Roberto Ayala comments on Argentina, Lionel Messi, Brazil, World Cup


Roberto Ayala commented on the Argentina national team, Lionel Messi, Brazil and the World Cup.

Ayala is part of the coaching staff which won the Copa America and the Finalissima with the Argentina national team. Having previously been part of several tournaments for Argentina, the veteran spoke about the current group of players in an interview on Friday.

In an interview with D Sports Radio, the Argentine had this to say about the team:

“We believe in what we do and the players feel comfortable with the cause and what is asked of them.

“I have had colleagues with whom we would not get together for vacation but this group is not like that. It’s good to know about the other (player) and it creates a greater commitment being on the pitch. I hope everything continues like this.”

Regarding Lionel Messi:

“He saw the moments of each one of the players. He kept his eye there. At the 2019 Copa America, we already felt that we were aligned in what was intended, beyond not having won the title.

“The national team is not only Messi. He has to make us better and we must continue helping him to be the best.

“In Messi, I see a sense of belonging in what it means to wear the captain’s armband. With the right words and being one of the boys. Sometimes he is serious with the boys. He shows it in every gesture.

“In Messi, I found many aspects of a positive leader, the one who is always there in difficult moments.

“I was in my part of the locker room but I heard Messi’s speech at the Maracaná and I wanted to go out and play myself. I remember it and it makes my hair stand on end.”

On the World Cup and France:

“They don’t have to play well to hurt you. They can get a goal out of nothing.”

“If we are in competitive mode, we will be a difficult team.”

He also spoke about the World Cup qualifier which is supposed to be played against Brazil in September:

“Let’s see what happens with Brazil. If we have to play it, we will play it. Nobody wants to lose but for a red (card), you have to serve it in Qatar.

“It’s heated matches. We still don’t have any official information and we don’t know what we are going to do. If we play with starters or not. The qualifiers happened and everyone is where they have to be.”


  1. I have never understood the obsession with Riquelme. A lazy player by his own admission, (let the ball do the work), and not even the best of his contemporaries as Pablo Aimar was WAY better than him and before that Ardiles, and Redondo too. Most of his goals came from set pieces or wide open spaces. Incredibly talented he was, but he just did enough to be better than his competition but not committed to be the best.

  2. In the last few days, there are rumors that Sevilla is interested in Lo celso and Regulion from Tottenham and they would exchange them with Kounde. Good news, if this happens. CL football, lot of Argentines in the team. But I dont think GLC will be an automatic starter for Sevilla like Villareal. What do you guys think?

  3. Anyway , did u guys saw the last match of tottenham v sevilla where montiel bled because he hit and bump on son’s elbow? Romero seems to be confused on who to defend :v

    • Montiel was wrong to go after Son. He went for the aggressive tackle and got hurt. It wasn’t Sons fault…Romero, Lamela, etc were simply trying to calm the heated situation, that’s all.

    • Very welcome!!
      Montiel didn’t make much development. I guess he will remain in the periphery. Son is not a bad guy as such. Cuti is quite friendly with him. So was Lamela and GLC. Oh well.

  4. Hello everyone im new member here but i’ve followed this site since the 2019 copa america, im from Indonesia and i would love to be a part of mundoers here 🙂🙏

  5. There are lot of mixed emotions and opinions about GLC here. I respect everybody’s opinion and try to read all. Here are some facts, not opinions

    1. He has been in Europe for sometime 7-9 years may be. Good solid years.
    2. Played for PSG, Betis, Spurs, Villareal. Very good clubs, with good coaches and co-players.
    3. Two outstanding seasons in Betis and Villareal (the most recent). Actually, I think 1 of his PSG season under Emery was quite good too.

    Question is, if he is “world class” why can’t he find a club? His price tag of 30M, supposedly will go down now, is not of a world class mid fielder either. What are your reasons? Conte have given his reasons (you can find it). What are your reasons?

