Alfio “Coco” Basile on Argentina national team, Rodrigo De Paul, World Cup draw


Alfio “Coco” Basile spoke about the Argentina national team, Rodrigo De Paul and the World Cup draw.

Basile coached the Argentina national team twice. The first time was when they won the 1991 and 1993 Copa America titles. They would also go undefeated in 31 matches. The second time was after the 2006 World Cup.

Coco is also the only person to ever coach both Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Speaking in an interview with TyC Sports, he was asked about the Argentina national team. Here is what he had to say:

“With Brazil, we are superior to the rest of South America. They always play better than the opponents, superior than everyone. I see them very well in every aspect. When the opponents have it, we pressure and when we have it, they all come together through MEssi in all areas of the pitch.

“The changes of speed, the changes of rhythm, they have everything.”

He was asked about Rodrigo De Paul:

“Colombatti brought me him in 2012. I asked to bring me one of the guys who stands out and among them were De Paul, (Jose Luis) Gomez and Centurion. They brought him to the first team when I had Teo Gutierrez. That week, I had just seen those guys and all three of them stood out.

“When De Paul first arrived to the Primera, he was a technical player, a playmaker and cold. Now, he’s totally different, he is a beast. He gets fouled, he speaks to the referee, the linesmen, he has an attitude. I love it.”

In regards to the World Cup draw and who he would like to play against:

“Avoid the good ones, obviously. Why are we going to risk it? Why are you going to pick Germany? Let’s play against them later.”

About Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni:

“I see him as very sane, very calm. He has a coaching staff that never talks. They are all very good people and all intelligent. He chose his staff very well.”

Regarding the team equalling his 31 match undefeated streak:

“I don’t know why they took two (wins) away from me. It was always 33 and now they are at 31, who knows. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Argentina national team wins.”


  1. Guys thoughts on dyabalaS new transfer moves,
    Personally i would like to see him either play with de paul at athleti or with lo celso at villareal beacuse theire chemistry will be very important if we are going to be a force in 2026Wc without messi and di maria

    • I would like Atletico for him to create a De Paul connection, could be very valuable especially if Dybala ends up replacing Messi after the WC (don’t want to think about it).

    • Dybala at Villarreal. Some of u r funny do u know how small a team Villareal is locelso plays there because he is a small player

  2. Moving Messi to the 3 man midfield will be the master stroke. Barca could have made this move instead of dumping him. At this position the football world would have witnessed another Messi at a very high level. He is born to play in this role as much as he was born to play in the position he plays right now. He can walk, scratch his head all day and run the show and pull the strings like a witch. If the defenders have to man mark him they have to move further up and the 3 Arfentine forwards can take full advantage of it.Why no coach doesn’t even think about this. Hopefully Argentina try this, it’s never too late. This was Di Maria gets to play in his favored position as well.
    Messi, De Paul and Parades/Guido.
    Just a thought.

    • He already drops to midfield. This is often done to add a member in midfield, making it 4. If he officially plays in midfield, he will drop to our penalty box. The heat map will change. Which means defenders won’t track him unless he comes to attacking third. You want him closer to he goal. Right now he either plays as a striker or a true enganche, a number 10, which he is. Surely not as a right winger.

  3. There were some discussions about our playing style etc. Here is my take on this.

    Yesterday, I mentioned about we are a QF team along with 8-10 other teams. If you think about them, they have a style or identity. Like Spain, Brazil, Portugal or France. We have a style too. In the last worldcup we did not have any identity or style. This time we have. That is a positive.

    Whether we like it or not, we have a style. We are a 1-0, 2-1, 0-0, 1-1 team. We try to keep clean sheet. Get one goal and shut down the office. With our first 11, we have a good pressing game. We rely on minimal creativity to score 1-2 goals. This is our style and this is our plan. I like defensive styles. They are more likely to win tournaments. With our styles I expect tiebreakers. So we must prepare very well with penalties. With Dibu in the goal, we can prepare for that and expect success. Overall, that is the style. How far this will take us, we will see.

    • This is not a style, but the probable results of the game. And any team in the world can have these type of outcomes.
      Bdw if we rely with these type of situations, we are not going places. Terrorism football won’t make anyone champions. We need to have an advantage a minimum of 2 goals to shut down the office, if we want to advance.

      But the reality is that Scaloni’s style is something similar to Klopp’s game synchronized with the Tango way. Being Copa America champions was the need of the hour for our players to gain confidence, enhance the chemistry and get ready for the next World cup as a strong force; so Scaloni opted with that style of play.
      Post Copa America, we have seen how Scaloni’s ball turned into a more beautiful and disciplined game with a lot of essence added.

