi as our centre stage to make an early goal. It is needed to release the high pressure and anxiety.

    Argentina have lost only one of their last seven World Cup group games against European opposition (won four, drew two) with that sole defeat coming against England in 2002 when La Albiceleste went out in the first round. So just play your best and trust it will be another good start. keep the faith high

    • Cleanball there is another fact I would like to add.
      They lost to germany Twice, the other one was a draw that lead to the penalties.
      So hopefully this Stat brings some good feeling in everyone’s stomach. No team has a better of us. Its only Germany.

    • “Only their captain playing abroad”

      Just go through the opponent very well

      Their players plàys in
      Reading Rostov malmo fc PSV Cardiff city Aston villa Augsburg Burnley Udinese etc also

  11. Finally the day we have been waiting for so long, has arrived. Let’s hope we win this trophy so we can declare a state of euphoria here. Everybody enjoy the game.

  12. Read sampaoli’s comments on team and line up . Balanced team using 2 CDM. Because lceland is strong team their players are physically strong , to take possession over the midfield Argentina needs cdms. So that sampaoli selected biglia instead of lo celso. Mascherano was previously selected in first 11. We have Meza , Messi upfront and salvio, dimaria as wingers. Selection of agüero instead of Higuaín is also wise. Later as substitute sampaoli can use pavon for di Maria, dybala for Meza, Higuaín for Agüero. Because agüero is not 100 percent fit for 90 minutes. By the way congratulations for cr7 for hattrick. However the match was draw but Spain play outstanding as a whole team and CR played marvellous. So friends, best of luck for today.

  13. Sampaoli : “We had to consider Leo. We will see a team who concentrates on what this very important player is doing. The players create on the pitch and, with Messi, what coaches must do is organise around the player and his amazing skills. Having Leo means you must organise the team differently.”

    This is the coach subtly saying it again that it’s not his team. The greatness of a player lies in how he adapts to the challenges thrown on the pitch be it in the form of opponents or teammates. The job of a coach is not to make one player feel comfortable and important. It’s his job to make the right strategy and get your most important player to work for that strategy. It’s an insult to the other players in the squad if he treats them like messi’s chauffers. I am sure messi doesn’t want any of this but it’s the coaches brain freezing in awe at messi’s aura. If it all comes crumbling down, it’s messi who takes the entire blame. Sampa has only managed teams without much of individual brilliance. and he was successful because he made the strategies not based on any one player but the collective strength of the team. He has to learn to manage superstar footballers too.

  14. I wish & pray to see this from Argentina today
    1) Win the match with a clean sheet (1-0 is fine)
    2) Play as a team rather than two groups of attack and defence

    If we can do that, we can slowly build on that progressing into the knockout stage;

  15. Most of us don’t like this starting 11 because they are annoyed with the same players and on the other hand we have so many other talented players, either left on the bench or not even included in the 23-list. Sampaoli did try a lot of systems like 343, 3331, 433, 2332, …etc. but finally go back to a 4231.
    Overall it’s a balanced system, the key is the double pivot, they have to be fast in transition, sometimes they may have to leave their zone to do the pressing higher and link with other attacking players. Biglia does not have this profile and Maschereno cannot do that for 90 minutes. The risk is to see the team cut into 2 when Messi has the ball, just like the old days when the midfielders stay far behind him without offering any support and the attacking players just wait for the ball on offside limit.

    To fix that, I guess the only way is to make the fullbacks Salvio and Tagliafico participate more and they need to play almost as midfielders. They need to share the defensive and pressing work with Maschereno-Biglia and they need to offer solution to Messi. Same for Meza. In attack, I expect to see a great Aguero, with his new developed playmaker capacity, he should swap position more with Messi and Meza, making the attack more unpredictable. I think Enzo should play if Maschereno or Biglia cannot take it anymore. Pavon should replace Di Maria during each game.

    For tonight game, Vamos Argentina!

