Alexis Mac Allister speaks on Argentina, World Cup, Lionel Messi, Julián Álvarez


Alexis Mac Allister spoke about the Argentina national team, possibly making the World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi with PSG and Julián Álvarez at Manchester City.

Mac Allister has been in great form this season for Brighton. Scoring four goals, he is arguably the most in form Argentine midfielder along with Enzo Fernández at Benfica. Doing well with Brighton, Mac Allister has played in a few matches for the Argentina national team this year and is part of the preliminary list of players for the September games.

The Argentine spoke with ESPN Argentina about his form with Brighton, Argentina and the World Cup. Here is what he had to say:

“I’m aware that I am fighting for a place, like we are all doing. And my dream is to be able to be there but I have nothing secured. We are many players that are fighting for a place and hopefully it happens. As everyone knows, it’s everyone’s dream to be able to represent their national team and at a World Cup.

“It’s difficult to manage the nervousness, the anxiety that the time to be there will come. But the most important thing is that the team, the group, has been feeling very well. They have been showing it in all the games.

“It’s also true that a World Cup is different from everything. The 26 who are there have to be in the best shape to be able to fight and represent well the national team.”

In terms of his objectives at a personal level:

“I can’t name anything other than the World Cup. It’s my first objecvtive and what I am thinknig about. But it’s like I always say, if I do things well at Brighton, I have many chances of being in the national team and at the World Cup.”

When asked about Lionel Messi being substituted by PSG coach Galtier:

“Hopefully the coach stops substituing him and keeps him on the pitch because what we all want is to see him play.”

On Julián Álvarez:

“Guardiola already said it, Álvarez got there and in two days he was prepared to play. It was the Community Shield final and he scored a goal against Liverpool. He is terrific.

“Obviously it’s much easier to play well when you have the players that he has by his side, when you have the coach that he has by his side but I never doubted his conditions and I believe he is a player that will give a lot to the national team and to his own team.”


  1. With the upcoming World Cup teams seem to be playing every 3 days, especially those that play in multiple tournaments. So I’m wondering what are the implications for our players?

    Those who are not automatic starters, e.g. De Paul, Palacios, Alvarez, etc perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise as they will likely get enough minutes anyway but might be spared the crazy workload.

    However, players Cuti, Lo Celso, Pezzella, Guido, and others who tend to start and especially some of whom are more injury prone, need to be careful. We are already seeing injuries to Di Maria, Cuti.

    Who knows how it’s going to shake up by the start of the WC. Having a good depth would be crucial in those circumstances.

    • The players I’m crossing my fingers for the most are-
      Dybala: getting practically every minute for Roma and we know what his injury record can be like especially last season. Please stay fit because we need that Messi sub and luxury option. Imo he can be our biggest X factor. Luckily Mou considers him important so I think at Roma there will be a good focus on his fitness.
      Gonzalez: I’m not sure exactly what injury he has or what’s happening with him but he is an important utility player for Scaloni so please get fit soon and start playing football.
      Foyth: 6 weeks is a lot and he is the only true defensive option we have at RB and can be a useful versatile player if needed (DM, CB). If something happens to Molina or he’s not playing well it would be scary for us to only have Montiel if he keeps on playing like he did last game against Barcelona.
      Otamendi: Kind of worried ahead of the tough CL matches. If he’s exposed against PSG and Juve then we know he may struggle against that level in the WC. Then we have a dilemma because while we have Licha, we still haven’t paired him as a CB with Cuti and I don’t think Scaloni would be comfortable dropping a veteran and starter like Ota and trying a new experiment in a tournament.

      Those are my four main concerns/fears right now (the Dybala one is theoretical and not actually happening now). Not Licha, Dibu, Molina, Messi, Alvarez, or De Paul as it is for many.

      I also find your different point of view about the minutes important. To add on about De Paul, while it is a small sample size so far, he’s getting 50% of minutes in the CL and 50% in the league. If those numbers roughly stay the same he’s getting the same amount of minutes he did during many weeks in Udinese and at a higher level (they never went far in the cup so it was just Serie A). With all of the minutes he got last season for Atletico in all competitions he got more minutes than two of his Udinese seasons, roughly identical in one season, and less than in two seasons. Doesn’t seem like a disaster. The cause of many injuries or bad form in footballers is burnout. De Paul isn’t injury prone but he’s so important to us I would wrap him in bubble wrap nonetheless. A fit and fresh De Paul sounds much better than the alternative. Simeone’s real crime is with Correa, with De Paul he may actually be helping us.

      • You forgot to include A Correa
        IDK what it is with Mundo members or the coach dont they see this guy is our supersub?
        He wrecks havoc with his fresh legs, destroys the oppsition
        Always been a huge fan of his

      • > Dybala, Nico, Ota, and Foyth.

        Yep, all key players. We will keep fingers crossed, touch wood, sacrifice lambs, and even urinate on our front lawns a la Goycochea.
        I will admit though that I’m a bit bothered by RDP’s situation. Someone commented that he doesn’t fit Simeone’s tactics so that could hurt his form recovery even if hes gets sufficient minutes.

