Time for Paulo Dybala to cement his spot in the Argentina national team


Paulo Dybala has been selected for the Argentina national team for the first time in close to two years.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni was regularly selecting Dybala in his squads since taking over as coach three years ago. However, it’s been nearly two years since the jewel has put on an Argentina shirt.

Since that time, Argentina played two World Cup qualifying matches and lifted the Copa America trophy, two things which Dybala has missed out on. Already 27 years of age, Dybala will be 28 in November and he is still not a regular in the national team.

He first made his national team debut in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying loss vs. Ecuador nearly six years ago. Since that time, he has been sent off, not selected for the 2016 Copa America, not selected for the 2021 Copa America and missed a handful of matches due to injuries. On paper, he has two goals in 29 matches.

On the pitch, there’s no doubting Dybala’s talents. He could walk into any club in the world and instantly make them a better team. But with his country, he struggles to get into the starting eleven when selected. He once infamously stated that it is difficult to play alongside Lionel Messi, a comment which left a sour taste in the mouths of many and made it seem as if he wasn’t capable of playing next to the best player in the world.

However way you want to comprehend Dybala’s comments about playing with Messi, he proved the doubters wrong at the 2019 Copa America. It was the third place playoff and coach Lionel Scaloni started a front three of Sergio Agüero, Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala. It was a match where Messi was controversially red carded but also a match where Dybala scored and he showed that he can play alongside Messi.

Last season was one filled with COVID and injuries. One which saw not only Dybala struggle but Juventus going trophy less. This led to, as mentioned earlier, the 27 year old missing out on being included in the Argentina squad, a team which won the Copa America.

But this time around could be different. A summer off to rest and train, the Argentine posted several social media pictures of himself getting into better shape and elected as vice captain of Juventus, the pressure is on Dybala to step up his game this season. And the first match of the season saw Dybala wearing the armband for Juventus, scoring three minutes into the match and assisting the other goal.

Lautaro Martínez, who won Serie A with Inter and was the starting number 9 for Argentina when they won the Copa America, is just coming back from a knock. Lucas Alario, who was previously preferred over Dybala, has been left out of the Argentina squad. Sergio Agüero, the veteran, is injured and out until October. And Mauro Icardi, who was rumored to be selected for September’s squad, injured his shoulder and is out for 3-4 weeks.

The stars are aligned for Dybala to cement himself and show that, once and for all, he belongs in the Argentina national team. In excellent form and with the summer off, there is no reason for him not to shine if given the chance.

In addition to World Cup qualifying matches in September, there will be three more of them in October and two more in November. And with three months at the start of next season to show their worth before the World Cup, the time is this season and it’s now where Dybala must prove himself to coach Lionel Scaloni that he should be selected.


  1. Time to drop otamendi and pezella from starting. Otamendi can still be a backup bt pezella has no business in this squad. Romero lisandro should be our starting cb pair. We can’t win world cup with old and slow defenders like otamendi and pezella.

  2. Lamela – perfect example of “el futbol siempre tiene revancha”. His start at Sevilla has been brilliant and it really shows that this move should have happened a few years ago. His confidence is probably going over the roof after grabbing Sevilla the winner. Crossing my fingers that he has no injuries

    • I hope Lamela can b a mainstay in the national team.
      I’m very interested as to see what kind of starting lineup scaloni will set with dybala back in. I’m assuming he will start of course….

    • Several observations –

      Video quality – im loving La Ligas HD “up close” video experience…seems like viewers are on the pitch.

      Acuna – cracks me up with his curmudgeon face all day every day. I cant recall the last time i saw Acuna smile or laugh. Maybe once…. Anyway, he had few great crosses.

      Lamela – great predator instinct to keep running into the box and capitalize on the rebound. What the hell is Scaloni doing by selecting 4 keepers. Lamela should be there instead of the 4th. Regardless, Im loving his contribution so far. he could be just as useful as GLC and RDP but to your point, let’s hope he stays HEALTHY!

