Roberto Ayala talks Argentina, Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, more


Roberto Ayala gave an interview where he commented on the Argentina national team, the coach Lionel Scaloni, Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala and who he sees as a defender for the team.

A former Argentina national team captain himself, Ayala is one of the best center backs of his generation. With plenty of playing experience under his belt, the former Valencia man is now part of Lionel Scaloni’s coaching staff. Speaking with TyC Sports, here’s what he had to say:

“The results don’t just happen. There’s a coach that has a clear message for the football players. Lionel is very meticulous m, he thinks and watches football all day. We call each other to ask each other questions and he’s never quiet. We have a great desire to start the World Cup qualifiers and prepare for the Copa America.”

Ayala also spoke about current leader Lionel Messi:

“He decides until when he will be with us. The important thing is the team and Lionel is just one more piece. We try to make it so that he makes us different and he makes his team mates different. We have to have a proper structure for him to feel comfortable.”

In regards to Paulo Dybala’s role with the team:

“For me, I like him much more as a forward, for him to create his own chances. When he plays forward all the time, he’ll get passes inside the penalty area. And when he has the chance, he has an impressive shot. It looks lioe he does it without force, like he laughs every time he does it and after that the ball is hit with such force that you don’t understand where he gets it from.”

When asked about the center backs who could play with Argentina:

“The one’s who were last there, at times, didn’t have the continuity which we were hoping for with their clubs or with the Argentina national team. Leonardo Balerdi and Nehuen Perez, when they can be starters with their teams will be important guys. Nuan Foyth is a center back. He was only converted into a right back because of emergencies but he’s also an interesting project.”


  1. Hopefully this could be the squad for WC qualifiers and copa
    For Copa (4-4-2)
    Defence:Juan Foyth- Quarta Martinez- German Pezella-Tagliafico
    Midfield: Rodrigo De Paul-Guido Rodriguez-Leandro paredes-Ocampos
    Attack:Messi-Aguero or lautaro
    Substitutes:lo celso,motiel,lautaro or aguero,dybala etc.
    For WC Qualifiers:(4-4-2)
    GK:MUSSO OR BENITEZ(Only if he is selected for olympics and is in starting 11 and he plays decently in olympics)
    Defence:Fouth/montiel/c romero-Nehuen Perez-Senesi/C romero-Tagliafico/Lisandro martinez
    Mid:Rodrigo de paul or Lo celso – Guido rodriguez or Lisandro martinez or some other DM-Paredes – Ocampos/Nico gonzalez
    Attack:Messi-Icardi or lautaro

    Hopefully batista realizes his mistake of not taking any overage players to olympics and i am talking about players who can still play at WC 2022 like Benitez, Icardi and Jonathan silva(players not given enough chances to prove themselves in senior NT side) hopefully batista considers above these three overage players for olympics

  2. Hopefully Scaloni sticks to successful 4312 and continues to leverage our strengths which at the moment in the Striker position.

    Aguero, Dybala, Martinez, Icardi, Alario, for 3 or 4 spots, and only 2 start.
    3 of Aguero, Dybala, Martinez, and Messi are the best combo at the moment. Loved seeing Uruguay up against the ropes. These guys strike fear into opponents, something i haven’t seen in a while.

    I like that Ayala recognizes Dybala. I think we’ll see a more dangerous consistent player from now on.

    • yeah i agree with you on the short list of strikers for 23. However I don’t see how possible to play Messi with 2 strikers because all those strikers have too similar profile, none of them can really play as winger and fast for counter-attack. I’d rather pick up 1 of them with another fast half-winger striker, supported by Messi if it has to be in 4312. Of all the current Argentina wingers who can play as striker, the only one come to my mind is Joaquin Correa. There are probably others.

      I prefer to see the team in 442 with Messi as 2nd striker and 1 right midfielder who defend well next to him, someone like Buendia or Ocampos. I think Messi plays his best football in this position. Anyway, doesn’t matter 442 or 4312, we have now enough good players for those 2 formations. For me, the biggest issue remains the defense and DM.

      • > However I don’t see how possible to play Messi with 2 strikers because all those strikers have too similar profile, none of them can really play as winger and fast for counter-attack.

        The Brazil and Uruguay last games are perfect examples.

        2 of Aguero / Martinez / Dybala with Messi in the hole and those games were our best attacking displays in a long time.

  3. Musso – Montiel Foyth Quarta Tagliafico – Lo Celso Paredes De Paul – Messi Lautaro Dybala

    • He was a good CB, just too much fault. He was considered as the best CB in Europe during early 2000s but I think there are many better CB in Argentina football history like Garay, Samuel, Sensini, Ruggeri, Heinze, Nestor Fabri…etc.

  4. GK is the most urgent need. With good and reliable GK plus 2 consistent CB’s problem is solved. Mid and forward have a lot of option, just need to apply the best formation and team work

  5. IMO, Scaloni should use: 433 as his main formation.

    Ocampos-Lautaro-Messi as strikers.
    3 of LoCelso,Paredes,DePaul,Palacios as midfielders.
    Any better 4 in defense depends upon the progress. Tagliafico plus 3..!
    Musso as GK. He should be the number 1.

    Back4 should be sorted out. I think forwards, and midfelders names are 99% finalised.

    • Instead of 4-3-3 formation maybe 4-4-2 could provide more stability and this formation is good for less possesion and better counter attack similar to Diego Simeones Atletico Madrid

    • I’ve always consider Ocampos as a right midfielder. He is average technically for a winger but works like a horse, defend very well and can score. Besides, it’s now a bit tough for Messi to play as right forward without a right midfielder in your 433. Without changing much on your players chosen, I would move Ocampos on the right, De Paul on the left and Palacios-Paredes behind Messi-Lautaro in a 442.

      • Allow me to disagree here canadienroyal, Ocampos is very gifted technically as i have been watching this guy since his early days in river. He has tremendous dribbling and ball control for his height, you can see the way he was teasing Brazilians during our last match between us and them. Moreover, he has a powerful shoot, he can use both legs, he is fast, strong and physical, he is even good in the air and he has a never give up attitude.

        If you ask me, he is one of our key players and a must starter.

  6. I have full faith on upcoming CB talents…
    Its interesting options…Romero,Foyth,Balerdi,Quarta,Sensi,Perez,…until the kid Amione..!
    I didnt forget Lisandro Martinez…for me hes not CB..hes more of DM….would be better in 3 man CB than 2.
    Just worried about sb\fb options…! Our options are limited…and only very few players progress into good class…!

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