    Let me share my thoughts for umpteenth time:
    Skill wise he is top. He is in my opinion top at breaking the midfield lines and break the opponent defensive lines. Where is lacks is in the modern game. He lacks some intensity and physical attribute the modern game has changed to. This is where he is struggling and not getting the vote of confidence from coaches and clubs.

    Now, that was all for club football. For NT he is a top and critical contributor. We play a midfield system with rotating roles. We don’t have a definitive roles like #5 Mascherano, or a #10 like Aimar, Riquelme or Ortega, or #8 like Lucho or Cambiasso or Gago etc. So RDP, Paredes, Lo Celso all takes turn to play the whole system. RDP and Paredes brings a lot of physicality and long balls. Lo Celso absolutely brilliant in breaking the lines with crisp in ground passes. So for NT he is super critical. No doubt.

    I don’t come here to insult people. We are all Argentina fans. We are together like brothers. I come here when I get time. Like everyone else I have other job. So, I am really curious about what are your thoughts? Why is GLC not getting a club, considering he is world class mid fielder? A healthy debate with respect.

    • Right after GLC joined Villarreal, Emery played him as a second striker for first few matches and not only he couldn’t score any goals, he seemed to have lost his positional awareness too when played as a forward. He was then moved to midfield where he started to excel and was a very important player in Villarreal’s midfield. Considering he is not a heavy built, his ability to hold on to the ball and easily pass it to a team mate when pressed was highlight of the last season. Additionally, his play making was outstanding in Champions league and played a vital role in securing Villareal’s semi-final spot. Yes, he is not world class but he is a very important player in our team. Our creativity always suffers when he doesn’t play and he also makes Messi’s life very easy by sharing the responsibility of creating chances. I consider him a poor man’s Messi.

      His fitness prior to last season could be one of the reason clubs are not willing to spend so much cash on him. Second, would be his poor scoring form. He missed a lot of good chances and which is why I think Villarreal isn’t pushing hard to get him for that price. However, since Conte has made it clear he doesn’t want Locelso in his team, Spurs should be okay selling him for 50% less than the asking price, as 15 million is peanuts for EPL teams. Atletico Madrid was intrested in him, but I would prefer Villarreal make a bid for him as Simeone will not play him regularly. Its surprising to see our important players like GLC, Dybala, Tagliafico are having hard time finding a club!!

    • It’s not about that he ain’t good enough or anything. Top clubs are scared to invest on him because he is too injury prone. Like at Spurs he was injured most of his time. He played one game then he was injured. He is Class I have no doubt and this is all good for Argentine. He will find a club that’s for sure and hopefully he has those motivation to prove all the club wrong. Now I don’t give shit what clubs he plays. Mid table or top table! As long as he plays regularly and stays healthy till world cup. He is very very important player for our set up.

      • True that. Generally our players are very good with the ball at their feet. So that part is always there. He has to play this year for our NT

    • Well put Ddr. Ignore the comments of some people here. We don’t know how old ppl here are. Some might behave childish because of their age. So better ignore them.

      As for Lo Celso, the guy is perfect for what Argentina need in midfield. We don’t need a midfielder who produces numbers like Bruno Fernandes or KDB. We need a midfielder who can be a perfect role player and maximize Messi or Di Mari or Lautaro’s ability to produce the goals/assists. That’s where Lo Celso is good at.

      Unfortunately, there are not many clubs in Europe who wants a starting caliber (attacking minded) midfielder who has “no end product”. That’s how they see Lo Celso. A player who is good in many things but have very low ratio of goals/assists. That’s why he struggles to find a club.

      Adama Traore is in similar case. He is a winger, not like Lo Celso. But Adama is a player who is one of the world best in dribbling but has no end products. He went to Barca instead of the Spurs last January hoping to improve his career. I heard he was willing to take around €20.000 per week in Barca instead of €120.000 per week that the Spurs offered him last January. But Adama failed in Barca. Now he is back to the Wolves with just one year left in his contract and the Spurs does not even want to sign him anymore.

