Alejandro Papu Gómez on the Argentina national team, the World Cup

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Alejandro Papu Gómez spoke about the Argentina national team and his presence at the World Cup.

Papu Gómez has been an important part of the Argentina national team for the last year. If he is not starting, he has been a substitute and has scored and assisted important goals.

Gómez is in the Argentina team for the Finalissima match against Italy as he spoke about his role in the team. Speaking in an interview with IP, here is what he had to say:

“At first, when they call you up, it’s like you’re constantly taking an exam. And that is normal because the Argentina national team has a high level. But today I feel more settled within the group and it’s not easy because I wasn’t there before.

“I try to live it and enjoy it as much as I can because we know that this has an expiration date and you don’t know when the last competition or the last match will be. Because of my age, this could be my first and last World Cup.”

In regards to the team itself:

“We spend too much time together, between four walls because we can’t go anywhere. Co-existing, if you really don’t get along, everyone is in their rooms and does their own thing. Today, the generation changed a little with phones and Ipads.

“Here, it’s totally different. We spend a lot of time drinking mate, chatting about everything: That’s why when we talk about “group”, we aren’t selling smokes and mirrors. There is a great unity and that is later reflected on the pitch. We spend a lot of time inside the camp with people who saw us grow up and that creates a trust that perhaps you don’t even have with a family member.”

He also spoke about being close to the fans:

“The new generation identifies with many of us. The use of social networks, we know it. We know that the people like this back and forth and we also know that the results are with us and today, thank God, we can do it. Perhaps at another time we couldn’t because we know that the Argentine is demanding.

“Today, we enjoy doing it. We know we can o it and it’s good to get closer to people and let them see what we do in a camp or how we live a win.”

54 Comments

  1. For all those people saying Otamendi is not reliable. You all base your opinion on the years he played without any support, the years Argentina’s defense and midfield was a joke. That kind of situation will make every single defender struggle.

    He has done just fine in the qualifiers and Copa. This team has too many youngsters in it with no world cup experience, they need him.

  2. Can’t wait anymore for the match!! Lots of excitement, specially when the match will be live telecasted!!!
    Vamos!!!! 🇦🇷💪💙

  3. Cuti plays better with a leader in the back. Otamendi has done that job wonderfully. Cuti is an amazing defender but he needs someone (a leader) to remind him if he is out of position or if he is too aggressive and so on.

    I notice this for the Spurs too. Dier was injured for around 3 weeks so Cuti was partnered with Davinson Sanchez and Davies. On paper, Sanchez is a much better defender than Dier. More aggressive, stronger, better in the air, and better technique, faster. But Sanchez is not a leader. He is a “poor man Cuti”. Cuti himself is not that much of a leader in the back. That’s why the record was abysmal without Dier.

    Dier was average but he is a leader in the back and he speaks fluent Spanish too just like Sanchez. That’s why the duo of Dier Cuti is much better than Sanchez Cuti.

    With Argentina it is the same. Cuti is like a wild horse. He needs someone to tell him where to go and what to do. Otamendi can do that job. Maybe one day Lisandro will do that job, but as of now I don’t see any reason why Otamendi should be dropped from the starting line up.

    If he would be dropped by Scaloni now, it would be a big scandal for the dressing room because the whole squad knows that Otamendi has been the key player of a team that won 35 something without losing plus a Copa America title. And more importantly, he shows no sign of declining.

  4. I am perfectly fine with Enzo Fernandez not being called up and even if then only as a squad player. Real football matches are not video games. The same fickle minded selection that caused our qualifying and campaign unstable is there in a section of the fans on this site. There is not sufficient reason to think he is prepared for the next level. Overexposure can be very dangerous for someone with a high ceiling. Just because it suits someone’s fancy does not make that player an automatic choice. Scaloni has done enough to deserve our respect and trust. We need a stable working fighting unit and not a fickleminded week to week changing lineup.

  5. Leo Messi :

    “Lewandowski’s negative comments after failing to win the Ballon D’or ? Everyone says what they want and obviously he can say what he wants. I honestly don’t share what he said but I didn’t give it much importance either. I don’t care”

    • Even if we win against Italy we should concentrate on our mistakes rather than just enjoying the victory. Because this is surely not a full strength Italian side with no chiesa no immobile no berardi

  6. Romero and Martinez should be the starting duo in all matches up to WC. They need to build an understanding. Romero and Otamendi already have developed a good connect, which sometimes get disrupted because Otamendi has a tendency to become slow to react from time to time. Also Martinez and Otamendi need some time together too, so that we have 3 combinations well prepared for the WC. Italy is very strong in the mid-field. Messi and Di Maria need to start a bit from behind to disturb that mid-field. Else Italy would capture control and possession. They did that with the #1 team Belgium. After sometime Belgium just gave up as they lost control. Lukaku was rendered clueless. Lautaro can be in similar limbo until and unless Messi and Di Maria provide some medio support.

