AFA president Claudio TAPIA talks Lionel Messi, Argentina, GUARDIOLA, more


AFA president Claudio TAPIA spoke about a number of topics, including Lionel MESSI, the Argentina National Team and much more.

Under fire president of the Argentina federation, TAPIA’s decisions as well as those within the AFA have been questioned regarding many things. TAPIA stated that it was a mistake to say that the Argentina National Team belonged to Lionel MESSI. A massive thank you to Juan Arango (make sure to follow him @JuanG_Arango on Twitter) for translating the interview. Here’s what TAPIA he had to say:

“We made a mistake saying the national team was MESSI’s. He’s a human being and I think it was a mistake throwing all the responsibility on him. He can make a difference, but he is another player (on the squad). Football is a team game. There is no one payer that can win a World Cup.

“If we keep think that way, we will be in bad shape. We have to leave MESSI alone. We thought he could save us and that’s a mistake. This can’t happen again. We are looking at a project to be contenders again. But we have to do things right.”

In regards to the upcoming coach of the country, the AFA were thinking of contacting Manchester City’s Pep GUARDIOLA. Here were his comments about it:

“We asked about GUARDIOLA, but it was too difficult for us. We asked about GUARDIOLA and it was impossible. It would have cost us a lot of money. We spoke with ANGELICI. You have to have tremendous amount of backing (money). It is quite expensive, we’d have to liquidated (assets) and we still might not have enough.”

TAPIA did not even know how much other National Team coaches were being paid.

“We knew that there were coaches that earned as much as Jorge SAMPAOLI, but when we investigated, we didn’t know that it was THAT much. But we did make inquiries, we looked to have discussions, but it ended there.”

Regarding Alejandro SABELLA, Diego SIMEONE and Mauricio POCHETTINO potentially taking over as Argentina coach, TAPIA said there is still a lot left to do:

“ANGELICI didn’t speak with SABELLA and I didn’t speak to PEKERMAN, we haven’t spoken to anyone. We have to first have to have a project. We have to have a national team commission, we have to speak to the right people and then find a person that is going move the project along.

“I would like to hear the opinions of MENOTTI, BILARDO, BASILE, BASILE, MARTINO, BIELSA, BAUZA and many others to see what we have to correct. We also have to listen to historic players. This project has to have the best choice, for everyone.

“There are several coaches that could coach Argentina, but we can’t just look at one. I like POCHETTINO, SIMEONE and GALLARDO. They are good coaches. We can’t make an urgent choice because things come out badly if done urgently.

“We have to reset everything, this transition will help us cure ourselves from the wounds left by Jorge SAMPAOLI. We have to be clear as to what we want to do in order for us to not make the same mistakes.

“(Lionel) SCALONI is a young coach with personality and capability. He already has his badges, he like AIMAR are from the national team. They know what it means to wear the jersey. SCALONI could be up to the task, he was SAMPAOLI’s assistant when he was at Sevilla.

“I don’t regret hiring SAMPAOLI. when we went after him, no one complained. Today, in hindsight, it is very easy to blame him. We wanted to acquire the identity that his teams had and with Argentina we could not find it.”

Once more, a big thank you to Juan Arango (make sure to follow him @JuanG_Arango on Twitter) for translating.


  1. I always believe that the new coach need to be a former international player who knows what is the high level. Heinze, Aimar and Scaloni will succeed, like Simeone-Pochettino.

  2. Well if you read what TAPIA is saying, From outside at least he looks correct, Will he implement what he is saying?? That’s where the problem comes. He is looking for an Elite Coach. Next year start we will have an idea i guess. Well Hope Scaloni and Aimar put up a decent team.

  3. I forgot who it was around here wondering how Messi was never given the armband for Barcelona when the answer was as obvious as the sun, Iniesta!
    He is gone and Messi is the captain now, lets see how he does!

  4. Watching Velez – Newell’s some conclusions:

    – Matias Vargas deserves immediate call up

    – LB Francisco Ortega could be good addition to U-20 team

    – Heinze work start to brings results

    – There’s a chance for Thiago Almada debut

      • yup glad to see that Velez hasn’t lost steam since the tale end of last season.
        Vargas had another cracker of a game and Dominguez was a beast, infact Im surprised that villareal went for caseres and not him (or they might have and Velez were more amiable to giving up Caseres than Dominguez).

        • Absolutely agree, Mamoun. I was surprised why Caseres is drawing of so much attention and not Dominguez which is IMO much more interesting. Physical stature as German player, great prospect for NT No.5 with some attacking additions. MOTM yesterday match. He destructed every Newell’s attack.

      • Very very happy with Velez win. Things to note. Looks like Hernan de la Fuente has lost his RB post from towards the close of last season. And Velez might be hurt by a lack of Quality Centre Forward. They tried so hard to sign Soldano, but in the end had to settle for Rhamis. And Heinze is very upbeat by this Almada kid, and says Almada is very much a part of his plans this season.

        • @sergio

          yes, looks like De La Fuente lost his RB starter position. Great pity because to me he was one of best players of Velez at the end of last season. For sure was better than for example Ortega which keeps his starter position. Still I hope De La fuente will back.

