Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni spoke about the team and the World Cup qualifiers.
Lionel Scaloni has all of his players training and held a press conference on Wednesday talking about the team. Here is what he had to say:
“I have decided on the team, it will not change much from what it was in the last matches. We can always have a surprise, especially considering that Ecuador is a good team, with a coach who makes them play well and there are some precautions to take. Based on that, the team may change tomorrow but they will almost always be the same.
“After some time together, we know what we want. But that does not mean that we are sure of anything. The qualifiers will be very difficult, the level of the national teams has risen and we have to continue competing.
“It will not always be a bed of roses, there will be difficult moments and we will have to be more united than ever. Now everything is going well and if it doesn’t continue like this, the group will be able to get through it.”
Scaloni also spoke about Lautaro Martínez and Julián Álvarez:
“I don’t remember if Lautaro and Julián have started together but I wouldn’t have any problems. They would play because, although they are both strikers, they are different. Julian can play further back. Every team has to have a balance and we believe that at times they can play but tomorrow it is difficult for them to play together.
“They are both at a great level and the decision will be made thinking about the good of the team and what one or the other can give us. The best thing that can happen is that they are well and happy.”
The talk he had with the players:
“The talk with the boys was that the past is over, it was very nice, historic but now it’s time to continue. The DNA of a football player and more so of an Argentine player, is to keep trying to win, to compete, which is what we told our players, to keep competing and the way we have been. Respecting our rivals, knowing that now it will be more complex.”
In regards to the new players on the team:
“No one can sleep, this shirt and crest implies constant improvement and we have a good opportunity to continue to be good. The players are doing well, we have a base that has been with us for a long time and we are adding players that we believe can improve the team and make it difficult for the others.”
About Lionel Messi:
“Messi is happy and in a place where they want him. Messi is fine, I see him happy. It is important that the player is happy regardless of the country he is in.
“Messi will play as many minutes as he can play.”
About Enzo Fernández and Alexis Mac Allister:
“Everyone plays differently in their teams. Very few play the same as in the national team. Alexis plays in a different position as well. In the case of Enzo, it’s good that he can play further forward. Analyzing one by one, the others play different in their teams and it is good to have those options. I don’t rule out that he can do it with us.”
Lisandro Martínez and if he will play against Ecuador:
“Lisandro suffered a foot problem, he had surgery some time ago and in the last game he felt discomfort. He had undergone tests and he is fine, it will be up to us to risk it, it is an uncomfortable area.
“We have teammates who can do just as well and we don’t need to risk it. In principle, for tomorrow’s match, it’s too soon and we’ll see for the second one.”
Travelling to Bolivia:
“In principle, the same as last time. We travel on Sunday, which is two days before the match. There is no recipe to go to Bolivia, in principle, we are thinking about tomorrow’s match, which is the important thing and then those who are 100% will go as usual, no one will be out if it is not due to injury.”