    • “Overall it’s a balanced system, the key is the double pivot, they have to be fast in transition, sometimes they may have to leave their zone to do the pressing higher and link with other attacking players. Biglia does not have this profile and Maschereno cannot do that for 90 minutes. The risk is to see the team cut into 2 when Messi has the ball, just like the old days when the midfielders stay far behind him without offering any support and the attacking players just wait for the ball on offside limit.”

      I agree with the fullback part. They should overlap meza Dimaria when ever possible and I believe Di Maria will play a inverted winger at times pushing inwards.. its good that both Meza and Pavon seem comfortable on both wings.. But I actually want a block 2-2 to stay back and man the defense.. allowing better cover for the CBs. I am a Barca-Albiceleste fan for over a couple of decades and honestly Messi will prefer the space behind him where he will regularly drop to shrug off defense and play as a deep playmaker against parked buses… one of the two wingers will have space to come in and the FBs will have space to overlap. it should be more of a 4-3-3 or 2-4-1-3 or even a agressive 2-2-3-3 with Messi in a triangle with Masche-Biglia .. I want to see lo celso tested in group games but hopefully we can do it in the safety of a lead .. I am not worried about the attack in group stages as I am about counters exploiting our defense. If Aguero and Messi can keep healthy and hopefully even Di maria we have a really versatile attack with pavon meza dybala even Higuin.. Sampa only needs to identify the opposition to deploy the ideal players.
      something done cliically by Zidane in the last couple of years

    • I agree with most points, But that formation part
      Sampoli didn’t tried 2_3_3_1 as a starting ‘paper line up’.
      In my opinion even for today’s match without Lo Celso, the 2_3_3_1 idea is very much intact.
      With either of the salvio or Tagliafico forming a front 3 line with meza, maria (mostly i believe salvio, with neza in inner roles than wide work).. behind them a 3 men cover of Masche,Biglia & the FB protecting Rojo & Ota, Messi & Aguero upfront with almost free role..
      Vamos Argentina.

    • Just i don’t like sampaoli giving the starting xi way before the game.

      Now Iceland have knowledge about how we will push our wing attack ..

      I will love to see poker face of sampaoli if he changes the starting line-up

      But don’t think such happening

  16. Every game will be very tight, small gap between big names and small ones. I am happy with a small victory, no injury and if possible, try to preserve their force for the next ones.

  17. I would be very surprised if we struggle against Iceland even with this midfield double pivot.

    But make no mistake that we are not winning the world cup with a Masche Biglia double pivot. There is just not enough movement and vertical play with these two to create or dictate attacks. None of them offers any kind of attacking play and both of them are dull, defense only number 5s.

  18. Super excited. By looking at the way Sampa trying to play 2 goals will come in the second half. Meza gonna surprise everyone. Million Dollar Boy…

  19. I think sampi is wanting to attack through the outside defense and allowing mache and biglia to fill the gap defensively… also, first game might be tough for Lo Celso mentally and Enzo just joined the team.. I am almost 100% sure one of the 2 will be subed out before the 70th minute…

    Either way I’m on my way to buy my breakfast which I will feast at 8 am after France game, and my beer…

    Im just hoping I can sleep tonight…

    9 am can’t come soon enough !!

    Sorry I have no comments on Spain and Portugal..: too pumped to for the Argentina game !!

  20. Portugal vs Spain: What a game. Both look very solid and very possible to meet each other again in the finale. Ronaldo was in a sharp form, clinical finishing, absolutely not drained from CL finale. Spain on the other hand full of attack threat and great passing quality.

