Argentina starting XI vs. Ecuador, Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martínez start


The Argentina starting XI for the match vs. Ecuador has been announced and both Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martínez start.

Lionel Messi starts for Argentina after having missed the 2-0 win vs. Peru. Lautaro Martinez also starts. Here is the starting eleven:

Emiliano Martínez; Molina, Romero, Lisandro, Tagliafico; De Paul, Alexis, Enzo; Messi, Lautaro and Nicolás González.


  1. It does matter how we play ..The Argentine flavor is important
    But as long as we are winning I am happy
    We should have played better football today or kept the clean sheet but that’s football..
    Such thing happens
    Messi Ronaldo both missed penalties
    Dibu never disappointes
    We are the defending world champion and copa champion…..
    No matter how bad we play or score less goals or win in tiebreaker if we win the copa again..then doesn’t matter

    • Yes that is also the ultimate true in the end and if ARG will win this COPA, well then no-one really care’s or remembers the way ARG played as obviously results matter the most in the end…and obviously one can’t allways win too, but ARG deffenetly can try and surely they can perform better too, though opponents are not getting easier, and games will be decided by small margin’s, but also if ARG does not step up, well it is hard to see them winning as only maybe by penalties and because of DIBU + ARG has a lot of experience with this group from penalties too, but i quess it is fair to say, that game wise at least Uruguay and Colombia are ahead of ARG now as also Ecuador desrved to win, but lLUCKILY THEY DID NOT AND HOPEFULLY ARG WILL STEP UP AND ALSO HOPEFULLY LUCK WILL BE ON ARG’s side until the end in this COPA as even some obviously old players who have won it all allready, but still it would be nice farewell to them all with one more trophy as ARG would make some incredible piece of history in world football, which will be very hard to match by any NT team !

      Anyhow as said it is has been clear and more than obvious, that new team must be build for the next WC, though luckily there are still some players left in this team who will be leading the team to the next WC such as DIBU CUTI LICHA MAC JULIAN TORO and also Palacios and Enzo + there many young players who just need to play and be intergrated to the team and surely this will be happening after this COPA…so even myself being critical of the way how ARG did play and the performance itself, still also can’t forget everything been able to see and all the up’s and down’s and everything given by ARG through all theese year’s as plenty of joy with for example 5 WC finals from where ARG won 3, so in the end things Could be much worst i quess, but obviously also the present allways does count too….and hopefully one more COPA with enough luck will be won by this team of ARG !

  2. Absolutely bad performance or shall I say brilliant from Ecuador. They should have won but they didn’t. How many of such matches have we suffered throughout the decades where we felt we should have won- 2006 world cup, 2014 world cup final, 2015 and 2016 copa finals. The cycle changes and it is our time to be lucky and I am not complaining.
    However, I feel the way this Ecuador team was playing and we were in the lead, we should have shifted to a solid 4-4-2 with Paredes from the begining of the second half.
    Messi should have come in as a sub, I blv with all the success that scaloni has, he needs to have more say on whether Messi should start.
    I also believe we would play much better in the rest of the tournament and hopefully Messi, Di maria and Otamendi can retire as heroes.

    • Also people asking to remove Scaloni as coach are surely jokers.
      Lets not overreact by saying we had an old team today, no we didnt, exvept Messi, who was old in the starting line up. If you believe Garnacho and Carboni would have changed the match today, you are living in la la land.
      After the copa they would be slowly integrated in the team.

  3. WOW. That was difficult to watch. The first 20 minutes were way too difficult for us but we recomposed ourselves a good amount, scored, but then that same curse of conceding in the final minutes came to bite us. Who was that that stayed on the ground back there before the goal? The quality wasn’t good enough and there was too much drama and stress for me to focus back on that. Whoever stayed there on the ground instead of getting up to cover the right flank with THREE Ecuador players there should be seriously scolded.

    The Messi miss was kind of symbolic, Messi obviously isn’t the same (which is normal at this stage) and the team had to keep themselves together to win after his miss. I can imagine he’s really frustrated and angry with himself because it’s not like he missed by shooting it up into the sky or anything, in fact it was very close to going in, but it simply didn’t go in because he tried something stupid. Either way though, if we have another penalty round, I don’t see him missing it again, he will get himself together.

    The feeling of watching Dibu save two penalties in a row DOESNT GET OLD, one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt watching the sport, and he simply always comes through with it, no exceptions.

