A new generation coming in for the Argentina National Team


A cycle has finally come to an end and a new chapter is being written in regards to the Argentina National Team.

For the better part of a decade, when one thought about the Albiceleste, the first words which would come to mind would be Lionel MESSI. Whether that’s a good thing or not, that is slowly changing. The Argentina team has always been more than just Lionel MESSI. The same way it was more than just Gabriel BATISTUTA, Diego MARADONA or Mario KEMPES. However, all eyes were on the little number 10 and now, that is no longer the case.

This new chapter which is about to be written should have started after the 2014 FIFA World Cup final. While new players were introduced into the team (Roberto PEREYRA, Gabriel MERCADO and others), when it came to the subsequent two Copa’s America and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the same core from four years earlier remained. Lionel MESSI, Sergio AGUERO, Javier MASCHERANO, Gonzalo HIGUAIN, Marcos ROJO, Lucas BIGLIA and even Enzo PEREZ. All that is changing.

Despite what many think, there is talent beyond that generation of players. And more than talent, there is leadership. German PEZZELLA and Mauro ICARDI are both captain’s for their clubs while Nicolas TAGLIAFICO wore the armband for Independiente when they lifted the 2017 Copa Sudamericana. Throw in an experienced Sergio ROMERO who has been an undisputed starter for close to 10 years with Argentina and there’s no lack of captain material.

Germán Pezzella Argentina
Can Germán Pezzella find himself as one of Argentina’s captains?

In the goalkeeping department, Geronimo RULLI who has been touted as the future number 1 for some time has received another opportunity in the team. He did himself no favors by not having the best of seasons last time with Real Sociedad. This upcoming campaign will be a big one for the former Estudiantes shot stopper as he can permanently play himself into the Argentina squad. Franco ARMANI who eventually became the starting goalkeeper at the World Cup finds himself in the team and could become the third choice goalkeeper should ROMERO and RULLI be the first two choices.

In the back, we have three new faces. Walter KANNEMANN, Alan FRANCO and Leonel DI PLACIDO. KANNEMANN has been fantastic for club side Gremio and could become a pillar in the heart of the Argentina back line. After being left out of the World Cup squad, Fabricio BUSTOS finds himself back in contention for the right back position.

No Javier MASCHERANO, Lucas BIGLIA, Enzo PEREZ or Ever BANEGA in midfield. In come Matias VARGAS, Franco CERVI, Leandro PAREDES, Santiago ASCACIBAR, Rodrigo BATTAGLIA, Exequiel PALACIOS and Gonzalo MARTINEZ. In short, lots of new and exciting players. VARGAS has been playing very well for Velez and it will be very interesting to see how ASCACIBAR performs if given the chance.

With no Lionel MESSI in the squad, the creativity on the team will be shared. VARGAS, CERVI, PAREDES and LO CELSO just to name a few are all exciting young players who can find themselves being in the Argentina team for a few years.

Giovani Lo Celso Argentina
Giovani Lo Celso didn’t play at the World Cup but can prove vital for Argentina moving forward.

The attack is arguably better than what Argentina took to the World Cup. Angel CORREA has improved under Diego SIMEONE, Cristian PAVON has World Cup experience under his belt and Gio SIMEONE can add a lot to the attack. You also have the Inter duo of Lautaro MARTINEZ and Mauro ICARDI who can both score goals for fun. Paulo DYBALA criminally barely got any minutes at the World Cup but can and hopefully will play a massive part for the next few years for Argentina. He can create, dribble, score and play in many positions.

There’s a solid base of players available for the coach (Lionel SCALONI or whoever gets selected to take over) to build off of moving forward. The road to the 2019 Copa America begins now and for the first time in years, every position in the team is up for grabs.


  1. Mid field looks good. But what about defence. There is no player in defence who can take responsibility. We need 2-3 world class defenders at least.