  21. [The test of time has shown us that the partnership between BIGLIA and MASCHERANO would assure us of some of the fragilities we have which could be fixed in a short term}

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA, wow I mean…..WOW! So the team gets humiliated by spain and the players most culpable (Rojo, Masch, Biglia) are rewarded with a start. Talk about s**ts for brains, honestly!! Man I really hope Pipita and Banega somehow squeeze into the starting lineup so the party can really get started!
    Defending isn’t just about having a pair of players who stay back and tackle, defending is about keeping the ball and moving it forward and keeping up the pressure against the opposing team and “the test of time” has shown that these 2 can’t move the ball forward to save their lives (Masch atleast tries with his long passes but he often fails hence why he never played midfield for Barca and Biglia was only taught back passes in the junior levels).
    Add to that the fact that these 2 are old and over the hill and can’t play for more than one half of a match before imploding.
    I appreciate the fact that some of you are hopeful but if any of you are hoping that Messi magic could take the team all the way with such an asinine line-up then you all really need to tamper your expectations and be prepared for a shock exit.
    I hope and pray that this is just a brain fart from Sampa like the one that Sabella had against Bosnia and that he’ll wake the hell up and realize that national pride is more important than just making Messi happy (yet toothless and ineffective).

    • I have never seen you so frustrated in last 6 years but I totally understand!! Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best, nothing we can do man!!

      • Elpipita, you are right.. but.. it is Iceland.. they are physical and they will park the bus. Solidifying the middle and pushing tagla and salvio way up to widen the field does make sense.. not my style.. but its not crazy. Have hope! Vamos Argentina!

    • Let’s not worry so much & believe in Sampa. Salvio & tagliafico will be more like wingbacks & not full backs. So effectively we will have 6 people attacking . Some defensive cover needed against Iceland counter attacks which 2DMs will provide. Both otamendi & masche can also move ball up. Anyway the 3 sub roles will give match time for locelso, pavon & maybe enzo.
      I just want cabellero to be well tested as it’s better to correct things now & not later.

      • amit Exactly, I’ve been saying this a lot It’s 6 vs 11. It can only happen if Biglia is on the field.

        We need Lo Celso’s recipe against Nigeria and Croatia’s ingredients.

    • 🙂 “why he never played midfield for Barca and Biglia was only taught back passes in the junior levels” interesting observation given Barca defense including GK completes and attempts more short passes than entire EPL midfields on an average game. 🙂

      if by moving the ball forward you are talking of carrying the ball or dribbling yes they are bad right now… agreed.. but then they shoudl not even contemplate that …. all I think they need to do is aim for a wide forward in Di Maria Meza or the fullbacks … they should only be making short passes to Messi or wide players… I would simply want the to cutoff passes to any target man employed by the opposition and simple pivot to attack not be part of attack themselves.. they should always be infront of the opposition midfield.

    • Sorry guys I hate to bring any negativity into this board especially since Argentina’s WC hasn’t even started but I’m just beside myself after seeing Rojo at the back and Biglia-Masch double pivot especially since the latter was a disaster throughout the WCQ campaign and all 3 were laughable against Spain.

      @Leandro, I get it buddy but Iceland is a team that advanced aheaad of a much more talented Croatia and don’t forget that people said the same thing about Ukraine in 06 and Costa Rica 14 and even if our boys win, Sampa will think that the double pivot is a good idea only to get killed by Croatia’s superior midfield.

      @jonnydarko LOL true that, but then again it’s the EPL so it’s not saying much 😉

  22. Assuming Iceland watched this press meet (I wouldif I were them) wouldn’t it be simply killer if sampi went ahead and switched the official starting 11 before kickoff?

    Anyways, nice to see confidence combined with determination.
    The only thing that matters is what happens out there tomorrow…a confident messi playing and net 3 points for Arg.

  23. I dont understand why you want to face spain instead of portugal. Spain is well-oiled, all rounded. They played like that with the new coach. First Ronaldo goal is gifted from referee, second darm luck. Ronaldo tends to get luck coz he’s physically very strong. De gea will be world class later on.

    • Diego86 Were Spain really oiled? De Gea had oil on his hands… The amount counter attacks Portugal had, Spain defence wow… If Portugal weren’t counting on Ronaldo another team would have won today.