    Looking into the future though, we can’t start a game like that again whatsoever. The first 20 minutes everyone was very asleep, imprecise, nonchalant and Ecuador obviously came very aggressively knowing that with their golden generation if they are ever going to pull something like this off, it’s now. They aren’t Bolivia or Paraguay and we seemed to go into the game almost acting like if they were, strange.

    So proud to be in semis though. After what they’ve given us these past three years, I have nothing but belief in this team. VAMOS ARGENTINA CARAJO

    • It was difficult to watch indeed. In fact, after Dibu’s first save, I just place all my faith in him and switched off the TV. A few minutes later, I switched on the social media Dibu was the photo was headlining on the football news platforms.

  4. One more thing: De Paul has been playing poorly for a number of matches I cannot count, yet we keep calling him the engine. I love him too, but whatever happened to “no one is a sure starter”? Can we try Palacios, Enzo, and Mac, or Paredes, Enzo, and Mac? Or make a change and bring De Paul in from the bench?

    Other than this I still believe in this team and will take the LUCK of Scaloni. Because better managers and teams have not had this luck. We don’t score by 3 or 4 goals anymore but I’ll take luck. I just don’t want a heart attack.

    • It’s definitely a good point. The only thing is that even when he doesn’t play well, he’s never invisible and always very active. The other day when Palacios came on he was very invisible. Even in a mediocre game De Paul always takes charge of things, and while I like Palacios and would like to see more of him, I don’t see him “taking charge” of things as much, like how De Paul is always moving back in between the defense and midfield to pick up the ball and begin attacks. Paredes and Enzo are also a bit similar to put together in a midfield of three in my opinion, though I’m not against seeing it because maybe that midfield would have a lot of ball retention. I did like them together that one time against Croatia when it was a midfield of four and De Paul was also on the field. I do wonder if it’s too late in the tournament to make changes like that though

    • Yes no more heart attacks, please and midfield of MAC- PALACIOS-RDP/ENZOPAREDES/ LO CELSO, well i’m not sure of the 3rd one, but MAC for sure and Palacios Could bring some difference, though i don’t know how they will line up and who will be the third best option in my oppinion, maybe RDP-PALA-MAC, not really sure or should it be Paredes instead…? Maybe those who are fastest’s runners and can keep and pass the ball quickly enough and even more so as accurate…

  5. One thing I have to say about Scaloni is that he has the “luck” no Argentine manager has ever had. My friend said, “WHY THE EFF IS HE TAKING OUT Lisandro for Otamendi?”

    Scaloni has a problem past the 70th minute. We saw it with the Netherlands and France. The subs are not the right ones. It changed the game. Otamendi is a liability even though he scored the final penalty. Otamendi in the World Cup final was a liability.

    Pekerman never had the luck Scaloni has now for the third time. It must be written in the stars. Messi is clearly injured and should have been subbed. Should have left in Martinez and Locelso offers nothing (bring Paredes). Most here were worried about this game and I admit, I thought it was going to be a walk in the park. This team loves to play with everyone’s emotions.

      • That’s what annoys me. He clearly prioritizes on some players without any reason. Clear Favoritism .
        How the hell the likes of Pezella,Guido, Armani, Rulli, Locelso are called is beyond me. Otamedi was understandable, probably his last tournament.
        I doubt if Scaloni will start integrating likes of Echeverri, Varela, Equi Fernandez, Santiago Hezze, Senesi, Balerdi, Gazzaniga very soon.

    • Dont play Injured Messi …. we need him later..
      Last 10 -20 minutes in case of 1 goal margin we become empty..
      Substitution is the main problem of Scaloni

      He don’t have guts to play Garnacho for atleast last 10 minutes..
      ..rather his subs makes the team susceptible to concede Goals..

      One of Brazil Uruguay or Columbia is coming to meet us in Final..

      This ECUADOR game is an alert for Argentine coach and players..

      All thanks to SuperHero Emiliano Martinez..
      He saves us

    • Yes unfortunatly Pekerman did not had Scaloni’s luck as ARG will be wearing 4 stars jerseys theese days…or neither had SABELLA as ARG would be wearing 5 stars jerseys and if for 1990 final, well 6 stars it would and Could had been, but luck obviously does not feature for all of us etc…

      But, yes also i Could not belive my eyes, when LICHA was taken out, though luckily Ota scored from the spot…so i quess that with luck we will ride and hopefully til’ the end, though a bit worried how long will it last..?