  2. Pekerman is going to become argentina football coach.In TYC sports it already written there colombia and pekerman is not going for doing the coaching role. I hope we will again see the power and football identity from argentina with Pekerman at the helm of albiceleste. He is the perfect man to coach argentina nt as well as to look after other age group team of our beloved albiceleste.

  3. I would like to scaloni to be Argentina manager sometimes unknown quality can be advantage plus I think he could good if gaven time and he appoint good back room staff like Samuel. Cambiasso. Aswell afa appoint jose pekerman direct of football. For me that could work
    I know for fact simoene,pochettino won’t come anytime soon so we have move on from them.

  4. What a top class Goal keeping by Rulli, i will be huge disappointed if Romero remains no1 anymore

      • Messi played with joy for barca because Barcelona has world class player at every position and bench strength so strong unlike Argentina

    • I hope that AFA and the coaching staff will not make the same mistake of over reliance on one single player as they did with Messi, not underestimating the talent of Dybala, But I think It will be foolish to make the same mistake again of relying on one single player or putting all pressure on one single member of the squad..
      Argentina has very good history of producing potent “enganche”. In my opinion there are promising playmakers in Martinez and Garre who is still 18 years old. We should always have other players to rely on in a nick of time. By the time Messi or Dybala hang up their boots, WE will have more players to take their spot right away.

    • Yeah Caseres did really well, surprisingly well infact for a first game, hope that continues. Mori on the other had didn’t but I think it’s mostly due to lack of match fitness because he can be a solid CB.
      The person who impressed me the most from that game was Rulli, really solid goal keeping! I think he realizes that if there was ever a chance of him becoming no.1 for the NT it’s NOW! Again I hope this continues.
      Lamela had an assist but i didn’t watch the game so don’t know how well he did and Lio with a double.
      Ferreyra also opened his account with Salvio and Cervi both playing well, sadly Conti was on the bench and he’s really gonna have to fight to get a starting chance.

  5. The reform should have been came yet after Copa 2015. I really like to follow Italian football. Analyzed a lot Italian NT crisis. Similar blunders. First they wanted to exploit 2006 generation way too long. Second: after good performance on Euro 2016 the generation changing also overdue. The coaches delayed introducing of new players. Conte bailed youngsters. He don’t wanted to fully use Jorginho, Insigne, Berardi, and other players. Italy totally lost period 2016-2018 with Ventura lies about will to introduce new players. Ventura instead use young, doing really well in Seria A players like Jorginho, Rugani, Pelegrini or sudden revelations like Spinazzola stuck on dinosaurs wanting to squeeze them as much as possible. That led to catastrophe. They didn’t introduced new generation and can’t figure out new style and identity.

    • Some people are complaining about lack of Argentina players in big clubs. I don’t think we need them so much or so many. But I don’t know why no one think about it’s due to our NT mistakes and stupid coaches that don’t chnge generations. Argentina NT is always under eye of all football world. Any new player introduced to NT who play in local league or small European club is almost always at once aim of better club. Best way to promote our players to better club is call them up to NT. Meza as far had only one good game in NT against Spain. But still he was on radar few European clubs and even after his poor performance in WC Inter Milan interested. Bustos draw attention of Bayern Munchen yet after his debut against Italy in NT. No better way to hit lights of big clubs on our youngsters than call them up early. Check out our NT call ups in past.

      Our CB on COTIF tournament Leonardo Balerdi is already wanted by Barcelona. Another player of the team Agustin Alemndra followed by Real Madrid people.

      So, YES, if people want to blame anyone by lack of our youngsters in big clubs first should think about our NT coaches who fucked that up in recent years keeping still on threadbare oldies.

      BTW Still I’m sure (following our past NT teams) we may go far depending mostly on small and mid club players. Ariel Ortega – such a great player. Once our best and crucial along with Batigol. Our No.10. One of best players on 1998 WC. He never shined even in not the strongest European clubs like Valencia, Sampdoria, Parma. He spend in every of the clubs just one year never showing the level of NT.

