Nicolas TAGLIAFICO talks Argentina, Lionel MESSI, World Cup, Copa America, more


Nicolas TAGLIAFICO gave his thoughts on the last FIFA World Cup, Lionel MESSI, the Copa America and more.

The Ajax defender has become a pillar in the Argentina team. The starting left back and even captaining his country after the World Cup, Nicolas TAGLIAFICO has made a name for himself at home and in Ajax. Having taken part in last summer’s tournament in Russia, speaking with Marca, here’s what he had to say about the last World Cup.

“A united group will reach its objectives but there was no organization by the AFA. We qualified (for the FIFA World Cup) on the last match day. When things aren’t in order, sooner or later, what you could achieve ends up failing.

“We weren’t taking strong steps and we didn’t start off the World Cup strong either. The environment, the players, the coaches, the leaders, the people, the media… We weren’t united to take it forward. They would say atrocities, lies about things that happened during training camp. How is it possible that they would throw so many bad things at us? Because at a World Cup if you have one bad match, you’re out. It’s also obvious that we didn’t play the way we wanted to play.”

In regards to Lionel MESSI, here’s what TAGLIAFICO had to say:

“We have seen two glorious stages in our football with [Cesar Luis] MENOTTI and [Carlos] BILARDO, which are two different ways of understanding football.

“We have not found out which is the best [style of play] for our time, or which one is the best to help Leo [MESSI].

“He’s the best player in the world and we do not know how to take advantage of him. We have to find an idea or a coach that makes us understand the opportunity he represents and bring that order we need.

“It’s not the same to be in a club for 15 years knowing everything. In the national team, either because of the change of president, coach or because of the passion we have that blinds us, we are not able to put together projects every year. That’s not easy.

“Leo did not have the luck to be crowned. He reached three finals, but we do not have the project that, for example, Barca does.”

Talking about Jordi ALBA’s connection with Lionel MESSI:

“Being with him all the time helps to connect. I didn’t have many training sessions with Leo but I would observe a lot how he would get into the area and connect with ALBA without having to raise his head. They don’t even need to look at each other.”

Concerning the upcoming Copa America:

“The Argentine is always excited about his national team. We are one of the candidates. We are eager. That desire to win makes us strong and even more so if Leo is there.”


  1. Rulli seems very error prone he could have conceded four or five goals against Atletico Madrid.He is quite confused or in dilemma in the pitch.
    One time he was in the outside line of penalty box and waiting there for rival teams striker.He do not know at what exact time he should come forward.



    Ugh. Scaloni ain’t it… Even players acknowledging

    • He would play in the Premier league next season which in itself will be a huge jump.
      He played as a forward with the Argentine U 20s. He was converted into a right back at his previous club. Now plays as a winger for Norwich.

  3. There shouldn’t be only 1 way to help Messi. He has proven that he could exist with Sabella’s style. What Deschamps did in 2018 was actually similar to Sabella, same playing style: 1 of the fullbacks must be fast and can play as CB, players are tall enough for corners, 1 pure DM with 2 box to box(1 stay more in the middle and another more on 1 side), in attack 1 fast winger cover the opposite side and 1 half 9 who is the only player free and 1 forward who can defend and play for the team. It’s exactly the same, deschamps didn’t invent anything. Simeone has also used the similar system for years. Main difference between France 2018 and Argentina 2014 was Mbappe and Pogba, who delivered much more goals than Lavezzi and Biglia.

    That’s why I believe that 442 is the best for Argentina with the similar setup. We should apply Sabella(Bilardo) style. A direct transition football, everyone runs for Messi, forget what Barca does, its 433,… Etc. We don’t have Busquets, Alba, Alves, Iniesta and Xavi.

    • @c.royal
      You know the worst nightmare
      In 2006 Spain and fcb copied
      Our stlye and become so successful
      France copied our stlye under
      Sabella which wasn’t pretty but
      Was effective and they won world cup.
      One thing Argentina will always
      Produce top players and technician .
      I’m also optimistic about us lifting
      Fews trophies very soon.

      • Well I don’t think Spain and FCB really copied from Pekerman. Maybe just 1 of the source of inspiration. For example, in Guardiola world there is no number 10 unlike Pekerman who had Riquelme. The 8, half 8, regista and fullbacks share the playmaker task. The wingers are essential for Guardiola, of course the false 9 is the star. Pekerman always use 2 strikers upfront, with only 1 winger. The fullbacks should focus on defense and attack is just value added. Also Pekerman football is faster in transition. More pleasant to watch. I am not fan of static possession football.

        • Trust me mate they did copy
          Argentina but not whole of it thought
          I have to admit gaurdiola changed
          Some of it but still play two strikers
          And number 10 behind but different way example messi was playing false but eto and Henry was the
          Two strikers that was way messi
          Was dropping deep and doing
          Playmaking role .

          • Messi played much closer to the goal than Riquelme. For Pekerman, every transition has to be passed by the 10, thats why when the 10 is out of form, Pekerman’s team is in trouble. However possession football is too complicated and requires lot of specific profile, I don’t think it’s feasible for a national team.

        • It was not spain that copied pekerman project but Germany. They started after 2004 I think. Few years ago England also started using variation of his project.

          Pep guardiola took inspiration from marcelo bielsa( our failed 2002 wc coach) and made into revolutionary coaching style

          • Mate it’s true Marcelo bielse stlye
            Was revolution and inspired many
            Coachs mostly Argentinean like
            Poch Gallardo Tata and I can say
            Also hienze but who loved most
            Is gaurdiola but I’m sure fcb
            They copied our 2006 stlye of lin up

            We played 4 back one holding midfielder it was like this

            1 2 3 4

            …………. 5………..


            Still to this day pepe play this stlye
            The one difference is he make the pitch big bigger especially the wide
            Players .. bielse teams played or play

            3 1 3 1 2 if I’m not mistaken

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