Marcos Acuña and Papu Gómez fit, no changes expected for Argentina

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Marcos Acuña and Papu Gómez are both fit and no changes are expected for Argentina.

Acuña and Papu Gómez will remain with the Argentina national team as coach Lionel Scaloni will not be making any more changes. According to TyC Sports, the team will stay as is after both players trained on Friday with the team.

Lionel Scaloni and the Argentina national team coaching staff put Acuña through physical tests in training on Friday as there were fears about his fitness. Scaloni has already called up Ángel Correa to replace Nicolás González and Thiago Almada replaces Joaquín Correa in the team.

180 Comments

  1. We lack speed? Di Maria wrecks havoc with his runs although he is 34, Angel Correa is pretty fast too, Alvarez is fast, Molina is fast, De Paul, Acuna, Almada, Dybala, Lautaro have descent speed, the only players who are slow in my opinion are Paredes, Guido, Otamendi and Pezzela. We may don’t have speedsters like Nico whose loss was a huge blow indeed but we are not slow by any means.
    Speed alone is not enough. We have many players who are gifted in terms of technique and are also warriors, attributes that are missing from quite many teams. Italy in 2006 were not that fast in comparison to other teams still they won. Germans in 2014 were not that fast either. To be honest, neither Brazil is as fast as a whole as many people think.
    I would also have liked to see Garnacho but i trust Scaloni and respect his choices because he has earned my respect and trust. Garnacho’s omission doesn’t mean that Almada is not a good player. For anyone who has seen Almada playing atleast a bit, will realise that he is a very talented and agile player with great skills and technique and he is also quite fast.
    I remind you that even the greatest player ever, Maradona, wasn’t picked in 1978, so if Garnacho really feels like he wants to play for Argentina, he should be more patient and his time will surely come.
    Finally, some people should be more grounded and mature before spreading chaotic comments.

  2. It is what it is, some players wont be there and some of our selected 26 players are not 100 percent too.Trust Scaloni, We cant do much now rather than hoping that all 26 selected players will work for each other and keep moving towards the Final destination. No matter who plays doesn’t matter, as long as we keep on winning its all what matters. Lets wish ourselves all the best.

    • Is it though? Unless you’re Argentine (most in this community are not), why do you support Argentina? Personally speaking I support them because, since I started watching football, I have seen them play a brand of football that is now nearly extinct – the beautiful game, the football of Maradona, Messi, Di Maria, Aimar, Riquelme, Dybala. Like the night of the Finalissima.

      If they suddenly started playing ugly football like England or Germany just to win matches, I personally would not care anymore. Football is not war. It is not a medical surgery. It is a sport. It is meant to be entertaining above everything else. It should be a joy to watch. I would rather Messi to play like Messi. Would rather have Papu or Dybala with their dribbling, passing, curlers in the team over a poacher like Alvarez.

      If you are Argentine, I can understand. Football is like religion in Argentina. Winning the world cup is a national aspiration, not just a sporting event.

      • Let’s play Champagne Football after winning this World Cup.
        After all it’s just a 7 Matches. I would like to see us playing football like in the Finalissima Night in group stage. A clean sweep of 9 points with brilliant moments and confidence booster for the squad.
        But when it comes to the remaining 4 matches, only priority should be winning.

        (Most of the idiots won’t remember the fact that we were the most beautiful and superior team in 2006. All they care is Italy won it and that too by defeating France.)

        Let them make it this time for History. It won’t affect the Legacy of the Argentinian Football Brand which all of us around the world love and admire.

        • The idiots don’t remember how Argentina exited the 2006 world cup. While leading by only a single goal, Riquelme was taken off for Cambiasso, to make winning the only priority. The plebeian Julio Cruz was preferred instead of Messi. Germany equalized within minutes, and Argentina had no creativity to offer for the rest of the game.

          • Agreed Totally, Blunder costed us that match, not the general playing style. .My Point was history not being kinder to those who play beautiful football but lacking the cup.
            4 Matches should be won by any means.

  3. Good that Acuna and Papu Gomez are fit. However, it seems Messi and DiMaria missed the first training session. Are they keeping fine? Messi suffered a heal injury in the match against UAE and Di Maria was hit on his back. Also, is Lautaro doing fine? Why wasn’t he given game time against UAE? A pressing and hard working player like Nico is out. That is a shock. Without Lo Celso and Nico, I am quite worried. But we have to do with whataver we have got. Not sure if Scaloni has some unique strategy up his sleeves as an alternative to a very creative Lo Celso.

  4. @el_principe,

    Alvarez is the new 12th man because he is in incredible shape football wise, also physically. Working with Guardiola has done him wonders it seems.

    In some city games, he played as left wingers which I watched live on tv. He did very well, brought pace and directness.

    Alvarez tracks back. I remember Argentina Uruguay game, he won the ball in Argentina D box with a sliding tackle and set up a dangerous counter attack.