    • Really good point. The trick is finding the balance between minutes, fatigue, and form. Too little minutes and they are rested but rusty and out of form. Too many minutes might lead to better form but also injuries and fatigue. Also the balance between both varies by player. younger Messi comes to mind, the guy never wanted off the pitch as it kept him in shape and in form.

  2. Enzo Fernandez has selected as the best midfielder of the month in Portuguese league. Congratulations to enzo keep going and perform in ucl and scaloni will have to include in wc squad.

    • It’s between Enzo and Mac Allister as things stand right now but the schedule is pretty grueling this season because of the upcoming WC in November, teams have to play every three days (or more if they play in multiple tournaments) and we’ll see by the end of it who is in shape and healthy. Things might change.

      • > It’s between Enzo and Mac Allister

        Yes Palacios would have to eff up bad in the next months to not be selected. Since Scaloni looking for best backups to the starting rockstar trio – GLC, Paredes, RDP, who does each sub for?

        Enzo – I haven’t watched him much but the general consensus is that he NOT a GLC or RDP backup. He can play up the pitch and score but he’s a lethargic defensive regista like Paredes. I’m assuming he’s the closet “like kind” sub for Paredes given Guido is a traditional destroyer. Enzo makes sense if Scaloni wants to maintain the same shape and tactics vs Guido he has to modify (this point is similar to SulaV excellent argument about including 3 RBs montiel & molina + foyth).

        Mac Allister – What’s his best role and who is he a sub for?

        (1) GLC > (4) Papu > (6) Palacios

        (2) Paredes > (5) Guido > (7??) Enzo

        (3) RDP > (6) Palacios

        • Another thing I want to stress is that as we all know, Paredes is not a destroyer. Not a full on ball chasing tackling DM. Scaloni relies on a collective effort with Lo Celso and De Paul on either side to help with ball recovery and make up for it. I think Enzo does put some more effort in ball recovery because he was raised in Gallardo’s system where there’s no free loaders and everyone has to press and help recover the ball — but he doesn’t have the same physical assertiveness in his ball recovery as De Paul or Lo Celso’s clean tackle. I’ve noticed that he commits a lot of fouls trying to get the ball back and often only succeeds in slightly disrupting the player or bouncing the ball away but not actually taking the ball. Unless we have a huge amount of possession against a lower quality side playing Enzo and Paredes at the same time to sacrifice Gio or De Paul might totally compromise our system and structure. So like you say, a Paredes substitute.

          • > Paredes substitute.

            Or even starter eventually. If he passes just as well but is more active, sounds like a better version of Paredes. I know it’s still too early but glad another regista is on a great trajectory.

            > Enzo and Paredes at the same time to sacrifice Gio or De Paul might totally compromise our system and structure

            yeah, similarly but prob worse is the anti-dynamic duo Paredes + Guido, sideways passing galore, ball progression dies… painful to watch.

        • It is two out of three. Enzo,Palacio & MacAllister fighting for 2 spot. Unless any drastic change i think the battle is between Enzo V MacAllister. I really don’t think that Scaloni & Co will drop 2 core midfield players suddenly just moment before world cup. Nico is done. He ain’t coming in the squad before world cup coz there are too many good players so there is no way they will drop Palacio unless he is injured or his form is awfully bad. Then again I don’t think they count club from in NT. I don’t count either. All they need enough playing time and come to NT

  3. he is trying to get spot on marketing, i’m pretty sure brighton will fall he was fluid with brigton play some of his passes are good he takes position where is space but everything he do there is no promptness there is no luxury of pressing, he lacks quickness in dynamic ball movement, in specific day he could big weakest link if he choosen over enzo this is biggest foolishness bcs he is suitable for brighton like club who is just sit back to give upset win with specific plan with limited merit but not a top tier club who plays for a cup. if he choosen over enzo then i’m done

  4. Brighton coach has become the new coach of Chelsea. So a new coach is coming for Brighton, his formation will have huge (positive/negetive) impact on Allister’s chance of getting into the WC team.

  5. 1. Dibu martinez
    2. Foyth
    3. Tagliafico
    4. Montiel
    5. Paredez
    6. Pezella
    7. Di paul
    8. Acuna
    9. Alvarez
    10. Messi
    11. Dimaria
    12. Musso
    13. Cuti romero
    14. Palacios/enzo f
    15. Nico gonzales
    16. Joachin correa
    17. Papu gomez
    18. Guido rodriguez
    19. Ottamendi
    20. Lo celso
    21. Dybala
    22. Lautaro martinez
    23. Juan musso/armani
    24. Molina
    25. Lisandro martinez
    26. Alexis mccalister.

    • I agree. I felt players like macallister and Simeone are average players. Even in their great performances I couldnt enjoy their plays. But with Enzo and even palacios I can see the glimpses of their potential even in their bad plays. We want players who can give their all when the time comes even that player is not a complete package. I can see it in Montiel guido tag and many more. Yeah macallister or guido may have same potential but something is there which make guido way better. Coz guido somehow gives me hope that he can make a world class play in the most important match of Argentina which macallister really lacks.

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