          • Maxi Rolon, Leo Rolon, Tripicchio, Gianetti, Amor, Cufre, Toledo, Maxi Romero, Delgadillo, Alvarenga, Vargas, Dominguez, Robertone, Caseres, De LaFuente, Ortega, Barreal, Almada – no other team promotes so many markable players as Velez do recently.

        • You are right, Sergio, about the lack of forward. Also Ramis and Bouzat (how in the hell the second wears No.10 and not Vargas) were the weakest points.

  5. And who remembers Real’s lobbying for Di Maria’s absence in the wc’14 final? Such is the advantage of having stars from ‘big’ clubs. Barcelona kept Messi from playing friendlies due to injury concern, yet playing him 3 days later. They can not do that with Bale, Umtiti because those players have powerful backing of being in home ground and favorable European media.

  6. I think that Scaloni & Aimar can do something better more than expectation! Let’s be positive & let’s see what happens!
    Love u Argentina!
    Always with Argentina!

    • Exactly!! I am VERY optimistic about what Argentina will accomplish! Why?

      Because the problem I believe the entire time has been Mascherano and Biglia! Those two have been KILLING us!!! Enzo Perez is no accept ion!

      But guess what? They’re gone!!!!

      Now Argentina HAS to get a new midfield!!! Literally ANYONE will do better than those two! Paredes, Kranevitter, Banega (best Argentine midfielder at the moment), Lamela, Lo Celso, Lanzini, there is soo much potential! And there is no “friends club” to take up they’re spots anymore!

      As for defense, that is still up in the air, but there WILL be a revolution whether anyone like it or not!
      And our attack is World Class! Messi, Aguero, Dybala, Icardi, Lauturo, pick your poison! All of them will work!

      My only two concerns will be that Higuain still gets called up. And also that Di Maria, not that he gets called up, he’s a class player, but that he be deployed as LF again! Clearly he is still useful, but in the RF position, like with PSG! Still one one of the best wingers in the world when placed correctly!

      But I believe that Argentina WILL rise up, and we’ll finally win a trophy again after so long! And hopefully in Brazil’s backyard!
      Vamos Argentina 🇦🇷

      • Exactly!! Had we dropped Mascherano and Biglia before the world cup and not pressed high up. We would have won this world cup. Thanks Mascherano and Baldy!!

  7. There has been a recent question about why Argentine players/ youngsters are less sought after by European big clubs. The reason is Argentine players are purposefully kept underrated.

    Whether you like England or not, you have to admit that they control the football media. They have BPL and the English language. But the problem is British media hates Argentina. Falkland war, Maradona made British media negative if not hostile towards Argentine footballers. It needed Aguero 5 years just to be in best 11 of BPL. Let just think about that! Aguero, one of the best players in the world , who scored 20+ BPL goal each year, won the league for Man City needed 5 years to be in BPL best 11 !

    Football clubs are all about business. Football is a product. Madrid brought James and sold di maria, even after a stellar season because James was going to sell more jersey. Di Maria hardly got any recognition in the media for a terrific season. Messi always has to prove himself. Media criticizes Messi as if he is a crime lord. Totti is loyal, Messi is coward. This is what media spouts all day.

    Argentine youngsters are less hyped, thus less interest from big clubs. It is not just about talent, but business factor also plays a big part. After losing Neymar, Barca quickly bought Paulinho. Why? Because, he is a starter for Brazil, they wanted to keep the brazilian market.

    Imagine if Messi is criticized, Aguero, Di Maria, Diego Milito ignored how do expect media hyping about Giovani Simeone? If you have two similar type of talents but one is going to sell more jersey you will pick the one who will sell more jerseys.

    Man Utd bought Pogba for 100 millions. He hardly has done any justice to that price tag. Today he has scored a penalty with a weird run up against Leister city. Man Utd fans are going nuts. Di Maria was being played out of position, in different position in each matches. Yet he racked up 10 assists. He was villified.

    Dembele was sold for 120 millions. Do you think someone will buy Pavon for half the price? Hype and price tags often does not reflect the footballing capacity. Last year I saw a tweet from a official account of a well known statistics site. There was a rumor, Chelsea was after Icardi and they tweeted “Icardi will be a good backup for Morata. This is the state of football media. Icardi left Barcelona, has become one of the best strikers in the world. It took time. It took four/ five years after we heard his name. Be patient with our youngsters. Some will live up the expectation, some will fail. This is how it is. So don’t be disappointed if Barca’s criminal board, Man Utd or Real Madrid did not try to buy any Argentine youngster. It is probably for the best.

    • Completely agree here. THe big clubs wasted mostof our players. Cambiasso, Gago, Garay, Riquelme, Milito just few examples. They started to play best when left Real and Barcelona. Our youngsters needs stability last thing have to offer clubs like Real or Barcelona is stability as they always look for someone more popular.