    In my opinion, Angel Correa is not the replacement of Nico G. It is Alvarez. A much better replacement.

    • Yeah actually against a weak team, it is a perfect timing to try Alvarez and Di Maria combo as we never played that way before. This formation looks very lethal. Brazil also already practicing their new fantastic 4 (Vini, Neymar, Raphinha, Gab). I agree Alvarez would fit really well. And yes he does defend.

    • That is just dumbfoundingly stupid. I have also watched those city games. Alvarez is not very fast. He can’t dribble past defenders. He does not make defense spliting passes. He is not good at crossing. He is not good at long range finishes. He is a poacher type striker. Nothing more.

      Absolutely silly to choose him over other players on the team.

    • Alvarez has played as a left forward for City few times thanks to Pep but he can’t fill the role of a left winger. The only player who can truly fill in the left winger role is non other than our wing back Acuna. I can see both Tagliafico and Acuna starting may be thats why Molina was tried as a LB and Foyth as a RB. I haven’t seen A.Correa play as a Left winger , may be he had in the past but again there is no one better than Acuña in that position. Having said that won’t be surprised if Alvarez is tried at the left wing.

  5. News update from the camp:

    1. Julian Alvarez is being promoted to the 12th man of the team (meaning the first and main sub). He is the answer for those who have been asking for the left winger. Plus he is the main back up for Lautaro too.

    2. Scaloni practicing 4-2-4 (not that scary) in reality it is 4-2-3-1 with Alvarez starting. The tactic would be similar to if Nico G and Angel Di Maria had started together. In this tactic Julian Alvarez would play left winger replacing Lo Celso with De Paul and Paredes as the duo midfielder and Di Maria, Messi, and Lautaro as the forwards.

    3. Molina has more chance to start. 9 are as good as being confirmed to start (unless there is a new iniury): Emi: Molina, Cuti, Otamendi; Paredes, De Paul; Di Maria, Messi, Lautaro

    4. The 2 that has not been confirmed are Tagliafico vs Acuna and MacAllister vs Papu.

    5. I have a feeling Julian Alvarez is gaining a lot of trusts now. I won’t be surprised if he is the one starting especially against arguably the weakest team of the WC, Saudi Arabia.

    6. Scaloni stated in his interview when asked “who will replace Lo Celso”. He said it depends, one of his answers was “can be a forward”. We always did well when Di Maria and Nico g playing yogether in the past.

    • I don’t like this formation. There is no controller here. This formation is shaky specially because Alvarez will press but he will not track back or defend like a proper midfielder. We have seen psg struggled defensively with 4-2-3-1 formation. And if alvarez plays thn paredes should not start better to start guido or enzo otherwise we will be susceptible to counter attacks.
      And i feel alvarez is talented but his dribbling skills is not A-class even his crossing is not A-class btw our team doesn’t have penalty box presence so there is no value of good crossers our biggest weakness in attack that our attack is one dimensional we don’t have an attacker who can score headers like klose

      • With only two conventional midfielders it will he suicidal against strong midfields like Spain, similar to 2010 against Germany. I would start Enzo and replace him with Papu against tired legs but against weaker opponents 4 forwards should work.

  6. I want to share some thoughts.

    In all the world’s sports football is the greatest in terms of fans. In all of football the WC is the greatest competition. In all the national teams in the WC Argentina is the team that anyone from any country feels like can support. It is the team of the common man…because Argentina does not have royalty or arrogance… only pride…and the pride is hard-fought and well earned.. just like the wealth of the common man…. the team is a symbol of humanity where one for all and all for one… we all see the team will go to war for is captain who will be the first to see blood for his team and will still play.. no gimmicks no drama no divas on the field.. just players looking out for one another… that’s the Argentina NT of the world.. the Albiceleste of the people.

    A team led by an Alien but plays for the people.. not just its people but for anyone willing to stand behind it..

    Proud to be an Argentina fan..Vamos Albiceleste.

  7. In this world cup, there are mainly 2 types of European teams:

    – those who have a precise tactical plan and playing style and they play collectively well without stars: Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, Serbia

    – those who play safe and rely heavily on individual talents in attack: France, England and Portugal

    Based on Euro last year, seems to me that collective football will outperform the individual talents, so i believe that none of the 3(Fr, Eng and Portugal) will qualify for quarter.

    Brazil and Argentina should meet each other on semi. I also believe that Ecuador will be the surprise because the new generation is amazing and very solid behind. Uruguay should finish as 1st in their group, they have the best midfield of the last 2 decades. Believe that they will qualify for quarter.

    here are my predictions on round of 16:

    netherlands-wales, ecuador-england, argentina-france, denmark-mexico, germany-belgium, spain-croatia, brazil-portugal, switzerland-uruguay

    quarter:
    netherlands-argentina, ecuador-denmark, germany-brazil, spain-uruaguay

    semi:
    argentina-brazil, denmark-spain

    final: argentina-spain

  8. Last moment Roberto Perera in reserve list. if he selected on for Nico it will be good in left wing. He can defende aswell. Very Good experienced player. Simioni is also deserves a call.it looks Acuna takes duties in left wing and chance to play in top of leftwing

  9. ESPN Argentina recently posted a graph on their YouTube channel, players with most caps under Scaloni in a possible line-up in the upcoming games.