      Also it is more than obvious, that u just can’t stop playing and try to get a free kick until it is neither given or not as only if someone is really injured, that badly as they will have to leave the pitch, because like many have said as for example WISDOM the refreeing in this COPA is disatrous, but it is what it is and the players must play according to this and not stop playing until they really can’t as i don’t want anybody to get hurt or seriously injured, but there seems to be a lot more drama, than before and part of it can be, because of VAR and players wanting everything to be checked, though while everything been checked as it is also true, that those checks TaKe so much longer than usuallly, still i don’t realky get it as if one as player want’s everything checked and then while it is checked they anyhow keep whining and complaining as usual and which has come even more usual i quess since VAR introduced even they know they can easily carded for their whining etc…

      As in this particular COPA the refreeing been really low standardis as way below bar also the pitches been so bad too….any how it is the same for all the team’s and also ARG can not go behind, that too as the performance as said way below bar, though kudos to Ecuador, but also, that was not really any surprise as the real surprise was what was ARG actually thinking and why such bad performance as i was not expecting walk in the park, but this performance did realky surprise me in over all and left so many questions to answer….so i have come to same conclusion with WISDOM, that only in luck i can now trust and wish and hope for some better performance as if ARG will lose, ok, that will be fine as one can’t allways win, but it is the performance and the way ARG played which left me clueless in the end, well as that said hopefully in the next game ARG will show some more on the regular playing time as i’m not expecting that many goals or games won by many goals, but not also ARG to play as they did in the match against Ecuador, which should had been won by Ecuador too, but THANX TO LICHA’s goal and to DIBU JULIAN MAC MONTIEL AND OTA’s last penalty ARG is now in the semi and have a chance to at least get in to final and hopefully LUCK WILL BE ON ARG’s SIDE !

  6. Just a few points.
    Messi should be a sub. He knows he is injured, and still wants to play. That is some selfish fucking bullshit.
    DePaul needs to start playing and stop whining. This motherfucker is more worried about his style than his game which was trash today.
    Scaloni must have been on crack today and he got lucky. Horrible lineup, and he needs to let the young kids play. Either bring the change or be the change and get the fuck out. But it’s criminal not letting guys like Barco, garnacho, carboni get at least 20 minutes.
    Dibu is the best goalie in the world.
    This team doesn’t run anymore, and nobody should be celebrating this win. If any of you all are watching Uruguay, Colombia, or Brazil they would have easily beat us today.
    The road ahead is going to be really rough and sad because I doubt this trophy is going to us.

    • The problem is Scaloni’s failure to stamp his authority. What’s the point of playing unfit Messi and end up losing the game. My big issue was with DePaul , Molina and Enzo lack assertiveness. I believe likes of Equi Fernandez and Varela are better midfielders than Enzo& DePaul with more explosiveness. I haven’t even mentioned Exequiel Palacios who was out there on the bench

  7. This is why winning teams do. They find a way to win even when things are going badly. I feel like our team has grit.
    And Scaloni is going to reevaluate everything and give us a good setup. I think if we had he Di Maria in from the beginning instead of Messi, we would have won comfortably. But, now that Messi has played a game, he may be fully recovered for the next game. I think we are going to win the next game as well. Maybe by the skin of our teeth, but that’s how we won the last Copa America.

  8. From the first day of this Copa I felt that the team doesn’t look like a champion of anything. Now, everybody sees how bad this team is. A bunch of oldies who have lost desire to win and a stubborn coach who sticks with his outdated lineup. Good luck!

  9. This win will get rid of any complacency. We needed a match like this.
    However, I have never seen Argentina play this badly during scaloni era.
    We were 2nd best to everything.
    Those Ecuadorians had a game of their life. What a performance by them.

  10. Relief finally! Vamos!!
    Today’s game was just horrible, we must think more about our tactics. Messi is just his shadow now. How long he’ll continue with this form is a big ques now, sadly saying. We really need to build a decent team chemistry without him & its so possible I think. Need to use Messi in an alternative way or super sub.
    Emi is the hero again & he is the piller of our all achievement no doubt. Without him may be we would remain stay trophyless till now!!!

  11. I think rushing unfit Messi and playing Enzo was Scaloni’s mistake today. We couldn’t string three passes together. Messi was clearly not fully fit. Next game It has to be Locelso in place of Enzo who hasn’t played much since his hernia surgery and on top of that his finishing is downright mediocre.