  3. Out of all three departments, Defense looks comparatively weaker even though Scaloni has selected the best available options. I would imagine the pecking order for Central Defenders would be Romero, Otamendi, Pezzella and Foyth . Montiel/Molina and Tagliafico/Acuna are set for flanks! It seems like Scaloni wants to stick with Pezzella which is kind of scary after his recent performance . I really hope he improves his form in Spain! Can someone go over other defenders and tell if they can challenge the above mention players?

    • Pezella recent form?Pezella was good against Colombia in semi final and in good form against Paraguay, Bolivia and Ecuador in Knock out.
      Lisandro Martinez is fourth defender and Foyth is for flanks.Only two of Montiel Mollina and Foyth will be in WC.

    • Pezzella is not world class but he did well enough in his capacity as a player. He was doing whatever we asked him to do. His sliding tackle in the final ala Mascherano against Brazil was amazing. Romero-Otamendi duo still the best one. Lisandro Martinez needs to prove himself more this year that he is good enough to challenge Pezzella to be the number one back up. LM Quarta is just simply not good enough.

      We all have high hopes for Senesi, but unless he moves to a bigger club, or win Dutch league defender of the year or something, I think it is hard to challenge Pezzella or Lisandro Martinez for the back up spot.

      • > LM Quarta is just simply not good enough.

        i don’t know man. I have high hopes for LMQ, the dude is talented but not off to good start in league.

    • “I would imagine the pecking order for Central Defenders would be Romero, Otamendi, Pezzella and Foyth ”

      Based on all the internationals played this year and selections made it would seem Scaloni’s pecking order is Romero, Otamendi for starters and then he has used Pezzella in both LCB and RCB as back up. Then he has Martinez Quarta for RCB and Lisandro for LCB behind that. Foyth has not played in CB for this regime.

  4. I am surprised to see Buendia because considering how difficult it was for him to ever get called up in the first place I expected Scaloni to immediately and without hesitation not call him up when he didn’t hit the ground running at Villa. But this is a good sign that he sees him as part of a project.

    Alvarez is not a problem, my main problem in Copa was that he got selected ahead of Dybala and Buendia and prevented him from playing olympics which made little sense. But he is a great youngster and I much prefer it when players like him are called up from the local league instead of Armani’s or Salvio’s. I am frustrated about Armani because it does not help River or the NT.

    The road is paving for Dybala which is great. This is exactly what I was talking about before in preparation for the world cup – incorporate Dybala. It did take a couple of other player injuries unfortunately but it may end up perfectly for us. I have a strong feeling he will score a goal at least.

    It seems that Jules Kounde is very close to joining Chelsea so I hope Monchi has a couple of Argentinian targets in mind. This call up sheet has shown progression in some areas but almost complete lack of progression in the defensive area. Hope Lisandro gets a chance

    • Yes, me too wishing for Lisandro’s chance even though Pezzella has more experience i just think he is simply too slow as aging central defender and in the WC we will need more faster CB than him even as back up, because unfortunatly anyone can get injured at anytime, though hopefully not for Albiceleste, but if so, then the back up’s for Albiceleste must be the right one’s for any and every spot ! Even Sabella’s bench was not enough unfortunatly in the end and how many of our player’s we’re allready injured even before that WC and offcourse Gago and Di Maria got injured during that WC so i think in the end even albiceleste reached final which was great though left with sour taste in the mouth of many specially with those players from that team and offcourse this year’s Copa finally ended our draught for trophy’s, but there is Still lot of work to be done even we do have proper squad now, but with some moderation which i think is needed specially for our defence even though Cuti is allready amazing Still he can’t do the job alone so Otamendi had a great Copa, but we have to have proper back up’s specially for CB’s and i think also options for RB’s and LB’smust be monitored though i don’t know from whom to start with ? Maybe, some one from Argentine Premier, perhaps ? Or maybe we should also look at 3 CB’s at back an try use our wingers as RB and LB and play with wingbacks as we do have more of solid options for wingers on both sides than actual defenders at the moment and as time is flying as usual Scaloni should consider and try to be ready with different formation’s as may needed against different opponent’s or maybe we just stick to the same Copa winning formula and see how far it can carry us… well, i’m not the one to make those decission’s just hope that Scaloni and the crew is all aware of different scenarios as i’m pretty sure they must be otherwise we might get in trouble sooner or later specially with injuries u never know as the same goes also for the opponents so just wish that Lady luck stays on our side and no one will get any serious injury before WC and offcourse we must quality first so fingers crossed and really looking forward to see our beloved Albiceleste playing again after that amazing Copa ! Still can’t get enough of it !