    ———————————–Dibu (18)———————————
    Molina (19)——Romero (11)——-Otamendi (33)——–Tagliafico (34)
    ——————————-Paredes (41)——————————–
    ———-De Paul (43)———————-Mac Allister (8)—————
    Di Maria (26)———–Messi (36)——————————————
    ————————————Lautaro (38)——————————

    De Paul and Paredes are Scaloni’s midfield generals and most likely to always play, especially De Paul.

    • I hope Scaloni doesn’t deploy RDP in a fixed double pivot with Paredes (4231). He has done in the past but i think that’s underutilizing him. IMO, RDP’s best role is box to box reacting to whatever Messi is doing and supporting the ball and movement and closing down space at all times. El Mongol referred to RDP as the squads “glue”, great way to describe him. i suppose Mac A will play a little deeper with Paredes similar to GLC but jeez, just compare the right and left….the left wing seems like it wont get a ton of action.

    • Judging by the fact that Scaloni cut players that were always on the squad due to fitness issues I have no doubt that Acuña is ready to go as well as Papu. I don’t pay too much attention to club form, Granted it’s important but some players just feel the shirt and are monsters when it comes to playing for Argentina DePaul being a perfect example…He will die on that field for the badge and I love that. After all of this Almada hate I’m wondering if people would feel the same way if he was still at Vélez and didn’t have one year of MLS football under his belt?

    • No bro. He needs to win. Ask yourself, will you really be satisfied not seeing Messi win the World Cup?

      Failing to win it all is the ultimate failure. He did not take the reigns for the past 4 years to not win the Cup.

      Even Sampaoli gets a pass (not favorable opinion) because he took over a team not even destined to make the cup after Bauza. If Bauza remained, we would not make it to the WC. Sampaoli didn’t even have a full year – not sure he even had 6 qualifying games!

        • @Flying birds I agree with you. These selections were unforgivable. However, he didn’t have adequate time you have to admit. Look who was on his coaching staff btw (Scaloni). He had ideas but couldn’t implement them in a timely manner and the team didn’t have patience with him. It was a stressful time in the NT and he worked for free after leaving million dollar job in third place in La Liga. You would be stressed and erratic like him too thinking what the heck have I done? Bauza is to blame for 2018 for over staying during qualifying and AFA as well for not firing Bauza in a timely manner.

          • @wisdom

            > However, he didn’t have adequate time you have to admit

            So what? Train Wreck Sampaoli is judged by what he did not by some magical timeline in the future that may or may not have occured.
            Let’s say i hire you to build a car with a deadline of 1 month to sell, but then you setup a plan that will take 1 year to complete. If i come back to you in 1 month but you say, “oh sorry i need 11 more months to complete”. I would consider you an abject failure for setting up the wrong plan and fire your ass for incompetence.

            > It was a stressful time in the NT and he worked for free after leaving million dollar job in third place in La Liga

            I truly hope this point dies and never repeated again because its absolute bullshit. AFA paid Sevilla $1.5m to release Sampaolis from his contract. AFA then agreed to pay Sampaoli $9 MILLION thru 2022. Thats $2.3 million per year, which is within the range of annual wages in La Liga. Sampaoli knew AFA had financial troubles but negotiated HARD because they were desperate. Effin shark he is, not charitable case that needs sympathy. They ended up firing him and paid him $1.5 MILLION in severance. Imagine being paid millions for several months to be absolute failure and causing pain to the players and legions of fans.
            EFF THAT MORON. worst coach imaginable.

      • with all the respect nobody make contract with God that we will win the cup and nobody give black money to FIFA to give us the cup just because we want it. nobody will be satisfied to not see Messi win the world cup but we will not arrive to lunacy too if we lose in final or in semi final for example.
        this is football. we don t play alone. exist other very good teams too that want to win too. maybe luck will not be with us. nobody knows. this is football. As about Ultimate failure you mention you can say that only if we eliminated in first round or second. not if we reach the final or semi finals.
        don t take it personal. just i observe a big number of fans in Mundo that are ready to cross the borders of madness. Argentine fans that travel in Qatar, the people back home and even Messi himself and the squad don t have this crazy mentality of Mundo members.
        we singing and dancing in squares and roads for our love.for our national team. we don t keep a knife to throw it to “kill” any member of our team.
        something last. Failing to win the cup can be ultimate sadness but not the ultimate failure. this 2 is different things. the second depend on where we will arrive.
        friendly.