    • You are so true. At one point of time, I started feeing angry with Messi and the team and feel sorry for Ecuador. His time is over. We have to think ahead now. It was such a frustrating display by us. Exactly the same way we lost to Uruguay last year. The same kind of naive display. No one could hold the bold and create any chance!!! Unbelievable!!! Players were failing to recieve simplest of the passes. I am not sure how far this team would go.

  12. This is the worst win of Argentina since Scaloni took over. I haven’t since such a poor display by our players. What a horrible refereeing! What a horrible Messi! What a horrible Nico! He was completely responsible for the goal. He was rolling on the ground when 3 Ecuadorians were inside his zone. What a horrible entire team! Ecuador deserved to win. It was again Dibu who came to our rescue.

    • Why u people so angry with our players. They are human not robot. All the big teams can struggle so did Argentina. We have won that matters. I have seen lot of games in my 43 years of age that Argentina played extra ordinary but lost. So nice football or eye pleasing football not required if we won. Yes today we played bad football hope this is the last. Scalony should try to find some physical player for this kind of games as Ecuador, Colombia and Uruguay always play physical football against us and we always suffer against physicality. Lets enjoy.

      • They also need legs and some clear way of playing as physicality will help, but it will not solve this problem as i t was clearly seen today as i have followed and suported ARG since 78’ and yes i seen many kind of games and many kind of team’s and coaches + players too, but today they were completly clueless and totally outplayed by Ecuador and ARG did not desrve to win, though i’m happy they did, but i just don’t don’t want to see another clueless performance from ARG as they clearly have not been on their best so far in this COPA and this game against Ecuador, who, yes clearly a better opponent than, those who ARG played against in the group stages, but that did not come as surprise as only surprise was how badly ARG truly played so now there is some time to fix, but not much and Venuzela or Canada will throw all on ARG and get only stronger after seeing how much ARG suffered against Ecuador, who is a good team and truly deserved to win, but luckily did not….hopefully the midfield will be set up differently as also the attack and something has to be done for the rightside of the defence as those team’s with fast and strong players will literally kill ARG and CUTI LICHA and DIBU can’t save it all all as MACCA did his job pretty well too, but it is hard for him too to try cover everything as RDP, well yes he did that running and gave his all, but looked like his timing was very off as was his decission making and he gave away amongst others too many passes away as the passini was realky sloppy due most of the game etc…

    • No sorry mmh007 as i can’t understand it as well at all !
      Montiel maybe should had been subbed in allready at the beginning of the second half, as maybe Lo Celso and Paredes/ Palacios too, though i’m still totally clueless as even i kind of quess it, that instead of parking the bus Ecuador will go for it, but so should had the Coaching as i’m not sure how come ARG performed so badly as what it reason for it as clearly the players must do better, but also specially after first half the Coaching should had too and why were there no late changes as did ARG even used all their subs as first came Lo Celso for Enzo and then Julian for Toro and at the moment, when LICHA was subbed out i started to feel real anxious, though Ota scored a great penalty, but honestly speaking from how the game went for 90 min’s + Ecuador was way better team and deserved to win, though I’M MORE THAN SUPER HAPPY AS THEY DID NOT! THANX GOD TO DIBU AGAIN ! But, this obviusly can’t continue with ARG like this and actually Ecuador should had won this game inside 90 min’s, but were more than unlucky and on otherhand ARG more than super lucky as only positives were , that corner where from LICHA SCORED and those who converted in their PK’s as JULIAN, MACCA, MONTIEL AND OTA AND more than obviously DIBU WAS THE MOM !

      Inside 90 min’s + 3-4 best players were DIBU, LICHA MACCA and maybe CUTI, though obviously he suffered from that rightside problem a lot too as said before there lies the weakness, but today it effected kind of everywhere and all around the pitch as that is my only explanation, though it won’t tell the whole story and explain why ARG was so weak and played in overall so badly as even how good team Ecuador are and they truly look better at the monent as ARG, but also that won’t explain the whole story either..?

      In very long time even i’m happy, that ARG won, but not in the same way due to performance of ARG itself…?

      It makes me wonder most likely about Venezuela or even Canada in the semi as they will TaKe everything Ecuador did today and Fully go for it forsure and if ARG will hopefully make it to their 4TH FINAL in the row, well any of those team’s from another side of the bracket will be very difficult to beat and obviously so if specially in this kind way as ARG did against Ecuador…OMG ARG TRULY LUCKY FOR THANX GOD OR THE GREAT SPIRIT AS THE SOMEHOW IT FELT LIKE SOME UNKNOWN SOURCE POWER WOULD NOT LET ARG TO LOOSE AGAINST ECUADOR…?