      I mean it is not easy for players who have low numbers to draw interests from the clubs. Lo Celso was praised when in Villarreal but his goal/assist ratio was really bad. Especially he was playing as midfielder/attacking midfielder/winger/second striker. People notice that. So as a result he lacks of suitors now.

      For me Lo Celso best scenario is if he will go to a team that has a lot of stars already (kinda like Argentina) where he is not required to produce Bruno Fernandes like number.

          • From fbref club+NT end product (precise database): Modric in 45496+10206 minutes 80 goals (19 penalties) and 103 opta assists, Lo Celso in 14557+2373 minutes 34 goals (2 penalties) 36 opta assists.
            Overall Modric 55702 minutes 61 non penalty goals and 103 assists, Lo Celso 16930 minutes 32 non penalty goals and 36 assists.

      • That is a great assessment and comparison. I feel the same way, generational gap :). Internet and social media watchers, which is not a problem, just different.

  6. And people here say locelso better than riquelme 😂😹 Riquelme was a big team flop (Barcelona) and a mid table player (Villarreal) Lo Celso made in Villarreal in some months what Riquelme (UCL semi final) Roman cost a final for them. In big matches Riquelme was Mr. Invisible, an old school luxury player, who slow as hell, who doesnt run, doesnt defend, doesnt make pressings and couldnt play in 3 men midfield. Our current team would instantly collapse with Riquelme instead of lo Celso.

    • Csabalala, please don’t be deluded riquelme was one the best of his generation and the game was different back then , juan roman riquelme was unique 10 many highly respected journalists and players respect him and talk about him up to this day how good and underrated player he was. add to that people mentions riquelme with same bracket likes Zidane, pirlo and Ronaldinho.

    • Allow me to give some perspective

      Riquelme was not wanted by Luis Van Gaal and he played him as a winger. Don’t you complain when our players are played in odd position? Same with Riquelme in Barcelona.

      Villareal was not midtable. Even worse. People didn’t even know that there is a team with that name. Riquelme made it a household name. Under Pellegrini (best coach for Argentine players, Lo Celso at Betis for example) Riquelme took Villareal to heights no one ever imagined. Forlan was good too, Sorin was there too.

      I agree Riquelme will fail now. The game has changed. So I see your point. Yes he was lazy (didn’t run like crazy) too. But if Andres Iniesta could watch this guy while growing up and Zidane chooses to pass the baton to Riquelme, I think he deserves a little respect. Sure he didn’t finish like Iniesta or Zidane. But he was at the top during his time.

  7. Its seems manu fans are still confused, where his( Lesandro Martinez) position? Dm /Cb? I think ten hag like him as a CB….what you think guys

  8. Lo Celso linked to Fiorentina now. Vincenzo Italiano is a good coach, playing at attacking 4-3-3 and Lo Celso would strive under him. But no Champions League football and a kind of a mediocre club these days.

      • Agreed. It’s important for him to find a club and play regular football. He is a mid table team midfielder. Whether people here accept it or not.

        Make no mistake, he is an important piece of our national team system. So I care a lot for him. But if we think top UCL clubs will be lining up to sign him, we are fooling ourselves.

        • Midtable is acceptable ONLY in terms of getting minutes. But you can’t convince me that a player who killed it in the knockout stages of the CL and is a very consistent KEY player for his national team is midtable level. Watching him play also makes that very clear but I’m convinced many people on this forum have never done so outside of when he wears our colors.

          • I agree with you. It is not the question of skill. GLC is surely one of the better skilled. The game has changed and lot and his intensity is probably the issue. That’s why Spain or Italy is probably better. He is super critical for our NT. He is the best in our NT to break the lines, not long ones like RDP but play between the lines.

            Its like Pastore. The guy was crazy skilled, but did not make it. A coach was dedicated in PSG just for PSG so develop his game in the lines of Da silva. But didn’t happen. Not for skill. There are other factors.