  5. Both Dybala and Icardi deserve to be in the WC squad along with Lautaro. All three of them give us different options and they are the best at what they do.
    Icardi give us the predatory goal scoring option. Especially if we are down and we need a goal from nowhere, set pieces, head ins or tap ins, Icardi is the poacher, who knows when and where to be to score a goal.
    Dybala is the 2nd Messi in the team. For smooth connections and creativity in the final 3rd, Dybala could be deadly. If he can connect with Messi well then its over. Dybala is also a great goal scoring
    option. And in case, Messi gets Injured Dybala is a must to lead the attack of our team.
    Lautaro is the workhorse to rattle the opposition defense for 90 mins. He is the youngest and fastest of the 3. When the team is playing a strong opposition, Lautaro is the guy. He is a great goal scorer, the best conversion rates in NT after Batistuta and Crespo. He creates the most penalties and free kicks for the team. And most importantly
    he runs back and defend hard as we all know Messi does not do that so we need other forwards to do it for the NT. He can also steal the ball off the opposition and score goals out of no where. There is a reason why the top teams in Europe are fighting over him atm. Even 80 mil was not enough to lure him.

    Moral of the story we have good future with these 3.

  6. Yes post messi retirement he is the only player capable of having head-ach for opposition.
    Hope we get a worldclass talent soon from our u20,u17 groups
    Other nations all have a worldclass u23 established player

  7. Tottenham and Aston Villa stars Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso, Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia face missing Premier League games next month after being included in Argentina’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers.

    Argentina is currently on the UK’s ‘red travel list,’ meaning the four Premier League players will be forced to isolate for 10 days on their return from South America.

    Lionel Scaloni’s men face World Cup qualifying matches against Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia on September 3, 5 and 10.

    The news will come as a blow for Spurs and Villa as it means they will all certainly at least miss one Premier League match and likely be unavailable for another one on the following weekend as things stand.

    Lo Celso and Romero will either be travelling back or in quarantine on September 11 when Spurs take on Crystal Palace and are also expected to miss their London derby showdown against Chelsea on September 19.

    Meanwhile, Martinez and Buendia, who have played in both of Villa’s opening two matches this season, won’t be able to face Chelsea or Everton as they will still be in isolation.

    Clubs are furious that allowing some of their players to go on international duty could subsequently see their stars miss domestic league matches, with some threatening to refuse to release them.

    • Well, Yes this sounds quite serious, though i hope that there is no team in the world to block their players to play for their countrie’s ! It is bit of scary scenario as those teams paying so much money and wages for their players so when their about to go for national duty then they get pissed of by missing those players that they are paying so much of money and i do think this is current problem that we are having allready and it might get even worst in the future as simply the transfer market gone completly crazy specially in England they are paying too much of money for players price and also the wages are way above so all this might end in very bad situation that those teams with lot’s of money to spend of will get in control of the game in way or another and will start to add new rules etc… luckily yet we are not in this situation and hopefully we will never be even as said many of teams are getting pissed of by their players joining on their intenational duty’s which i think personally is very stupid as any player who will get called up by his country will most deffinetly join their national team, well Yes this common knowledge so i really do not understand those team’s getting pissed off even how much money they paid for their players ! Ofcourse this pandemic is one the biggest reason for this outcome, but Still this pandemic has lasted for quite an while and seems keep on lasting so what are those team’s really expecting ? That they can simply say no to any player and not let them join their national team’s ? No way ! This simply too much to ask for any player or any country and it will just do more harm to everybody so i think those team’s getting pissed should think twice before make their oppinion common knowledge ! Simple as that, period ! And FIFA, UEFA, CONMEBOL etc… should all make strong statements about this too and not just sit down and quietly back up from it as scared mouse or some one scared of those money house’s !

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