        • @cox4 I understand your point and I appreciate your words. However, I’m looking at it from a neutral perspective too. Yes, there are 32 teams fighting for one prize, but the goal is to win the trophy. If the team falls short of that it’s a failure. I will be praying because this NT team is unique with fans not only in Argentina, but millions around the world waiting 4 years for this. I’m excited, and slightly nervous, but optimistic at the same time. I can’t describe but this anticipation is an emotional roller coaster for all of us in Mundo. I’m sure you see the comments lol It’s like being in the ocean and catching the waves. Sometimes it’s rough my friend.

          • my friend honestly in Mundo i live shocks very often. i am surpriced and many times i say to myself “why on earth you be there and read this forum”. my only reason is some number of friends here that i have huge respect and apreciate over the years that i like to communicate with them here. i will give you one fresh example. i was watching in tv the depart of Correa and Almanda for Qatar. in the airport it was like festival. people singing and jumping to salute and say good bye and good luck to our players. after that i enter in Mundo to read little. Man i regret it honestly. i read all this negative and bad comments that was close to limit of hate for those players that just before some hours i was watching in tv inside the love and effection from hundrends of people in airport. i can t explain you my feelings. that is why i try to avoid to write so much here. i try generaly to don t let the poison destroy my mentality.

        • Last month people were saying Argentina should and will lift the trophy. I’m glad how people now are humbled, grounded, and started to realize that reaching a semi-final would be considered a big achievement after the inclusion of ball boys like Almada in the team.

          • Please WC2022 do us a favour and leave this site. If you think Almada is ball boy and there is no hope. You should support a team which is strong.

            Why it is that all these trolls join this site during World cup or Copa?

        • You always make some loose talk..
          We (except u) Argentina football fans have passion for our team .
          Watching Argentina football is always thrilling, crazy , Josh and excitement..
          This WC team really got some unity, unlike previous world cup..
          We all going to enjoy the team performance..
          You better sit in the sofa and Google it for the results…please do not watch the matches, you rotten 🍅
          No fans like their beloved team losing the match, but you need to accept even your team under performed..
          While playing football, the decision should be taken at the instant in correct manner (the team which makes many miss passes definitely going to lose the match).

      • then don t support us. you are fan of victory. we are fans of Argentina.
        for us is our love. in bad in good in hard in easy in rain in snow in sunny.
        ARGENTINA FOREVER AND EVER. you kid don t know what love is.
        if you are fan of victory i advice you to choose other team to support. Because support Argentina means the sadness will be more times than happieness.

        • cox4 November 18, 2022 At 9:57 pm
          then don t support us. you are fan of victory. we are fans of Argentina.
          for us is our love. in bad in good in hard in easy in rain in snow in sunny.
          ARGENTINA FOREVER AND EVER. you kid don t know what love is.
          if you are fan of victory i advice you to choose other team to support. Because support Argentina means the sadness will be more times than happieness.

          Yes, everything said in Cox4 more than in his wise post says it all, no need to explain or talk about it nor no need to answer any questions either about this SUBJECT Cox4 wrote with his wise words once again, as anyone who has a slight feeling about worrying something that Arg may not win( which can either hapoen or not as we never know the future), then i also suggest to pick an another team that might be, maybe or perhaps? more likely to win in for those in their oppinion or in anyone’s Mind, who will be doubting and thinking that Arg will not win…

          as the one’s being fan’s of Argentina know more than well enough that we have learned to live with our love towards our beloved Argentina whether it will be pain, saddness and suffer and many, many tears or it may in the end also be as he all hope that what we are all wishing for every time Argentina our beloved ALBICELESTE LA SELECCION will win it’s 3rd WC as for us there is no other team, simple as that than only Argentina as that how it has allways been and will also allways be as completly natural and also more than logical as we only support our beloved ALBICELESTE LA SELECCION !

          Btw this way at least even we may suffer or not we Still keep walking the same path that we once choosed to walk til’ the end, whenever that will be it not really make any difference to our commitment, though offcourse our wish is the very same when every and when ever WC is played etc..

          Though, it never can and also never will give us anything else than hope as how could we know the future, but instead we can alkways hope for the future and for BETTER FUTURE as this also applies with everything in life and with the world where we all are living, meaning our planet earth and offcourse we all hope and wish that our sky’s will allways to be with it’s white and Blue sky( meaning naturwise most optimal weather as possible ) as sometimes sunny and sometimes rainy and thefore equally balanced), but sometime’s it has to rain too, right ?

          Though, standing and staying surrounded with constant never ending rain we will eventually might get drowned one day…perhaps or not…?

          though, also with constant clear sky with no whether with white clouds or darker one’s or with any kind of clouds we will suffer from constant heat as there will be only sunshine we might get eventually burned or fried one day, perhaps or not…?

          so therefore as with everything there should be allways balance with literally everything, but do we have constant balance in our world as the the one we all are living now or in the one were others may have and did also lived before or in the future were someone’s may and will also live in the future…perhaps or not ?