      They gave us a game to watch but let’s be professional here: Spain and Portugal showed us why they won’t be lifting the trophy in a few weeks. Their defence’s were a joke.

    • Agreed. Portugal could still exist if they draw two more games. Remember Spain is ideal opponent for Portugal as Spain is opposite of Portugal’s play style. I remember in Euro group stage, Portugal did not won single game. I think Isarel and Morrocco will give more troubles to Portugal than Spain. Isco acting like he was Messi and they lost the control after iniesta is replaced.

      • Didn’t you said Ronaldo would hide in big games and wouldn’t provide magic? So now you are trying to convince the universe Morocco (spelled that way) or Iran will give troubles to this solid side of Portugal of both top form Ronaldo and the wide bench they have. Why don’t you humble yourself a bit and realize that we are in the process of finding team chemistry and cohesive work before going head to head with high skies?
        Maradona went to WC 2010 saying he had the cup in the bag because he has messi and co. the result was a catastrophe!

    • Remember Spain lost their first game in 2010 and became Champion. Look at their goals today, Spain looks as if they can score again any team. Those players have been playing together for so long with the same style, all they need is a cheerleader.

      I really hope we get well together, but at the moment, I’ll be nervous if we face them or Brazil. If Messi is not there or does not perform we hardly got any chance.

      • Diego86 I’ve kept an eye on Spain in the last few months, they struggle to break down defensive teams. Also that 2010 Spanish team is older now less paced.

      • Any team will struggle against defensive opponents. Look at how we played against Iran last World Cup or when we were at our peak under Perkeman and Bielsa, we struggled to play against Mexico.
        Even Barca at their prime, they struggled against Chelsea while they had Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Eto, Ronaldinho, …

        • Diego86 That game still haunts me to this day even though we crossed the line.

          We’re a different team from then (I believe) and we have a manager who observes every opponent. Iceland defence is strong through the middle, so we need to attack through the sides. The only way we can do that if we have Biglia on the team he’ll provide extra defence and allow our full backs to go forward freely. 6 vs 11 defenders. I believe we can banish the past today!

          My point is that that was our past, Spain is taken over our crown and doing it in the present. I’m judging my team at present vs Spain and Portugal’s movements.

    • Agree with u partly@diego86. Meeting Portugal is better than meeting spain. Portugal yesterday was the Ronaldo show yesterday. Defence/keeper/midfield is not good .
      But the penalty was genuine . He was clearly fouled & refree was correct.

  24. It’s not about Messi vs Ronaldo. It’s about Argentina working as a team getting passed this tough Icelandic defence and getting 3 points on the scoreboard then they can observe the Croatia vs Nigeria game.

    Putting pressure early is the best way. We’re not Portugal or England who couldn’t break this team up in the Euros. We’re Argentina, one of five only elite football nations.


  25. If you compare Portugal to Argentina, it is an ok side, they also have aging defenders and not that great mid field, no stars except for Ronaldo in that sense but they were compact and great on counter. They made Spain make those mistakes by putting pressure, De gea was looking under confident. So those who were talking about age and Masche, Bigila etc. they will be fine, its just a matter of firing early and showing the passion and intent like Portugal did today, they score under 5 mins and that rattled the Spaniards, their possession game plan was taken for a toss until about 30th mins. Spain was unlucky to hit the post but Portugal played their hearts out. I hope we do the same, also the average age of Spain today was just like Argentina, I hope Messi has a fabulous day in the office and we win, nothing else matters, who scores and how and how many, all are numbers, what will count is winning each game and gaining confidence. Despite a great duel today, pressure will be on Spain and Portugal cause you give away points against Iran, you are in for trouble. I am excited and I hope Messi delivers as always, this time just for 7 consecutive games. Lets play like a perfect 11, VAMOS Argentina !