  4. One thing about Coco Basile is his lucky jacket; 2 times Copa Champion with same jacket. And the 0-5 defeated against Columbia at home and have to play-off to participate in WC – USA.

    Definitely agree with his statement and hopefully his words comes true : “Avoid the good ones, obviously. Why are we going to risk it? Why are you going to pick Germany? Let’s play against them later.”

  5. Plenty of time between now and the start of the WC and a decent amount of games as it stands and I’m sure more will be added……….plenty of balls to go around to try all the possible players.

  6. MacAllister could turn out to be R.Palacio of 2014!! First he is average and second it could be too late to bring in a new midfielder whose club performance isn’t great either!! I would stick with Palacios, he just got back from injury and has been playing with other midfielders since Scaloni took over! But the only concern is his fragile body, as everytime he gets injured its takes few games for him to gain momentum. Lanzini vs MacAllister vs Palacios vs N.Dominguez could be fighting for that one spot. Out of the 4, Nico hasn’t had any opportunity to play so far!!

  7. I think the selection should be based on form and players’ performance when selected for the National Team based on this criterion the obvious choices based on form of this season are
    paredes, depaul, domingez , lisandro , romero, molina, acuna, alvarez, lautaro, all the goalkeepers except armani, otamendi ,a Correa, Dybala when fit has been good, Guido and Enzo Fernandez these are 17 players and add 9 players that served the National team well over the years and recently those are messi, di maria, j correa , p gomez , tagliafico pezzela, locelso, n gonzalez and lastly, add montiel because we have no option i think these should be the world cup squad . it hurts me to remove Palacios but he has been poor he looks low on confidence l.ocampos it will be a shame if people see player like ocampos playing for Argentina.i think unlucky to miss will be lanzini Senesi and medina but they have not been selected enough I think the latter two and Enzo Fernandez have a good chance because they will be changing clubs in the summer

  8. Oh that yellow bananas came 1st in the fifa ranking. +9 or something increased. We lost 1 point or something. Still we are ahead of England by 4 points. Portugal seeded team?

  9. was that a bad idea to involve emi baundia in left side of midfield.. or rodrigo depaul in left midfield and baundia in the right midfield.. bcs baundia provide balance in both attack and defence. and he got some physicality too.. scaloni didn’t come up with such idea before.. is it too late to experiment baundia in the team

    • All I know is:
      1. We were missing as many as 7 starters/key rotation players against Venezuela and Ecuador: Emi, Cuti, Acuna, Lo Celso, Lautaro, Papu, and Di Maria (only play 25 minutes total).

      2. We were hardly looking impressive in those 2 matches. I am sure Scaloni is not impressed at all with the 2 performances.

      Against Venezuela only the engines and the souls of the team from midfield and beyond looked good: Messi, De Paul, and Di Maria. Against Ecuador, we looked bad. I think Scaloni knows this. Fair penalty or not, we still looked way below expectation.

      3. We were using at least 2 “third back ups” in LM Quarta and MacAllister as starters. Both of them did not impress. Our main back ups are usually almost as good as the starters such as Lisandro, Papu, Guido, Tagliafico, A Correa, Nico Gonzales etc, but NOT our third back up.

      The good thing is there is still 8 months to go and at least 6 more friendlies before the WC. We will NOT be in position where those 7 key players will be missing anymore. That’s for sure. The suspension is over.

      Therefore, we will likely see either the starters or the back ups only, not the third back ups for the upcoming matches.

      Remember MacAllister ONLY played because l Celso, Papu, and Acuna all who were ahead of him were unavailable.

      LM Quarta only played because Cuti, Lisandro both were unavailable and Scaloni was doing a bit of experiment by replacing Pezzella with LM Quarta.

      None of these 2 will get anywhere near the first team had we had a complete squad. That’s for sure. They might join the WC squad eventually, as bench warmers. That’s all.