          Well, first of all achieving balance to be able to get closer to even more balance and to be able to understand the whole context of balance etc…

          one or more than hopefully rather many will practice and also will have to work hard, though Still that won’t guarantee anything in the end, but the more harder we try to achieve that balance or whatever it will be that we want to achieve requires a lot of practice and hard work from the one as themself’s or rather from all of us, though Still nothing will never be guaranteed to any one,

          but at least we all can try or those who want to etc…as it will not fail us or to be considered as failure to those who tried, though some may think obviously like that, but actually it won’t as it will get noticed way or another and will have effect too the way or another as if that will happen straight after in the present or later on in the future,

          well that is not for us to decide or may not be for us to decide ,though we can hope for it and also try to acomplish that, maybe one day or not, but every time we try will it will eventually bring us more closer to what ever we want achieve, though it carries a lot emotions with in it and together with it as obviously some are very sad and some not, but will make us Angry or scared,or bring us saddness and joy or to desire and not to desire or lot of pain&suffer etc.

          As suffer is part of life so is joy too and eventually letting go also at one point or another as we can’t never predict our future’s, but we can try to build for our future or BETTER FUTURE etc…

          So therefore we as fan’s Argentina and how much we all want Arg to win the 3rd WC for Argentina can only hope and support as allways we have done so and so will we continue to do also in the future for our beloved ALBICELESTE LA SELECCION !

  10. Almada is by far the most talented of the recent Velez generation, it’s a shame he ended up in MLS but that may have been due to economic reasons, a first real chance to make good money and provide for his family.

    A call up to Argentina National Team during the World Cup should open some doors in Europe, even as early as January and hopefully we won’t have to talk about him being at MLS anymore.

  11. @Karl aka WC2022 (clearly they’re one and the same, forming a one man Almada hating fan club):
    It’s ok that you don’t like Almada or if you think that an MLS player is unworthy of the NT, I can get that but to call someone a “Fraud”, that’s going WAY too far.
    I’ll admit that I haven’t followed Almada since he left Velez but that 19 / 20yr old Almada was a real talent. Fantastic passer, particularly his thru-balls and his crosses from the left, which may become very handy in the world cup.
    He’s versatile (thanks to Heinze) where he played both LCM and LFW in equal measure, that’s why his defensive work improved so much during his 2nd year at Velez, while it was non existant in his 1st year when he was playing as a pure enganche, which Heinze didn’t use all that much. I honestly can see the kid subbing for Maria (going to be playing LFW), Papu (LCM) and Celso/Nico Gonzalez who were going to cover the left side of a 4-4-2.
    Now, will he do as well as any of those? Who knows, we’ll have to see but the signs are there.
    Again, I need to reitirate that I haven’t watched him in the MLS but by all accounts he seems to have done quite well and was named best young footballer and yes, I’m well aware that the MLS is a subpar league at best, but cream of the crop from that League (Almerion, Reina, Davies) were plucked out by europe and are now plying their trade in good/top teams.
    I should note that Almada was persued (actively) by Marseille, but his 20 mill + price (and Velez would NOT go down on that price) was too much especially coming out of the pandemic.

    Now on to the topic at hand. Thank god both Acuna and Papu are well because both are essential on the left side and essential for the NT in general. While Tagliafico can deputise well for Acuna, no one on the team can do what Acuna can on the left, the guy is pure class.
    It’s funny how only a yr and a half ago, ALOT of people here were b**ching about Acuna asking for him to be dropped with only a handful of us coming to his defense, how things change.
    Papu has shown that he can sub for both Celso and DePaul in the WCQ and by “sub” I mean play just as well as either of them and if you don’t believe me go watch the 2nd matches against Colombia and Chile. Also, Papu is a “locker room player” and brings a fantastic positive energy to the locker room in addition to being a class footballer. Also if all that isn’t enough Papu played on the left side of the attack twice in Copa and scored twice!

  12. Scaloni has not lost a game in over 1,000 days. Are so many of our fans so weak minded on this site that they think they all of a sudden know more than Scaloni does? I swear if I didn’t know some people here think Sampaoli is coaching this team. Can those people bitching about the injuries please grow a pair of balls?

    • I think some people just want to reserve the right to say I told you so. Scaloni has brought Argentina success by building a strong group. Asking to bring players into the team that haven’t been part of the project literally 2 days before the tournament starts is laughable and obviously shows a lack of knowledge when it comes to the importance of team chemistry. I will trust him as he has earned it by the success he has brought. All of these haters are downers and plastic fans.

      • You says it’s laughable and shows a lack of knowledge but Scaloni literally called someone 2 days before that wasn’t a part of the project and doesn’t have good chem with the boys – Almada. Almada playing 1 game doesn’t qualify. People calling for players is not only a fun thing to do but a forced audible due to injuries, I’m sure if no one was injured, you would see less folks calling for players.