      • Agree with you Gonzalo, we don’t need big club players to regain our fame as a team that mostly can make upto Quarter final in WC. However to be a champion and become a regular in Semis we need such big club players..

  6. I don’t like Mercado, Funes Mori and seeing Romero there is for me a big disappointment, Armani too.
    The list is good with some exceptions.
    Pezzella or Tagliafico should be captain.
    Hope in the future Foyth partners Pezzella.
    Hope for a new keeper (Rulli/Andrada/Portou…
    Hope that Lanzini come back strong.
    I demand Ocampos and Lamela in the team.
    I have big hopes for Paredes/Ascacibar/Lo Celso and Matias Vargas also Palacios.
    I thought Nacho Fernandez played well in that 1 game he got subbed in.
    Not a fan of Dybala playing playmaker behind 2 strikers and am pessimistic of playing him with lautaro and Icardi.

    Anyway I am afraid this is like Sampoli’s first selection and think most of the seniors will come back for the Copa.
    We will probably not have patient with these players.
    I don’t have much expectations for this team NOW but in 2-4 years.
    Just believe in them even if they lose in the beginning and be patient but we will not!
    As soon as they lose people will panic and demand the “saviors” back.
    the old generation is banking on that.
    We are divided:
    young vs old
    Locals vs Europeans
    Bilardista vs Menottistas
    and such bullshit divisions.
    People who hate youngsters and love the silver generations will hope this team fails.
    This is the sad truth.
    I for one want the best players who deserve to wear the shirt playing. I don’t care where they play, how old they are, as long as they give their all and are fit in form and show discipline.
    I am wait and see right now.

    • if old guards are savior then bring back batigol or Maradona so Argentina again become champion. Make some common sense only inform and play at top label players can make difference no matter old guards or young or under 30 or above. Now among old guards Otamendi,Aguero,benega and Messi can be savior as all them playing at top label where romero,Dimaria,higuain,marcado, rojo coat again if called up again

    • “We will probably not have patient with these players.
      I don’t have much expectations for this team NOW but in 2-4 years.
      Just believe in them even if they lose in the beginning and be patient but we will not!
      As soon as they lose people will panic and demand the “saviors” back.
      the old generation is banking on that”.

      I”m afraid exactly the same. We don’t need noe stupid coaches who will panic after 2 weak games of the youngsters and we don’t need also stupid fans that will do the same making media pressure on coaches to recall ‘proven’ oldies.

      These youngsters need to play togetheg every friendly till Copa 2019 even if they lose every of initial games.

      This is shock therapy that must hurt

    • My Man!

      I hope somehow, we disregard the Copa result completely and focus on entirely on 2022. There are a lot of players and now we just need a new young manager who knows what he is doing.

      and the plus point is if Messi doesn’t play friendlies AFA is going to lose a lot of money. And if AFA lose money, they will be serious to make this team better. Because MONEY TALKS. I hope Messi keep dodging friendlies, and all the wasted dudes like Banegas and Di Marias stays away from the team forever.

  7. The changing of the guard was long overdue. Should have happened after Copa Centenario. Happy to see many new faces only missing Lamela.

  8. I am very excited to see the new generation of players. I hope that we give them the time that is required to built a team. The talent is there and the experience will come with time. I am not for a coach with a big name or pass experience, if a young coach like Scaloni can do the job, why give it to someone else. All we need is a young coach who understands the players and inspires confidence. No more one or two players that are bigger than the nation but a team with one goal. VAMOS SLOWLY BUT SURELY ARGENTINA.

  9. One thing should be understood:
    Players don’t have to be in big clubs to play well for the NT, They just have to click together, Remember having regular playtime in an average club is better than being in big club and set on the bench. for example , Riquelme did not see a lot of playing time in barcelona and Batistuta played for fiorentina.