  10. lanzini and papu provide creative midfield. even i would say lanzini pace little better than papu. i don’t think Macallister provides anything which is needed in the team. simply McAllister isn’t right idea for scaloni. he is wrong player in that ecuador game to use and it shows some weakest point for scaloni in team selection. lanzini only demerit is his injury record.. otherwise he is right man in midfield. i rate him better than lo celso. if lanzini had physicality something similar to rdp then he would be better than anyone. papu and lanzini may not strong in defence.. but i think lanzini is little ahead than papu bcs of his ball interception

    • macallister could be good for AR. if his speed is similar to his positioning.. and i don’t think he will improve in that so easily.. reason it depends on a lot of willpower experiences and personality, with his attitude of slow readyness he can be good in defence but he can’t improve in creative level of attacking..
      lanzini is bargain or gamble bcs his style of playing can make him fall in injury unpleasant moment.. in that way gomes is better than lanzini

    • Allister not better than Lanzini or Papu in offense.. Allister is not better than Palacios or Dominguez in defense…
      But Mac Allister provide a balance in offense and defense than other players except LoCelso at the left.

  11. 4 2 3 1 is a good formation to tackle the opponent’s counter. Not all but most. And also the forward 4 can concentrate on their attacking work more. That’s why Brazil always a upperhand over us when facing a medium level team and has high scoring rate. We can tackle their strategies but they are way in superior when facing teams like croatia African teams and other mid European teams. This 4 2 3 1 is always a comfortable formation means there will be always safety in defense. So they can easily win the group stage without any pressure. I have always heart attacks when the opponent’s counter comes. Our wing backs should have to be very consious. But a 4 2 3 1 is not our priority.

  12. Lo cleso is best Argentine creative mid..Maybe some of you disagree with me but i rate him high..he is one of the Argentine players, i always see his club game regularly..when he was with spurs but not get enough minutes yet play good with Argentina.In Villarreal He actually play well but he is not get assist coz of poor finish.
    Even he can get goal but couldn’t for his own poor finish.All in all i think he is very good team player, when he play with messi de pual, paredes he looks more superior.His throw pass is very dangerous..Just he needs to improve his finishing skil..all is good..thanks

  13. I can see lots of people are concerned about Germany here but i think but proper intensity we can beat this Germany side.
    The only team i want to avoid in the WC is Spain i think Spain is the most scary team for us. It’s impossible to dominate midfield against them which is our main strength . Even if we draw against Spain Messi will have a big big role to play there.

  14. “Why Scaloni giving confidence only to Mac Allister..? Why he didn’t give a single minute to Lanzini? Why Palacios didn’t start a single game?”

    @Insider, the answer is very simple. For the rest of the world the player who is in the starting line-up is better than the one on the bench, but for Argentina that is not the case always and I don’t what kind of logic Scaloni and his staff use. Look, Armani was a starter while Musso was on the bench. Is Armani any better than Musso? Everyone knows Musso is light years ahead of Armani and the same is true for Lanzini and Mac Allister. Sometimes when I look at the lineup I think Scaloni’s logic is on vacation. I hope he will select the best players for the WC and leave the underperforming ones behind.

  15. Not that it makes any difference but looking at social media and I’m as anti-social media as it gets……….I see a lot of support for ARG in the who is gonna win it all category and Messi because they KNOW nobody deserves it MORE, EVEN more so than the QUEEN of Social Media, Christina HER self

      • I swear you made me laugh 😃, it’s true he will come up with some stats and he is good at.
        I remember post world Cup 2018 to 2020 he and gonzalo used disagree almost everything they were biggest rivals in here Poland vs Hungary it was hilarious

  16. Good old Mafia Coco Basile huh. I hope him the best, as long as it’s far from the team.
    Anyways, I don’t think we did bad vs Ecuador.
    One, Ecuador is a good team that has a foundation laid now for 8 years. now this is the last generation of them. They have a great coach and a good number of experienced skilled players.
    Two, we had 4-5 backs up players.
    Three, the ref is a piece of trash.
    Four, no one is mentioning our defense, I think they did well.
    Five, our new young boy scored… I am so happy for him and the team, now he will def get minutes this cup.
    Six, I don’t think McAlister is terrible, but he is def not better then papu or lol celso, and I believe scaloni knows that. You have to try out guys like McAlister especially when u have opportunity thru suspension and injuries. The world cup is the same, there will be suspensions and injuries unfortunately.

    Anything can happen in one game, let alone a whole tournament. Let’s be happy that we are in the tournament and with a foundation finally. I think this team is better than 2018, 2014, and even 2010.

    • I’m just worried scaloni didn’t try Lanzini. Looked he may be terrible in NT but we will never know unless he tries out. Maybe Lanzini is not convincing enough during training if we apply the same logic for Dybala.

  17. Regarding De-Paul, his long balls are amazing and I am quite surprised he doesn’t get to deliver much of them at Atletico!! Simione bought a ferrari in De paul and drives it like a ford focus!!