  13. My request to all. If you are faint hearted and cannot take these changes please refrain from insulting our players. The coach chooses the players not players. And its the coach’s tactics to implement players. Please do not tell me your tactics are better. Lets watch together, support together and pray together. Patience paid off in Copa. Give it another shot. But if your heart is too weak stop watching. (I dont know what else to say)
    Vamos Albiceleste.

  14. [Wayne Rooney, In Article]

    I really like Lisandro Martínez. Watching him for Manchester United recently, he is really composed and aggressive. He is perfect for international football and will be a big player for them.

    On there being a South American winner

    For me, Argentina are the favourites. Unlike in 2018, they have plenty of good, solid players around Lionel Messi such as Lautaro Martínez, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul and of course Ángel Di María. Winning the Copa America last year will have given them confidence and has taken a bit of pressure off them. The climate will suit them too. The only thing they are missing is a No 9, that focal point in attack, but I think they will be really dangerous.

    On if winning the WC would cement Messi as the greatest of all time

    Everyone has different views on Messi and Ronaldo but I have said many times that I think Messi is the best. I have watched lots of videos of Diego Maradona, who was a similar player, but Messi is better. He has everything — the way he controls games, his dribbling, his assists — whereas Ronaldo is more of a goalscorer.

    On there being more Brazilians in the PL

    It’s always exciting watching Brazil. Growing up I loved watching them with Romario and Ronaldo. Now, they don’t have as many players with the same status but they have some really talented individuals like Vinícius Jr, Gabriel Jesus, Antony and Gabriel Martinelli. Brazil will always have a chance but with them, anything can happen. They could go out in the group stages or they could win it. The 2014 semi-final, when they got beaten 7-1 by Germany, always sticks with me. I was in Las Vegas on holiday after England had been knocked out. I remember the national anthems and the camera going along the line of Brazil players and they were all crying.

    On more likely European winners

    Do not write off Germany. It was so interesting watching their Nations League game against England in September. We got back into the game and should have won it but in the first half Germany absolutely dominated. Joshua Kimmich and Ilkay Gundogan were unbelievable. I think Kai Havertz will have a good tournament. The control Germany have in games will be crucial. The tempo of games will not be as high as in the Premier League. This World Cup will be well-suited to teams, like Germany and Spain, that can keep possession.

    On players he is looking forward to watching

    I’m really intrigued to see what Gareth Southgate does with Trent Alexander-Arnold. Personally, I would start him

    On if England can go all the way

    England have one of, if not the strongest squads. Full backs, midfielders, attacking players — there is strength right across the board. The only area that is not as strong as some of the other nations is the centre backs. Previously we have had the likes of Rio Ferdinand and John Terry who were world class. When you look at Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka we’ve got to choose from, it’s as good as we’ve had.

  15. Just enjoy the game. Don’t worry about the squad..

    We have a coach who won copa final against Brazil in Brazil. Also, the same coach didn’t even let euro Champs Italy stand against us.

    Coach always planned for injuries. That’s why he tried Buendia McAllister Enzo Palacios Almada..

    Even with an unexpected lineup in wc18, we were 2-1 up to France. Bec we had DiMaria, Messi. Now we also have the best CBs and GKs.

    Just enjoy and pray for a better luck this time.

  16. Many Brazilian players have/had Maradona as their idol.
    Garnacho’s idol is C Ronaldo.
    SO WHAT????
    Grow up guys!!!
    Get over it! Not everyone is a Messi fan.
    I never hated C Ronaldo (just think Messi is better and that’s not a debate)
    If he decides to play for Argentina, I’ll be happy.
    He is young and time is on his side.
    He is a real talent, Superstar in the making.
    He has the tools to make it but of course hard work and dedication is needed.
    Support the kid, don’t be a hater.

  17. Suddenly garncho looks a superstar!..lol..what garnacho did? Crazy people.. Actually its all media hype. As a ManU 18 year boy all international media like espn, goal etc hype him after 4 good game. And ManU fan as usual take you high after 2 good game! And the result people think garnacho this, garnacho that..Messi, Mbappe at his age already star.Frist tell him play atleast 15 club level match with frist team then think about Argentina. Its true Argentina have lack one left winger who has height for backup like nico..not garnacho..but team still have enough talent. Argentina is not mediocre team to put 18 year unproven boy in war.. I don’t know almada is going to next meza or not but i have High hope for him, for me he is very close to gio than other, beside i like creative player and almada has all creativity.
    And garncho is not avoid for cr fan boy..lol its tactical reason and mainly he still not ready for frist team football. Personally i like him very much, i watched every minutes he played with ManU main team..i know whats garnacho can offer..
    After world cup garnacho time will come..