    • You are being positive.That is good but the point is that argentina creates problems for themselves by selecting wrong people at the right time.we all have seen lo celso in the preparatory matches
      His class is proved already.So what is the use of calling them if you still us insignificant players like biglia and rojo.We have masche thats enough.We need creativity in midfield which we lack everytime.If you talk about spain and portugal then I would say they are using their best 11 but are we using?We call up good players but they spend time by sitting on the bench and then media says that argentina is messi dependent.What the hell.Pavon,lo celso,meza,dybala,armani these players are far better believe it or not but they just need a moment to prove it.
      I judge game from a tactical point of view.

      • Totally agree what was the point of the frendlies if you stick to the selection that was humiliated against Spain but it seems that the coach wants to be extra careful in that first game

      • “I judge game from a tactical point of view”

        – You really don’t sound like that…

        Do you think portugal don’t have any other up to class defender other than Godin, pepe and merales!! Better watch some of their league teams and games…Same goes for their mid.

        Being a critic is good but lets be positive when you judge. Sampa is a world class coach, he plans and he works. Lets have some faith on him, at least let his team play the first match…His tactics keeps changing game to game, as I have watched him with Sevila.

        No doubt Pavon is good, may be has more intilligence than Maria but he is young and inexperienced so let the team sync, he will get his time on the field – I’m sure. Same goes for Celso or Dybala. Most importantly not a single man on earth can say that play Dybala instead of Messi, lol. Dybala is only effective as a center forward playmaker, watch juve, well that posision is occupied with a lot better version of him.

        Though I like your passion for Argentina. You are worried as I’m cause we want them win every game, win the WC…

  26. What is wrong with this coach?Absolute non-technical selection.You have such a creative midfielder named as lo celso at your disposal but still using biglia.Who will create?Give chances to young,energetic new people otherwise we will be defeated.Moreover,what is the point of playing rojo as cb when you have solid defender like fazio.I just dont understand these lunatic decisions taken by the mad coaches of arg years after years.Total destruction of hope.We always dig our own hole.

    • It’s always the curse of our mad coaches who underestimate young talents and go for old fatigued players. They just don’t trust the young generation, so it’s cultural norm I should say.

    • well our best sides and best players can’t match the creativity of a Spain or Germany… and its stupid to decide to relentlessly press in a month long tournament where you play every 3 days…

      look at Portugal .. the second half they defended with 10 behind the ball entire time… I think its good to have masche biglia.. Di Maria can play half a match up down with Meza on the other side doing the same .. and we still will have more fire power up field than Portugal and most teams in the competition in terms of Messi/Kun or even Higuin… add to that we can throw in a banega or a pavon when the opponent tires based on whether we want to slow the game down or stretch them I think we will be fine…

      Its was the defense that gave us a chance last time… our selection this time is a 100 times better than last.. with dybala/messi/aguero/dimaria/higuin/pavon we wont have to contend with a palacio if someone injures or fails…

      they haven’t played a single game and yet you guys are just pissed some XYZ player you love do not make the squad.

  27. If Messi ever needed another reason to perform in this wc, Ronaldo has just provided it. There’s no denying that this rivalry has benefited both players. Incredibly, Ronaldo has found another gear in his game in the last couple of years. He used to flop in big games. Now he is choosing these occasions to establish his greatness. Lets see how our beloved Leo respond this time.

      • I’d take a win as well. But just like you said, one doesn’t exclude the other these days. Our hopes heavily rely on Messi’s shoulder. Besides, it hurts to see Messi getting upstaged by an arrogant, self obsessed guy like Ronaldo, no disrespect to his talent tho.

  28. What I am hoping for is a comfortable win and Messi NOT scoring.
    That type of result would throw the cat amongst the pigeons.
    It would be a new headache for rivals and for us a sense of new hope and confidence that we are a team and the strikers are finally proving their worth.
    Messi coming alive in the latter stages of the tournament would be just perfect.
    Let Ronaldo have the limelight in the group stages.
    In fact….If someone said Argentina will win the world cup but Messi won’t score yet Ronaldo will be the best player of the tournament and win the golden boot – I would take that in heart beat.