  18. I dont disagree that we played poor yesterday but I think some of the reactions are over the top. We were without Dibu, Cuti, Acuña, Papu, Lautaro, Lo Celso, Di Maria didn’t play, etc. We were in a stadium of only Ecuadorians, the referee was terrible and a lot went against us. Anyone can call this excuses and I am fine with that, I agree that despite those factors we still should have played better. But am I the only one that’s happy we played badly? I am very happy the performance was average, tough, and frustrating. I am happy the other team outplayed us. A lot of people on this site don’t like winning streaks but I don’t think that the winning streaks themselves are to blame, its the overconfidence that can stem from them. I am glad we didn’t win a free scoring game yesterday because going into the world cup without a challenge can seriously hurt us. Imagine if we faced a European version of Ecuador in the WC without knowing how to handle it or having practiced against that type of team. If anything this is a perfect wake up call for Scaloni to plan a friendly against a team with a similar profile before the world cup. He has over two months to plan how to face a team that a) presses us and b) even out possesses us and then execute his plans in June. He also has time to think about improving our counter attack which needs serious re thinking. How often is it that we have a counter attack with three runners and the player with the ball hesitates and then gives it to the worse option and that player loses it? If anything the penalty at the end of the game was a blessing in disguise because we didn’t deserve to win. I compared us to England the other day saying that an advantage we have is confidence, but the confidence we should have is humble, hard working, trust in our abilities confidence. Not naive overconfidence. If everything is flawless coming up to the world cup the only direction we can go is down. Its better to build up towards the world cup and improve throughout the tournament in my opinion. I am glad this game happened now because it will highlight what we need to improve and give us time to do it. I also don’t think Mac Allister is as much a concern as people think he is. He is not a B choice player, he is a D choice and if Palacios recovers his form and confidence easily an F choice player. Both Papu and Dominguez should be ahead. I think Scaloni used this opportunity to give Mac Allister confidence (hence starting him both games) and see how it goes. Clearly it didn’t go too well but these sort of experimental risks every now and then can help us unearth a good player or find a good combination. I highly doubt Mac Allister will go to Qatar even with 26 players.

    • Exactly!! Don’t want a repeat of 2002! We breezed through the qualifiers only to crash out from the group games. Yesterday’s game couldn’t have come at a better times! Other teams will definitely try to use the same approach against us and we will be more prepared now!! Games like these are must to have our feet on the ground!!

    • Yes, totally. There’s such thing as peaking too early and we don’t want to be that team. We should not go into the WC thinking we are invincible and a dose of humility is a must.

      I think it was also a good opportunity to see which of our bench or potential back-up players can perform well and I think what we saw is that Rulli, Tagliafico, Pezzella, Nico Gonzalez are good and reliable options to have off the bench whereas Quarta, Mac Allister and Armani are not.

      There would be some naysayers who think that we are a mediocre team but whatever, we’ll see who is right in the end.

      • Mac Allister…the big guns here need a rethink…
        I even think that..Mac Allister may start in the world cup ahead of LoCelso and Papu if he keeps playing and improving in club level.
        If we integrate him to the team, he can be another great prospects for NT.
        Currently he’s below LoCelso and Papu.
        You all just watch both matches again..and see Mac Allister positioning whe we attack..!

        • Come on don’t overrate him. He has at best 50% chance to make it to the World Cup. Let alone replacing Lo Celso or Papu in the starting line up. Yeah right.

          Scaloni would be Sampaoli part 2 if he starts MacAllister ahead of his regulars in the World Cup.

          And no he will not do anything more than what he’s been doing in Brighton. He is a rotation player in Brighton. Only lately he started the matches a bit more.

          And last but not least, just because MacAllister started the last 2 games where MANY of our regulars are unavailable (Lo Celso, Papu, Acuna) don’t mean that Scaloni already falls in love with him and make him the next Cuti/Emi (a new comer who comes and become starter right away).
          Everyone can see that MacAllister performed bad-average in those 2 games. No one from a good Argentina website gave him a rating of 6.

          • 6 or higher I mean *

            Actually to think about it MCL (midfield center left) is well covered. Lo Celso is the untouchable starter there. Then Papu is his back up. Sometimes Acuna plays there too for tactical reason if Scaloni wants to play Tagliafico as left back.