      • Of course a good percentage of players of competitive teams always play for big clubs, What I was saying is that it should not be a rule to call up a player just because he plays for a big team.
        Likewise You could have a team with all players playing for big clubs and still fail, miserably. take spain and germany in the last WC as
        I see some members here think that players who play in Russian league are not worthy of a call up to the NT.

        • Ebo

          following our last 20 years we see clearly most of our crucial NT players had played best when in small, medium clubs.

      • @ Argentina@mylove

        Brazil 2002 wasn’t, they had real ronaldo, rivaldo and ronaldhino up front and carlos/cafu at the back but the rest of the squad was unremarkable and no one gave them a chance and they won it.
        Argentina went to the final with the help of Basanta, Rojo, Biglia, perez, Demichiles and Garay, none of whom would qualify by your standards and the only reason why the team failed is because Argentina’s ‘world class’ players (Messi, pipita and Palacio who was one of serie A’s top scorers that season) failed to finish their chances.
        In this last world cup, Brazil, Spain and Germany were PACKED to the brim with stars and then what?…..
        Yes France were star studded and they won it, but Croatia (who had 4 stars by your standards) out did the star studded teams I listed above.

        Listen I agree with you that a team needs a solid base of ‘stars’ but some of you need to stop dismissing a player just because he doesn’t play for [insert top club].

        Lastly why are we talking about Argentina’s proportion of stars when the world cup is 4 YEARS away….4 YEARS!!!! That’s a life time, so just relax and let things unfold for the next few years.

  10. Yes there are a lot of potential in this team but many of them need to win their starter place. Angel Correa in competition with Lemar, quite complicated as well for Lo Celso, who will need to fight for his place with Verratti and Rabiot, Tuchel seems even to prefer Nkunku.

  11. If Argentina starts winning with out messi dependency then Argentina will win everything. Saying this very easy but the real fact is Argentina was humiliated by Spain with out messi and with out messi contribution struggle to beat even Haiti. Messi taking break from NT will immensely benefits Argentina now Icardi is the key

  12. Pezzella was also captain of U-20 team on World Cup till his injury. Interesting how good part of that 2011 quartefinal team (of wall-solid defence) is still good source of NT players. Goalkeeper of that Argentina Andrada no doubt will be called up sooner or later. Tagliafico is in NT now (despite his previous failed European period in Segunda Division of Spain). Pezzella is here. Battaglia was also one of the crucial elements of that team destructive abilities and is now coming to senior NT. Also Pereyra and Lamela seems to be not far from NT.

  13. As is written above there’s always material in the nation even if no new Messi or Maradona.
    All that needs time and bottom work with smart (doesn’t mean famous) coach.

  14. Lo Celso on the bench again, 99-born guy and Nkunku over him, the most talented argentine midfielder…Paredes in Russia, Ascacibar in Stuttgart, Colombatto in Serie B, Kranevitter….and thats all

    • Parades in Russia hardly matter if playing good for both Argentina and Zenit, I’m sure before 2022 parades will be in the big club but red signal for lo celso if continues to be benched

  15. From this list I would go with
    Funes Mori
    Lo Celso

    I think the versatility of Lo Celso and Correa is vital.

    • I like this lin up except icardi I will put ahead of him Giovanni simeone correa he will be very vital in Argentina plans if you see what he done to Ramos you will love it quick control. I hope he stay consistent for years to come

      • Why hate on Icardi??? Because Icardi is currently 2nd hottest Argentinian after messi and future ballon dor winner

      • Agree, Simeone, correa, martinez are more potent than Icardi.
        Even Kun for his club is more potent than Icardi.
        Benedetto was better than Icardi for NT.
        Vietto is out on Loan to Fullham for more playing time/Experience, in 2 years he will be better than Icardi

  16. We need to have a solid defence with a world class goalkeeper (for me romero is best bet or the u20 goalkeeper since Rulli is not that much good in catching) ,we need fast players and a manager like Sabella who can use players properly ,hoping for our first title after 93
    Vamos Argentina

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