Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI and goalkeeper Franco ARMANI spoke at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
It’s been a difficult week for the Argentina team and fans. A 3-0 loss to Croatia has meant that the team’s destiny isn’t fully in their hands. Coach SAMPAOLI will make some changes to the match against Nigeria and one of them looks set to be in between the goal with Franco ARMANI coming in for Willy CABALLERO.
It would be a disaster should the team crash out in the group stages of the tournament but SAMPAOLI has stated that the team will do everything to qualify.
“I think both teams will do everything possible to qualify, this will make the match more attractive. The week was difficult because of the loss. Its put us in a spot where we depend on a result. I’m convinced that the team will go out to win tomorrow.
“The truth is that Argentina is the only thing that completes me. I’m convinced that tomorrow, a new history will be written for this national team.”
As for the starting eleven, SAMPAOLI didn’t want to confirm anything stating he hasn’t even told the players. He also went on to state that he wants the team to control the match so that it doesn’t become a back and forth game.
“Beyond what I have in my head, I don’t want to confirm the team because I have yet to tell the players. Nigeria have played two different systems. They have relevant players with experience. Argentina have to control the play so that it’s not a back and forth match.”
The loss to Croatia certainly hurt and it was also one of Lionel MESSI’s worst performances. The coach wants the captain to see more of the ball.
“I believe that the way the match was structured against Croatia, it didn’t favor Messi. We’ll try to make it better and we hope that tomorrow he will be able to receive the ball a lot more.”
Perhaps it had to do with the clips of Javier MASCHERANO speaking to him during the last training session but SAMPAOLI mentioned that he has always learned from his players.
“I tend to talk a lot with the staff, trying to get them more into the sporting project. Throughout my career, I have always learned from my players.”
And of course the manager talked about Nigeria but also mentioned that the team have five finals left.
“This match has to be played with the heart. We have to do everything possible to ensure that Argentina are in the next round. Tomorrow we will play the first of five finals that we have to play. I am sure that tomorrow we will see the best version of this Argentina team at this World Cup.”
As mentioned, Franco ARMANI was also present at the press conference. The goalkeeper, who is expected to start against Nigeria, spoke about qualifying, playing, Willy CABALLERO and more.
“The team is very good. We have this opportunity and we are all psyched that we can still qualify. One trains day to day, gets stronger like everyone else. If I get the chance to play, I will be prepared and wanting to have a good match.
“What happened to CABELLERO is normal. It could happen to anyone. Everyone of us has lived through similar moments, we have given him words of support and encouragement.
“One always dreams about being with the national team, ever since you’re a kid. My sporting career has been a process which has helped me in being in this moment. I feel like I’m able to play with my feet. The goalkeeper, in the current state of football, has to be able to do and to resolve things in the best way possible when his team needs him.”
The team will have to be at their absolute best against Nigeria to be able to have a chance to qualify for the next round. And who ever is in goal (in this case, very likely ARMANI), a clean sheet will be needed.