        • Some people easily forget it’s Messi was the one who handedly take Argentina team to 3 major tournaments final despite playing with some old self over rated names in Argentina . But people failed to realise Diego Costa’s 2 amazing goals and Nacho’s long bullet shot was no lesser than Ronaldo’s 3 goals.

          • A troll detected. Perhaps a Barca fan who just want Messi to lift wc.

            Messi didn’t drag Argentina to 3 finals. 11 players did. Messi played his part, so did Romero, mashe, garay, biglia, basanta, lavezzi.

            A one man team does not reach 3 finals in a row.

  29. Messi and Meza and dybala will be very precise in movement and eye catching players despite Argentina will face parking bus from every opposition from 1st minute.
    Ronaldo was superb today with Hatrick because of tactical failure. If you see Spain played very relax after 60 minutes. After leading in 3-2 goal does not mean you are going to win against team like Portugal, Brazil, Nigeria, Uruguay. These teams are so physically strong that they can score 2 goals within extra time of 5 or six minutes. It will be big concern for Argentina if Argentina didn’t learn from Spain’s mistake. Because you can’t relax in a world cup match until last whistle.

      • Yes, We must need to focus on our strength and well prepared plans to counter opponent’s weaknesses at the same time rather than jealous on Ronaldo. We should have courage to admit the quality Ronaldo. And Di Maria, Higuain and Aguero is far behind that quality, strength and skills. Keep aside Messi but we can still beat this Portugal side with big margin if we show true character and true enthusiasm as a whole team during (90X60) seconds. That’s what Argentina is.

  30. Spain were way better than Portugal, I definitely would prefer that Portugal wins the group and Spain Brazil and France are in same section of draw

    • Tmrw winning match is important . Ronaldo is not going score everyday today he was lucky one was penalty and another was de gea with a gift. We would be happy to avoid spain . spain was clearly more dangerous side.

    • Messi will be standing next to Mascherano to collect the ball and push it one yard forward. We are playing in a defensive mode so don’t expect lots of goals.

  31. Congratulations to Ronaldo, Portugal and Spain for giving us the World cup feeling.
    We must concentrate on ourselves, who we face we cant control.
    I hope we win tomorrow…and during the tournament we get better and better.

  32. Portugal the dark horse … scary elctric fast counters .. speedy mid field and solid defense .. They are drilled to face posession based teams i think its best we aviod them
    the most important factor
    1st goal soft penalty
    2nd goal blunder
    3rd goal DDG blunder ( he was blocked by the wall jumping still )

    • Based on way both spain and portugal defense played i think argentina if we face them should have no issue sorting things, lucked played a part in 2 of the goals and spain is distracted right now. We will be fine.

        • Stop this nonsense; Why do u bring up the past; Today he scored a hattrick against a top team; How many players have done that in the WC’s? Scoring hattrick against a top team; Until the player hangs up his boots, they can perform well

    • It would be better sometimes just admit that Ronaldo has character and abilities than deny his goal. Let alone 3 goals. It doesn’t hurt. Enjoy the game.

        • Fully agree. To score a beauty like that in 88thmin when ur a goal down against a top team like spain. #respect.
          I am sure Messi will also play beautifully today & raise the benchmark.
          In all yesterday was fantastic with all 3 matches having a final 5min drama. Great start

  33. No need to pissed of about Ronaldo! He played really great against Spain. Scoring 3 goals against one of the favourite in a WC match is not a joke! Hopefully our Argentina players will outperform them in time.

    Vamos Argentina!!

    • These are professional players, jealously is the last thing on their mind. One thing champion players do have however is the will to succeed and outdo themselves every-time they step on the field and achieve greatness. Hopefully that is all he needs for these next 7 games and take the glory !!!!