        • Hahaha time will tell ……..people like you will never understand football.
          Lo celso is world class, it doesn’t matter whether you accept it or not. Everyone has different opinion.
          The way he release the ball and the way he finds spaces is just remarkable.
          Go and watch your mount, Pogba, de bryune. We will see in world cup who is the boss.

          • I am fine with your opinion. And if you are proven right I will be happy to admit. I will admit I didn’t expect KDB or Salah to develop they way they did. So it can happen. For GLC, my opinion will remain that his best was one season at Betis and last season. If he can replicate that year after year he will be considered a top player.

            May I ask you why you have to say people like me never will understand the game? How much do you know about me? What are your credentials that gives you this arrogance?

          • To your other references directly to me about other players

            Mount: who is he? I don’t care watching him. Not sure why you mention him. Do you watch him? I really don’t know

            Pogba: I will say like GLC. The guy had some skill and strength. Did you watch him play during Juve days? But didn’t live up to the potential. I don’t consider him world class now.

            KDB: Hell ya. This guy developed. Did you watch him play at Chelsea? and now?

            Question for you: If a player is so outstanding can you tell me why he cannot get a club? the whole football world is not as smart as Shubham?

            BTW, just to you know, I love GLC. I love watching him. I root for him. I think he is an integral part of our NT. I wish his success. I wish he scores goals and plays great every time. It frustrates me when misses those chances against Italy. No hatred here. Just so you know.

            I am here because I am an Argentina for life, more than 30 years. Hope we win it this time. Vamos. And respect for all.

    • Fiorentina will be playing Europe conference just like villareal plus they will be fighting top 4 finish in Seria A as they aiming uefa champions league in 22/23 season
      I don’t think no club will pay the amount of money spurs asking so I only can see loan move or reduced price.

  9. Up until 2020 Copa victory , the reason we were first losing in Quarter finals and then final after final was deep down in the heart of our players and managers of every generation, they had this fear that something will happen and we will end up losing the match. Its was more psychological than performance. We outplayed most of our opponents but still managed to lose. That is why it was extremely important to win the Copa America. Yes, you have to be good in the things you are tying to achieve but Success in life is 70% mindset and 30% skills/performance. Now that fear is gone, we have finally got the head/mentality of winners!! We know how it feels to win and how to win!!

      • What’s your point Anuparno? Just because the tournament name goes from “Copa America” to “World Cup” the players are going to start falling apart? We have much more confidence than other national teams at the moment and that always carries on organically. I don’t think you have any idea how SA football works if you think a final between the two biggest rivals in international football in the Maracana isn’t at the pressure level of World Cup games, ESPECIALLY with the recent history of Argentina’s finals curse.

        • I didn’t say Argentina will fail i just say its not right to think as we win a trophy we suddenly become invincible in world Cup. Its better to have low expectations i think 90% people didn’t expect Argentina to win that copa America but we did that suddenly made people over confident. Actually a jam packed marcana would have been different it was still played in covid restrictions and noone expected us to win so pressure was less. In wc every match will be scrutinized whole world will watch us and i know the world cup pressure is different. Im curious how this young side will take that pressure

        • > What’s your point Anuparno?

          It’s called habitual goal post mover –

          1) Before defeating Brazil – “Brazil will be the REAL challenge”. After Brazil Win – “Brazil wasn’t strong then but they are now”
          2) Before Italy – “Euro winner will be the REAL TEST”. After bitch slapping Italy “but they’re in transition”
          3) Before Copa – “winning national trophy proves finally proves we’re great”. After Copa Win “But the competition isn’t as high as Euro”
          4) Win copa – “but pressure different at World Cup”
          5) Record win streak “but South American teams aren’t as good”

          many more examples…the goal post just keeps on moving and moving.

          I do actually think WC pressure is higher in a general sense but to your point about the history curse and playing Brazil, that type of pressure is on par or even higher!

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