  7. Depaul. is going to be Args most important midflder in coming WC.but scaloni didn’t yet to find his substitute as a backup. If any injury circumstances comes there is no perfect backup for DePaul.. Scaloni not much used Dominguez..it’s a mistake.

  8. i’m not in support of Palacious.. which a lot of people may be thinking will be next argentine modric.. it is big foolishness from scaloni.. if he chooses palacious over enzo fernandez.. it was perfect time to include enzo in the squad

    • palacious was good when he was in river . in europe he become average.. may be it is reason of his lack of playing time and frequent injury

  9. watched the copa final vs vrazil again. after final i comment on some negative side of game final vs brazil (i also said final didn’t impressed me specially second half of the game when AR almost conceded one goal from brazil which was disallowed bcs of offside.. though there was lot of scary feeling vrazil created in second half but there is another clear chance same player richarlison got which he can’t converted to goal).. then lot of people attack me with some ***** words.. in final From AR side only solid and strong player was RDP .. which was big positive for AR… i want to point out some of the player which is substituted by scaloni in that final..
    c.. romero -> G. pazella .. romero was struglling with injury. number of minute he was in pitch played not bad not convincing too.. pazella didn’t increase that standard rather it was downgrade.

    locelso -> tagliafico .. tagliafico is may be good in defence.. but he don’t bring that level of energy or speed .. to gear up the attack to thread the opponent.. locelso was also not too good.

    paredes -> Guido.. i have nothing to bad about guido .. he is pretty decent player .. but he is not elegant passer like banega , paredes ..

    Laotaro -> Nico Gon.. Nico was trying to invent himself in the team with his effort.. i would not say nico bad .. bcs his effort didn’t create anything bad rather good..

    di maria -> palacious .. here is dissapointed for me i thought palacious will give some strength in midfield.. which was totally opposite in that game..

    in second half AR was totally defensive.. when you are defensive there is probability you will concede mistake.. surprisingly otamendi and montiel was good in that final. he concede some aggression but not serious foul.. with inclusion of tagliafico.. and a lot of player who is good in defence guido,montil.. it was feeling argentina was totally lose strongly backbite brazil… if argentina conceded goal in that match . it would really hard for argentina get back in the game.. RDP is only player who was equally good in every aspect in that game..

    if scaloni didn’t understand his lacking and area to improve from this game.. this is really bad from him..
    i have always doubt of effectivenes of this player.. pazella, tagliafico, palacious
    i think argentina needs some more player like rdp who is physically and creatively equally strong specially in both wing back position.. tagliafico is good defensively.. but he is not creatively good or pacy player.. i think scaloni is using him as defensive player.. if use tagliafico as defensive player then you are including on more player as thinking of defense.. which is wrong

    alvarez, enzo this players are really solid .. i’m feeling lack of two player in the wing back position..

    • Yaa it wasnt a perfect match for sure we were not that dynamic and connecting in that match but somehow we able to win a final, in that happines we forget all the mistakes

        • What have you been smoking,you guys on here will Say anything to get a reaction.
          The game EMI played was luck
          The game montiel played was luck
          The game DePaul played was luck
          The goal dimaria played was luck.
          How could you say it was luck that made Argentina won???

          • are you fool or what.. and what you are smoking.. do you have common sense.. and who is asked for your reaction.. i said football is not always about strong or skill.. sometime in every team there needs to luck to favor.. football is just not two or three or five players game.. football is 11 players game each player needs to equally strong in there position.. also there needs to be favor of luck so something wrong to be not happen .. if football is al about skill… then argentina won it in 2014.. in every world cup there is upset moment in the game.. why there is upset moment… there is plenty of example of luck.. german luck favors this is why they won it in 2014.. i don’t want to go folish debate in here.

      • if luck don’t favor you can’t win even with strong team in every aspect. germany was lucky in 2014.. otherwise argentina was far better than that german side

      • @gonzalo i think you are brazilian fan in this argentine blog.. yes luck favours.. but luck is 10 % skill is 90%.. sometime people failes bcs of small margin of point.. so that small margin is important.. it is true that argentina wasn’t all around perfect.. but whatever they do they do it right so luck favors on them and they win.. but ar needs to cautious about it’s position bcs luck don’t sit up in same position again and again

    • Final matches are never pretty. Final matches especially the country ones are always scrapy affairs to watch. It’s nothing new. Fouls cause multiple restarts and breaks pace. None of this should be news. The analysis is not logical by any means. Everyone except RDP was poor yet we won. Brazil were poorer then. Cool then.