      • With Italy and Netherlands behind it’s perhaps Portugal is one of the teams to substitute them.

      • Portugal couldn’t defend well that is why Spain scored 3 goals and Spain didn’t mark Ronaldo instead went on full attack that is why they conceded the 2nd goal that changed the match and stupid Pique ofcourse.

      • I don’t rate Portugal’s defense and midfield very highly. Spain was able to dominate most of the time. Jordi Alba played like a forward and none of the Portuguese was able to utilize that big gap between him and Ramos. It was all Ronaldo’s stellar moments and Hierro’s inexperience in controlling the game tempo. I believe this Spain will get better and harder to beat. I wish Portugal to win the group. I don’t care if Ronaldo scores 10 goals or more, as long as we have easier path to the glory.

  34. Ronaldo scores a hattrick against Spain in World Cup; Will it seal ballond’or 6 for him? Portugal r tough to beat they have good defence; It’s better to face Spain in quarters;

    • My thoughts exactly. Also, if it is not enough motivation already, hopefully CR7’s feat today spurs GOAT to equal or better the former! COME ON MESSI!!! VAMOS ARGENTINA!!!

  35. I would rather face a tired ageing talented spain midfield then a counter attacking portugal in a quarter final if it gets down to that. Just saying, the spanish defense does not scare me and i am sure they wont change their style to defend against us which means it gives our offensive players more chances to score, hopefully by that time Rojo and Di Maria find form and we build team chemistry

  36. I like his interview .. very open and gracious !!
    It pisses me off the way every one keeps saying this is mess’s last world cup im glad samp hit on that topic too just means that as long as sampa is coach messi will stay no matter what the out come of this wc ..
    The line up i stopped botheing about it although historicaly we have suffered with the double pivot ! I trust sampa … after messi he is my fav character of the team .. btw whats good for us in the game between spain n portugal

  37. Costa is a monster! Said it time and time again. Argentina will have to watch out of him, Isco, and Iniesta. Cancel them out, and Spain disappears. Argentina can beat them! Messi destroys Ramos, Carvajal season in and season out! Vamos Argentina!

  38. Old & defensive portugal are playing only one defensive midfielder v spain & winning it so far. Spain are overrated even if they win this game.

  39. Soccer is the only sport in which you can do everything badly and get good results, or on the contrary you can do everything well and get bad results.
    De Gear is best goalkeeper in this WC, but look the easiest goal ever haha

  40. Spain clearly the better team and looking very dangerous. Isco is in top form but You can’t leave Ronaldo unmarked .He is the second best player of this generation for a reason and he is still quick at this age. If it was Messi they would have 3 guys marking him. But Portugal win is what we need!! I hope they can hold on to the lead or score one more on the counter!!

  41. Despite what some people suppose I think If we beat Iceland with Mascherano – Biglia being good Sampaoli will not bench Biglia in next game. Because of winning squad should be maintained and because of Biglia is one of the older, respected players.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that, as we’ve seen Argentina lose time and time again with that pivot.
    However, the rest of the team looks good! Salvio and Tagliafico will provide constant threat on the Wings, Meza will be phenomenal this World Cup (be the help Messi needs), Messi at his usual best, Aguero up front (Thank God! If anybody can score on De Gea it’s a Man City player), If Di Maria can be a team Player he’s one of the best winger in the world! And Sampaoli has a point, that Rojo provides more attacking wise than Fazio. I’m positive! I would rather have Biglia out for either Banega, Lo Celso, or Perez, but we’ll have to see!
    Vamos Argentina! If Portugal can beat Spain, we can beat spain!!!!
    Vamos Argentina!!!!!

    • Horrible by Spain. It seems like Portugal are getting lucky early in the tournament. I hope we meet Portugal instead of Spain. Messi will surely produce some Magic vs. Ronaldo.

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