      • I seriously disagree when someone writes bustos off after the bad game against Spain. Zabaleta did not have half the footballing talent bustos has. And he had become the best right back in BPL. I myself saw Zabaleta ripped apart by Dorlan Pavon against Colombia in 2012. I saw him running to opposition half, receive the ball and only to pass it back when Sabella first took over. He improved from that.

        Everybody lost interest in Otamendi after 2010. Yet he became one of the best CBs in the world.

        Higuain. He was an average talent. I remember 2010-11. He had pace, but playing with him meant playing with 10 man. He would just stand idly near the d box, waiting for the ball. He lost his pace after back surgery. Lost his place to Benzema, moved to a lesser club Napoli. Sarri changed him. It was surreal for me when argument for Higuain against Aguero was that Higuain was better in playmaking. How time changes a player! He became all time top scorer of Serie A. Most valuable Argentine player ever, with 94 millions of transfer.

        Walter Samuel, Cambiasso became legends when they left Real Madrid for ‘lesser’ clubs.

        A lot of current Barca and Real’s purchasing is done by French personnels. Zidan was in real, Abidal now in Barca. Barca just bought a french cb named lenglet. It is not just coincidence and french “quality” players. A broken Argentina put 3 past Varane and Umtiti rather easily, don’t you think? But they are world class defenders :p

        We have to wait for atleast 3 years before our current youngsters mature. It took brazil nearly 4 to 7 years before their youngsters like Coutinho, Willian mature and begin clicking for their nt. Marcelo took 8 years to finally click, Dani Alves only recently played well for Brazil. It took them 6 years to finally find a dm in Casemiro. So have faith. Pezzella, Mammana’s time is not over.It has just begun, we have a long way to go. I saw myself Di Maria, Aguero, Zabaleta turning into world class players. Now we have a new journey. It will take time.

        • Nothing to add more, Mafioso. Great post. Our youngsters just needs time. The most stupid thing from fans and coaches is expectate immediate results. That’s completely immature attitude of capricious kid fans.

          • Totally agree with the above analysis! This Argentine generation deserved better acknowledgement from the football media which loves hyping European players!
            I also feel that AFA should have been better managed…Part of the team’s failure is thanks to AFA. This team deserved an international trophy, especially after being so close not once, not twice but 4 times!
            And I agree that the young guns will be recognised with time for sure. But as a non-Argentine Messi fan, I feel so sad coz I don’t think Messi can win an international trophy for his country, not when their football association itself is in shambles!
            What do u guys think? Can they make a comeback in Copa ’19 or ’20 and will Messi/Kun even play?

    • Superb talking! Thanks man! These r true to the core! However, strongly believe that Argentina will come back to the path of glory again by conquiring all the obstacles. Vamos!

    • Good writeup Mafioso. I think this whole talk about players needing to go to ‘big clubs’ to be rated is just a dick measuring contest for lots of fans out there! Like I said before I would rather see players like Ascacibar or Lanzini going to smaller clubs (where they have a better chance of getting games) in a strong league (where they get to play stronger opponents all the time) than go to big clubs like say PSG in a weak league like the french one and while I think Celso is a superb player I really don’t think that playing in france has benefited him all that much.
      Argentina has a good mix of talent out there right now with the likes of Dybala, Icardi, Correa, Lamela and Celso who are world class and/or play for big clubs and the likes of Pezzella, lanzini, Ascacibar, Cervi who play for smaller (yet still respected) clubs.
      I look forward to see what Caseres and Mori will do in La liga or what Pussetto, Lautaro, DePaul and J.Correa will do in Italy and especially how Conti and Foyth will do in their respective leagues. Plenty of talent to watch out for and plenty of time until the next WC.

      • At the age of 20, you need playing time, you need quality mentor, good opponents and a good environment. What you don’t need is constant spotlight and toxic environment that Real Madrid will offer you.

        Starting for Benfica is much better than being in the bench of Tottenham. A lot of players has become worldclass playing for Benfica. This is how got Garay. From Madrid’s bench to Benfica’s starting XI and we could finally think beyond Burdisso and Milito. Oh those days! People who complain about our lack of CB option now must have born after 2007-2012. Leandro Desabato was our CB option before Garay decided to leave Madrid’s bench.

        • Still remember how the Brazilians convinced Ney to stay in Santos when he was offered a chance by Real Madrid! 3 years later when he grew a bit more as a player, he was again called up by RMA but of course ended up in Barca. But the point is, I think those 3 years at Santos helped him grow. Had he joined RMA at 18, he’d be benched for most of the season back then!

    • Mate you 100% correct spot on
      The media always underrite Argentina talent example for me Juan Roma riquelme was best playmaker on his generation. Look what van gal done to him.He played him out of position.

      Sergio aguero has been best strike in premier league since the day he came up to now than they said kane better than him that so overhyped.

      Otamandi he has been fantastic for man city but the media always attacking him

      For me Banega is world class midfielder. No one give credit he deserves.

      What I saw from psg robiot and veratti no better than Los celso he should be playing more.

      Anyway you absolutely right.

      But thing is they can’t stop Argentina produces talent after talant .


  8. Finally something that sounds more sensible:



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