    • Your opinion is respected. I think largely we would all agree with you also. My alternate thoughts have been

      1. Left side. This is a gap area for us.
      2. He is an unknown, unproven but fantastically exciting prospect.
      3. He has the kind of arrogance of taking on defenders that might be useful in a moment.
      4. Kill the chance of Spain.
      5. Come next world cup he will have some experience of being in one already.
      And I agree, at 18, he is not Messi of 18, or Mbappe of 18.

      Anyhow, I don’t believe there should be any blanket rule of selection for everyone. You have to judge on merit. You need that element as a leader. Did you know that certain Javier Mascherano was straight put into a starting 11 by Bielsa, even before he played for River? The kid had Kaka and Ronaldinho in his back pocket. Rest is history. You don’t do it often, I agree, but you never know.

      VAMOS!!

      • But Garnacho isn’t Masche or Messi….. or yet their level…. Rijkaard/Capello & others immediately identified how Special Messi was & Biesla might have saw that in Masche….. Neither our U-20 coach nor Ten Hag saw that rare talent in Garnacho….. There might be potential but not a rare talent… When u see some players, coaches can sense that immediately….. Ferguson saw in young CR7…. Ten Hag has coached so many young talents at Ajax… If he had felt Garnacho is some rare talent like Messi/Masche, he would have been starter right from the start of the season….

  18. For those of you who loves Almada over our NT, go support Atlanta United. This forum is for ARG NT!

    I want Almada to prove me wrong and score a hat trick for us in WC final. But this shit won’t happen because Almada is a proven fraud even in MLS. He can’t make a single play for us in WC. Using him in NT midfield will be a historical suicide and a national disgrace.

  19. OKAY, that’s THAT……. Its Friday, nice breeze, sunny and overall pleasant day and tomorrow is my last work day before my 1 month vacation officially starts on Monday…….LET’S GO ARGENTINA

    Lock the doors and hide the women, children and small pets and let the RUMBLE commence, Doha Style.

  20. I don’t understand why people hating Almada this much. Playing in MLS is the reason? I know that was a bad decision to go there but he is a good player, can play in various positions in midfield. Even as forward at wings..! If Scaloni trusting him, why you people think he’s not good enough? I am watching him since youth level. I am sure he’s a good player. He will be in Europe soon.
    Just remember he was in contention for first 26 if Palacios was unfit. As Palacios was back in time, discussion was closed.

    • Because people are stupid and talk out of their ass. Because he plays in MLS and people think the league sucks. But they are wrong. Scaloni has a clear plan. Not even 2 percent of the people on this site knew that a kid from Defensa & Justicia would be a 60 million dollar player plus in the transfer market from just 15 months ago…that’s Enzo Fernandez. They just spew stupid shit when I promise you that they haven’t even seen the kid play 5 games

      • Messi praised him. Scaloni picked him. Coaching staff also contains aimar who surely can recognize a midfield talent. He will not start like pavon or meza plus pavon, meza are unfairly criticized that team’s downfall was not because of pavon or meza they played alright that team had 0 creativity in midfield and super bad defensive structure. Biglia was injured and came back and was not match fit. Mascherano was old. Banega is good but very slow. We had a snail cb in fazio. Rojo was pathetic plus back 3 needs years of practice plus mercado provided nothing and nobody criticizes salvio who was slso not great even enzo perez looked slow bad memories

  21. Huge relief. Acuna is super important as we already lost 3 players who normally plays on the left side. As now we have a clear final 26 what are your thoughts about how Scaloni is going to field his eleven guys.Scaloni basically doesn’t always stick with a particular formation and he is very flexible based on the game situations and demands. But I guess we will see 4-4-2 more especially against big teams like the last copa final. Paredes and De Paul will start in the middle,Di Maria on the right and if he is not fit or exhausted (as the coach knows that Di Maria cant start all the matches) it will be Angel Correa.Pappu Gomez will start on the left side of the midfield if Di Maria doesn’t start on the right. If DiMaria start on the right it will be one among Alexis,Almada,Palacios on the left as starting Messi,Di Maria and Pappu together is very unlikely because it will effect our pressing and defensive balance.Enzo can be one of the first players to come from the bench based on the circumstances.Acuna if fully fit will start more than Tagliafico on LB position as he will be the only source of width on the left side. These are my thoughts.

    • I prefer guido over paredes. I will never start papu in a big game. I would play Enzo depaul guido midfield. Guido provides solidarity. I hope foyth improves as of now Molina should start. Tagliafico should start over acuna. I also want to see dybala to play some minutes

    • I like what you post. It makes a lot of sense. The only thing I need to add is Papu is not that weak defensively. He is one of those who always pressed the opponents too. I don’t think his defense is that much worse than Lo Celso. Stamina wise, even better than Lo Celso although he is 34. So starting Di Maria and Papu is totally fine to me especially against weaker teams.