            So already 3 players for that position. Plus… don’t forget that in Copa Paredes and Guido sometimes start together with De Paul. So many options already there. Calling up another MCL like MacAllister would be a bit waste of space as there are 4 other options above that are Scaloni’s main preferences (start Lo Celso, Papu, Acuna, or double DM).

          • I am not over rating him. I know he’s not good enough for the starting spot. Currently he has no place in 23 squad. I know that.
            I said..he may start…with the condition.
            1. LoCelso playing as forward now and Papu is ageing. We may need a third option if LoCelso or Papu out of form/injured. Currently it is Allister.
            2. He’s just 23. He can improve. If he improves, and regularly playing in club. He has chance.

            These 2 points happening…have big chances…that’s why I used..he may..start..

            BTW, I believe this time the squad will be 26 for the WC . So he has a great chance now to be in 26.

            But you simply telling he won’t do better than what be does now is just writing him off with some unknown reason. that’s not good. Let him turn into a great player. Let NT benefit from that…I hope for that.

          • No idea about rating. He didn’t play full match. Don’t expect a player get good rating if he substituted in 50th or 60th minutes.. unless he scored a goal or assist.

    • Why Scaloni giving confidence only to Mac Allister..? Why he didn’t give a single minute to Lanzini? Why Palacios didn’t start a single game?
      The answer is coaching staff clearly understand Allister is currently in better shape and better suited to their tactics than the other available options.
      LoCelso, Papu, Mac Allister this is the order currently in the left side. As LoCelso is primary backup for DePaul, 3 players can be selected to the WC(Total of minimum 4 players at left and right of midfield). Nico Dominguez can be great option if he’s injury free and playing regularly at club level. Dominguez can be a third option in DM too. That’s a plus for him.

        • Dear..everyone knows that. Who is the backup for DePaul at the right side? Currently it’s LoCelso(he will move to right in the absence of DePaul) and Papu will be played at left in that case.

      • Another thing is that I don’t think Scaloni is impressed with both Argentina matches where MacAllister started. Against Venezuela, Argentina performed below average before Di Maria came on.

        Against Ecuador it was one of our worst performances for a long time.

        In those 2 matches, it was very clear that the missing of Lo Celso, Cuti, Emi, Acuna, Di Maria, Papu, and Lautaro from the starting line up did affect their performance.

    • Palacios is also B or C class player he is over rated. Never saw anything in him. Do not know why these people rates bum high while he has played kind of below average match for Argentina, Palacios is like Biglia no talent but just average player

      • Palacios is not someone who will wow you. He is just a team player. In the past, there were times where he looked better than Lo Celso and there were times where Scaloni even preferred him than Lo Celso. He was really good at La Paz Bolivia if I am not mistaken.

        In the past the likes or Real Madrid was interested in him, but then he is quite an injury prone like Lo Celso. He has yet to improve to where he is supposed to be after the injury.

        For me I think Leverkusen is not a good team for him. I still believe in his talents. He is the most versatile midfielder we have in that he can play DM, MCL, MCR or MC. I would still give him a chance.

        And no I don’t believe he already lost competition against MacAllister for one spot. MacAllister might start the last 2 games but Palacios has been with Scaloni from day 1 until now. He is never absent.

        It was similar case to Guido’s performance in Copa to me. Guido performed well in Copa up until Scaloni considering replacing someone who has also been with him from day one, named Paredes with Guido. But then Paredes still won the starting battle today.

        The same with MacAllister vs Palacios for one spot I guess. If there is one spot empty and the choice is between MacAllister and Palacios. I would choose the later without doubt.

  19. Argentina is a QF team. Before you jump onto anything hear me out.

    Argentina, Brazil, Spain, England, Holland, Germany, Portugal, France, Belgium – at current state these are all QF candidates. Then add Uruguay, Senegal, Denmark, Croatia etc.

    If Argentina does lower than QF we have underperformed. Above QF, we have done well. Anything can happen from then onwards.

    Key is to win the group. You reduce the luck factor to some extent. A decent group followed by a decent 2nd round. From QF its all out war. Anything can happen.

  20. Guys relax…….ARG let Ecuador had their way last night….I dont think they even took the game that seriously bcz the outcome would not matter, and whats the fuss about ARG not having sharp attack creative midfield? They dont need to have sharp attack and very creative midfield in these type of games if you want to see sharp attack and creative midfield go watch the copa games and qualifiers around that time just see they would create 5-6 good chances within the first 10-15 minutes and score early goals in most games. If thats not sharp attack and creative midfield IDK what is. I am pretty sure they will be fine.

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