      • what do you mean? The analysis is not logical by any means.. what you are trying to say.. it goes above my head like you are talking to the air.. sorry your words are meaningless to me.. it looks you are trying to attract the attention that you are expertise in football and you know everything about football then the others and you have lot of experience about it

    • Argentina struggled in the second half for about 10 minutes (from minute 50 to 60), this was when the offside goal was scored, then Emi made a big save from the same side. Brazil was able to exploit Argentina’s left, a couple of dangerous passes were made from center and Brazil’s left finding a striker on their right (Argentina’s left) free. Good thing is, Scaloni reacted very quickly and reinforced that with Tagliafico. After that Brazil continued to press but they did not create chances.

      A lot has changed since then. The team today has progressed and has more confidence, and hopefully will continue to grow and will peak during the world cup.

      Pazella made a great tackle, like the one Masche did against Holland, not as great but similar.

  10. Regarding Otamendi… I think Finalissima will be his last match as starter before WC, and Licha will be integrated to partner Cuti in friendlies onward. Our coaching staff follow our players closer than we do, and they have seen and know what Licha has become. It was always bound to happen

    Some will argue that Scaloni’s integration of certain players has been slow and should have happened earlier (Dibu, Cuti, Licha, Senesi), which could be a fair point, but I would argue that the timing of Scaloni’s player integration has been on point and more impactful than just trying to slot in the most in-form player at the time. Dibu and Cuti immediately and seamlessly fit in to the team right after Serie A best defender + Aston Villa clean sheet record, both exploding into the scene out of seemingly nowhere that season and both with a point to prove.
    For Licha the integration has been more gradual, but after Italy I feel the timing is perfect to start him next to Cuti to bring our already strong defence to the next level

    Otamendi has done very well for us in recent years and has been the perfect partner and role model for Cuti and an important member of the squad. He will remain an excellent sub in WC, having partnered both Cuti and Licha and able to play both RCB and LCB

  11. I think the following names confirmed for wc
    Goalkeepers:
    1. E. Martinez
    2. Musso
    3. Armani
    Defender’s
    4. Acuna
    5. Tagliafico
    6. Otamendi
    7. Romero
    8. Lisandro
    9. Foyth
    10. Molina

    Midfielders:
    11. Paredes
    12. Guido
    13. Lo celso
    14. R. De paul
    15. Papu
    Attack:
    16. Messi
    17. Di Maria
    18. L. Martinez
    19. N. Gonzales
    If 23 men squads then 4 spots left(one defender, 2 midfielders & one forward)…

    One defender: pezella/ sensesi
    2 Midfielders: Mac. Allister/ palacios/ j. correa/ A. Correa/ Dominguez
    One forward: Alario/ j. Alvarez/ dybala
    Out 10 only 4 would be included..
    If 26 men squads then 7 would get the chance
    I think the situation getting tougher for scaloni

    • So you completely left Montiel out. Montiel has still chance even in a 23 men squad. J Alvarez is confirmed 80%. J correa and A correa are forwards. Palacios also confirmed. Last spot fight between macallister and Dominguez. Dybala only has chance if it is a 26 men squad.

        • gk. : it is between armani and rulli now with armani has a advantage.
          defence : 2 out of these 3 will go , Montiel,Pezzella and senesi.
          midfield : 2 spots contenders palacios,dominguez, buendia,
          mac-allister, lamela and enzo fernandez where last two have to play out of their teeth to be considered
          forward 2 spots : dybala , a correa, j correa, ocampos and alario

          this is the competition remaining if squad size is 26

  12. I was listening talksport radio while I was driving, it programs call Trans Europe Express its every sunday
    Basically it’s reviews of the most European leagues. They invite all kind different experts and pundits cross the continent. My main point is Tim vickery comes to talk south America they were analysing Italy vs Argentina game they were saying Italy are more determined to win this and it’s serious business for both national teams
    Tim vickery had said Argentina are ticking except otamendi who is the only weakness arg may have. He also mentioned licha or senesi to replace him.

    My opinion on this I think otamendi has done well for us in recent matches but it just about the time to unleash Licha and cuti partnership, especially Estonia match cus I know scaloni won’t drop otamendi in big matches no because his ability rather he is Messi friend.