      I am just curious if Di Maria doesn’t start in any stage of the tournament, who will replace him. In the past it was almost always Nico Gonzales. I have a feeling it is Julian Alvarez as he seems to be very high in Scaloni’s pecking order now. If Julian starts, he can be the left winger, Messi right and we would play the traditional 4-3-3

  22. That’s good news.

    Now, let’s hope that Papu and Enzo can rotate to cover LoCelso’s position. This will keep the MLS fraud on the bench during the entire tournament. The only good position for Almada is to take care of our gatorade and towels on the sideline.

  23. I am happy Scolani take firm stand and send unfit players home. Coach have full control squad and this will make every one stronger. If argentina were to win WC, it would be scolani tactics and little bit of Messi magic and firmly believe that Scolani is under rated coach who schooled Tite who is touted as top coach.

  24. The new changes were bizarre. Almada is a joke, I don’t know how he was picked. Also, Nico Ganzalez is a beast on pitch, for those who think his absence won’t be missed should think twice. Lo Celso and now Nico, it means Argentina can’t pass the test of quarter final I’m afraid. Our bench players are mediocre now after all those misses and changes.

      • It’s not negativity; half of the key players are injured and out or still unfit. You can’t compete are win the knockout stages when all the good players who showed chemistry with the team and contributed the most to previous wins are suddenly out of the world cup. Their replacements are not even comparable. I can’t see a team winning the world cup having a player like Almada on their roster.

    • How do you know Almada is a joke? What the hell do you know about him? Other than a dipshit comment that he plays in MLS? Enlighten us with your football acumen. This is what happens every four years when people that don’t know shit about Argentina football pop up on this site.

      • When you watched the Olympic 2021, Argentina had 4 “high profile players” upfront: MacAllister, Barco, Gaich, and Almada. The first 3 were starters. The last one was the back up number 10 of MacAllilster. Almada had a good tournament. He always looked dangerous anytime he came on replacing MacAllister. Barco played pretty good too individually, but MacAllister played the worst along with Gaich.

        But this is futbol. Things sometimes hard to guess. Today, out of the 3. MacAllister has the luckiest career. Barco failed in MLS and doesn’t even dominate in River today. Almada was sold to MLS as well. MacAllister went to EPL.

        Almada has much higher ceiling than MacAllister. Much more complete, younger. Maybe MacAllister better defensively but offensively Almada is great. If he plays with confidence, he would be very useful for us. But unlike
        MacAllister, Almada has just been unlucky with his career.

        His agent is a bad one. Instead of waiting for 1 more year, he insisted on selling him to MLS. Even when the move did not materialize, the agent still confirmed the move so Almada would move to MLS 6 months later or so. But again some say good stuff here. The likes of Gio Reyna, Alphonso Davies (one of the world best LB) were also MLS players before. Almada is only 21. The youngest in our squad. If he keeps doing what he’s been doing, and if he has a good World Cup, surely Europe will be knocking the door.

        Choosing agents are very important for a young player career. I read an article a while ago, there was a young Argentina player who was supposed to be the next Messi (forgot the name), but today is a chef in a restaurant. I mean if the player (or his family) is greedy for money and wants big money as soon as possible then the agent can smell that and sell you somewhere where your career would be in danger after that.

        Cuti Romero in his interview always said that he thought about quitting futbol a couple of years ago before he was “lucky” to be sold to Genoa. Cuti’s manager in Belgrano did not even think of him highly. What if Cuti was sold to Russian or Qatar league for example?

        Almada might not be as good as when he first was discovered when the Argentina media thought that he could be the next big thing, but he is more talented for sure than most of our U20 players who failed to win the World Cup U20 in the past.

        • Yes, those agent’s have so much power nowdays and also gain way too much out of everything as most of them obviously care’s only about money as those one’s with very rich owners of some team’s are very exact reason why today’s prices for players are what they are at present also the wages offerd to players young or old,

          well as some will go nuts literally and will kind forget about that what they were maybe once to try to do or achieve as football players as the ultimate goal for every player in any sports should be either to be able to play with the best or against them to make the game or sports more competive and compete with each other in football terms and on the pitch and not with salary’s and amount of social media likers/followers,

          though i quess nowdays football have allready reach to that very dangerous level at least with some players that might think only about money from very young age,

          though if coming from and growing up with no money at all basicly in this fully money controlled world, then i do get it as in that way they will might have immeadeatly impact on their families life,

          but i’m not talking about now Almada or any other player who moved to MLS from Argentina nor i do not talk about any names from other countries too as for respect, but it is clearly obvious allraedy now in Europe, that those who have not sign a professional contract yet, but are waiting on the list for that to happen any moment are eager to move and TaKe another and new step on their career’s, but not necessaraly all for sportingwise,

          though i hope that every young player before signing a professional contract or moving onwards or forwards on their career’s to for example to a bigger club or a more competive league should really think twice before they make their minds as it is not allways one step forward as it can be also 2 steps backwards etc…