Mauricio Pineda praises Lionel Messi, talks about 1998 Argentina


Mauricio Pineda praised Argentina and Barcelona captain Lionel Messi, while talking about the Argentina national team from the 1998 World Cup.

Pineda claims that Pablo Zabaleta was not the right back which Lionel Messi needed with the Argentina national team. Speaking in an interview with Cadena 3 of Santa Fe, here’s what he had to say:

“Zabaleta was not the number 4 (right back) which Messi needed in the Argentina national team. He needed someone who would attack a thousand times, who would generate space. Like Jordi Alba, who’s a player that has never dribbled through anyone but goes attacks like a mad man.”

The former Argentina man praised Lionel Messi:

“How could they say that Messi doesn’t feel the shirt like Maradona? He played 80 matches a year, never sees his family in Rosario, lost the World Cup final and he goes on to play in two Copa’s America. They don’t back Messi, they don’t even back him with 10% of what they backed Maradona. That Diego today would kick out 4 players per match.

“Messi continues to be the best in the world. He scores two great goals vs. Liverpool, Dembele misses a one on one chance and Messi is to blame? If I was Leo’s team mate, I would have gotten into the dressing room and asked for forgiveness.”

Regarding his winning goal against Croatia from the 1998 World Cup”

“Watching the goal vs. Croatia from the World Cup in France affects me more now. Today, I proudly show my son.”

Javier Zanetti’s goal vs. England was also a topic of discussion:

“We tried that play in training a thousand times and it came out well a handful of times. It came out well in the game and that’s why we laughed. We had a great time, almost everyone were stars at their clubs. It’s a shame what happened in 2002 because it was practically all the same names with four years experience.”


  1. I think Foyth and Renzo Sarvia are the best Right back players for Argentina.Foyth has only one problem and that is he thinks he can always dribble past the opponents but that is not the case always.He can out pace anyone but in dribbling he is still raw.He can cover that by good passing and having good possession of the ball

    • I agree that Foyth is a decent RB but he needs regular playing time to improve more but I dont agree regarding Renzo Saravia because he is not consistent enough (copa19) and there are better alternatives than him like Gonzalo Montiel, Cristian romero (who can be utilized as a makeshift RB) and even in Argentina u20 team there is a player named marcelo weigandt who could be a player helpfull for NT (Even Javier Mascherano was tried at a young age in Argentina NT despite being a Reserve player of River PLate and not playing a single game for River plate senior side during his NT debut)

  2. 4 4 2 suits Messi best.Midfield of Lo celso,Paredes,De Paul,Ocampus is best.This formation has balance in attack and defense and Ocampus fills the place for Messi really well when Messi cuts inside to attack.
    But 4 31 2 is also good.Lo celso Paredes De paul midfield is good too.But i think Mac Allister in place of Lo celso in both formation would be good too

    • I agree with u that 4-4-2 formation is good but maybe replace LO celso with a pure DM like Guido or Ascaibar or maybe even Leonardo Balerdi (He played well in recent dorrtmund match as a DM) but instead of 4-3-1-2 maybe 4-3-3 formation could be better with 3 man midfield of Paredes/Lo celso(who ever in in good form), Guido/Ascaibar/Balerdi (either of the three in a Pure DM role) , De Paul
      and a 3 man attack of Messi, Lautaro/Icardi(if he performs well for PSG), Ocampos

      • 4 3 3 is good when team have good wingers.In Argentina there are no world class wingers right now.Paredes and G Rodriguez,two slow players should not be in playing eleven.In copa these two players in field did not work

      • I think we shouldn’t also forget about the role Exequiel Alejandro Palacios can play in 4-2-2. Though he was on the bench for a recent match against Werder, I’m hopeful that he could play more minutes with Bayern Leverkusen in upcoming matches. He has a good passing skills.Our midfielder combination can be Palacios, Paredes/Lo Celso/Allister, De paul,Ocampos.

Comments are closed.