    • No, Otamendi is still picked because his rough style. The likes of Ramos , Pepe or Materazzi, those guys are prone to make mistakes aswell, and number of red cards they receives dont lie.

      Otamendi knows how to get into opponent’s skin and makes them lose their cool, and when players lose their cool, they couldnt play their best game. He did it against Neymar in last year final. Btw, Otamendi has played in 3 finals for Argentina (2015, 2016, 2021), guess how many goal we conceides? zero.

      • Say about wc performance. Otamendi started in 4-0 drubbing against Germany in 2010 3-0 drubbing against Croatia 4-3 loss against france. That’s 11 goals in 3 matches only. Copa America and wc is not the same. Refereeing standard is also different

        • You can’t blame Otamendi for 2010 he was playing as right back and Maradona had no clue about coaching.
          Again, 4-3 loss to Croatia. Great Sampaoli put Arg in shambles. 2018 WCup was all about individual talent.

        • Proof you’re beyond stupid. 2010? Did you even see the line up and formation? lol

          Italy lost 4-0 to Spain in Euro 2012 final, does that mean Buffon is terrible? Buffon conceided 3 in CL final 2015, does that mean he’s bad? Julio Cesar won treble with Inter but conceided 7 against Germany in 2014, does that mean he’s terrible? Ubaldo Fillol conceided countless goal in WC 1974, yet he won WC 1978. Neuer conceided goals against minor teams like South korea and Mexico, that made him terrible?

          You want more example? explain how Spain top class defenders conceided 5 goals in WC 2014 opener? Sergio Romero conceided zero against Netherlands, that made him better than Casillas?

          Any random 3 years old could come up with better analysis but mr. anu

          • Lol to defend a cb or defender ur coming with all goalkeepers example?? That’s weird. Btw he was poor against Liverpool this season. He was always performed poorly for man city in ucl knockouts there is a reason after playing spain and England he is playing in Portugal. He will be close to 35 years in wc. If we aspire to be world champions we just can’t ignore Lisandro simple as that. Otamendi is not messi we can’t just fill the team with veterans and expect them to deliver the cup. France won the wc in 2018 with 2 young cb varane and umtiti. Plus you can’t play 2 over aggressive cb at the same time that’s too risky

          • Our worst team hit 3 goals against this so called young defense of France. This France with your so called young defenders had played like a “parking the bus” team against Belgium in the semis. Look at Italy’s cbs in euro 2021. What was their age? How many goals they conceded? We need both veterans and youngsters mix. Messi otamendi di Maria have lot of experience and faced many situations like this in the wc. Don’t want another 2010. Liverpool is a well oiled machine. Otamendi at this age against liverpool would be hard to defend especially with a team like Benfica. International games are different.

    • If messi frnd was the criteria Aguero would have always started ahead of lautaro. Even j. Correa started ahead of Aguero. I don’t think its anything to do with otamendi being messi frnd. Scaloni starting him for the experience. Dropping a senior player is not easy

      • you require pezzella for his calm head. so for senesi to come you have to either drop foyth or montiel. which is a difficult decision

    • Papu was in redhot form in 2018 and should have been selected along with Pezella who was at his peak. But our mangers Bauza and Tata failed to gradually integrate these players into the team leaving brainless Sampaoli to stick with washed up Masch & Biglia who killed any creativity in our midfield and their slowness caused tremendous pressure on our weak defense that comprised of substandard Rojo.

      • You could say the same about Icardi and Dybala. Icardi has been serie A top scorer twice at that point, even Dybala scored 26 goals that season. Yet our manager still using Higuain in WC 2018. Dybala and Icardi only played few matches in qualifier and mostly as a late sub or being subbed out early.

        Biglia has always been mr.passanger. He add no value to the team other than being 1 of 11 players on the pitch. Paredes could have muscled up our midfield even in 2018. He was good already since his serie A days.

      • Man, now I think about it, the days from the resignation of Sabela to the day Scaloni took the position (2014 to 2018) were very dark.
        After 4 years we had not incorporated one new player into the team well, we struggled to the last game of the qualifiers, we lost 2 Copa Americas to Chile (this is while Brazil was struggling and Copa was ours to take), we suffered humiliating losses to Brazil and Spain, almost knocked out of the first round of the world cup…
        Terrible times.

    • Yes papu knows how to dictate the game like Messi. It’s all about scaloni to unleash our each and every player at the right time especially subs like papu. Hoping this finalissima would be a reality check and just keep on improving whatever be the result

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