  13. Scaloni had better choices of Equi Fernandez, Varela, Balerdi, Senesi but instead choose Guido, Pezella, Locelso( who barely played entire season)and Enzo Fernandez who had hernia problem. Should Argentina lose, Scaloni will take the blame. I won’t blame Otamedi but midfield was outclassed. Finally Scaloni should stamp his authority whether it’s pleases Messi or not. What’s the point of playing unfit Messi and end up losing?

  14. This pile of shit is all on Scaloni. You lineup a fucking cripple in Messi when he can’t even fucking walk. He is the fucking Joe Biden of football today. And on top of that you leave DiMaria out and bring in that piece of shit Otamendi. We deserve to fucking lose.

  15. Some comments are like: “we are slow”, “Very disaster”, “Being exposed”, “No shots till now”, “De paul sloppy”, etc. This is not PlayStation.

    Do you expect the whole world to park bus against us every time?
    Other teams also do plan the game to win? Argentina can also be surprised with the tactics of the other teams.

    The challenge now is how will Argentina coop and respond, so far good and nothing EXTREMELY serious this is normal in football.
    Yalla Argentina!!!

  16. That entire midfield is a disaster. Enzo is playing with a hernia. He should have had surgery. Messi is not even at 20 percent. Really no need for him to start if he isn’t at least 80 percent. You gotta bring some new blood into the midfield. Nobody is running again like they did in the World Cup and it shows. We will not be beating Uruguay or Colombia with this kind of effort and form in any final.
    At this point you need to play Julian every game if Messi is playing. Messi just won’t run anymore and if somebody isn’t running for him it’s a huge liability in the final third of the field.

  17. Siempre tenemos que sufrir. Is what they players said all during the World Cup. We suffered during that first half but still scored a goal.
    I think Scaloni should leave everyone in and at 50-60 minutes take out Enzo and Messi. Lo Celso and Di Maria would be great in this game.

  18. Maybe Molina should be subbed to Montiel, though not sure if it will fit that right side problem as this was well known amongst many and clearly Ecuador has taken advantage out of it as also maybe subbing in Julian would be good idea too, though not sure who should be taken out for him..? As there still 45 min’s to play…

    I kind of knew, that Ecuador won’t sit back and park the bus as they clearly feel they can get something out of this game and i don’t know if that was what SCALONI and CO. really expected, but anyhow Ecuador looks very dangerous and ARG on otherhand unfortunatly not so as too many ball’s been given away by very sloppy passini from ARG and, that has be to fixed imeatdeatly as ARG can’t afford that in any circumstances or in any game and i hope SCALONI and CO. will address that too, but it is the players who has the responsibility in the first hand and specially now ! VAMOS ARGENTINA !

  19. Playing Molina and Tagliafico together is very risky. Instead of that Scaloni can try 3 CB and 1 wing back
    I mean, either
    Molina, Romero,Otamendi,Lisandro,
    (Nehuen Perez/LMQ), Romero,Lisandro,Tagliafico

    This defence formation can help midfielders also. No need to play 2 wing backs.

  20. We gave away possession so easily. 1st decent move was at 27th min. Luckily the corner was converted & they just missed marking Licha. Hopefully we improve in 2nd half. Clearly we will struggle at this level vs bigger boys. I wish Messi takes rest & dont think taking him out will disturb the composition

  21. Looks like we are little bit complacent. Without dimaria we lacked dynamism. Plus messi surely not fit. Argentina with fit messi miles apart from Argentina with unfit messi. A fit messi cover up the deficiencies in midfield creativity

    • But NT can’t keep on depending on likes of Messi, Dimaria. They will be past 38/39 come 2026. Otamedi, Armani will be past 39. Acuna past 35, Pezella 36+.
      I don’t know why this obvious fact is being ignored. With Almada going to Europe to upgrade his level, Echeverri, new good players emerging like hezze, Equi Fernandez &Varela, I hope NT will find great replacement except for Messi.

  22. Ufff!! Very tough first half. Thankfully after the goal we started looking better. But our passing has been horrible even without any pressure.
    But some ppl here would comment as if already we are out of the tournament