Lionel Messi: “Thanks to God, we accomplished our mission.”

Lionel Messi Argentina Ecuador Press Conference

It’s been a while since Lionel MESSI or anyone of the Argentina team has spoken to the press but tonight, they broke their silence.

It wasn’t since Argentina’s 3-0 victory over Colombia last year that the team have not held a press conference or even spoken to the press. The relationship between the two sides has soured over the past few years, with the media blaming the players for many things. Enough was enough said the players as they held a press conference to tell everyone they would not be communicating with them anymore.

Fast forward nearly 12 months and Lionel MESSI and the team have finally come out to the media. Several of the players, lead by MESSI himself, have come out and spoken after the massive 3-1 win and qualifying for the World Cup. Here’s what they had to say:

Lionel MESSI:

“It’s important that we’re all united, that the National Team does well. If we all go together, it’ll be much easier.

“This group deserves to be at the World Cup. Luckily, we reacted quickly after the goal. Today was an important day for us all.

“A thank you to the fans for supporting us, especially in these last two rounds of qualifying. Thanks to God, we accomplished our mission.

“We fought, we suffered and we couldn’t not be at the World Cup. After this, the National Team will be different, it’ll grow. Every time I’m with the National Team, I try to give my best, both for myself and for the team.”

Javier MASCHERANO:

“We have to analyze everything that has occured until now and try to be better. All of us together can push forward. Argentina has to change, not just for us but also for the upcoming generations.”

Paulo DYBALA:

“I’m lucky to see and to be close to MESSI.”

Gabriel MERCADO:

“Lionel MESSI gave us our passage to the World Cup. Like every Argentinian, I want the National Team to always be doing well. From here, I always try to give my best. Now we have to work hard for what’s coming.”

Sergio ROMERO:

“God wants us to have a great World Cup.”

97 Comments

  1. Debasish Duttaroy

    Dear all
    Took me some time to come back and make a comment. I am ecstatic. Congrats to you all. You are my friends and family here. Happy for you all, after the suffering we went through.

    Now I feel, things will only get better from here. I think we will do well.

    I will have to watch the game tonight again to make any comment about who played well and who not.

    I was stunned (not devastated) by the Ecuador goal. Somehow I had hope. Somehow the game looked open. Somehow there was belief.

  2. MMH

    Just to discuss over few thoughts from our fellow members here 🙂
    About team not playing 1/2 football. Is that a problem? NO!
    Because to play 1/2 you need good chemistry between the players and some good practice session at least. And whole this qualifying campaign we changed 3 coach and 57 players. So tell me how can you play 1/2? It was good idea not play 1/2 against in those painful,suffering qualification. We would lose ball more often and that would cause us getting hammered by team like Peru,Venezuela & Ecuador with counter. Since we got rid of the monkey from our back now it is time to try new players,Tactics,Making the bench more stronger etc. So i wouldn’t worry about it. If you noticed Chile and Sevilla they always used to play beautiful 1/2 football under Sampaoli. So i bet it is coming…
    And Chile & Sevilla was a collective team and it took time to build it. It won’t come in 4 high pressure qualifying game and 2 friendly. I already see the progress of collectivity in our team. If you don’t call Ecuador victory is collective performance than i don’t know what is collectively means (!?). Messi score hattrick for Barca too,he is their top goal scorer aswell. This season he is the only guy keep scoring for Barca. Does is mean Barca is a one man team too? Yes we expect from Messi and depend on him alot but it is normal. Because you can’t show me a National Team that doesn’t depend on their best player. And we have THE BEST. Best in HISTORY so tell me how can we not depend on him. It’s his job to score goals not clear the ball from goal line. Those beautiful passes we are looking from midfield to our CF will come at a time. For these we need time and practice more with a proper coach(we got one now).
    Argentina will play beautiful football. It just Sampaoli never had time to build his system properly yet. We need more friendly and time. Given time we will be a formidable force and team to beat in future i bet on this under Sampaoli. Till than we might have to suffer the SO CALLED one man show. To be honest i won’t get bored watching this on every game 😉

    1. SulaV

      I completely agree…

      1. 10XEEM

        @MMH.
        bro just want to add one more thing ,this sampaoli and messi’s argentina is more capable of handling severe pressure and messi inventing himself to new heights everygame.Day by day our team gets more spontaneous and fluidic.
        It is also noticeable how messi builds himself as a leader, really wonderful to see.

  3. waveride

    Like everyone in here i am so happy that our beloved team will be in Russia. A wc without Argentina ain’t a world cup and all the world of football even people who are not Argentina supporters know that.

    Guys you have to see players’ and the staff celebration in the dressing room after our massive win with Equador, they are chanting against the media which were criticising and writing shit about us! This is for all the haters who talk bullshit about Argentina because deep inside them they are afraid of us and envy the most special team in football history! The only team who can affect so strongly generations, the only team who can thrill people the way like no other team can! This is Argentina, football itself!

    VAMOS ARGENTINA CARAJO!!

    VOLVEREMOS!

    1. Dfox1942

      …but they deserved the negative criticism they got from the media because ARGENTINA does NOT need to qualify for the WC on the last day and that with an absolute miracle when they are ARGENTINA.
      What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, lets hope they are stronger and tougher than they were before!

      1. MMH

        Yes.but they always talk shit. Sometime they should support the selection in bad time too

  4. Argentina2018

    Yes Messi did it again and again, he dragged the team all the way. If you look at it, this will add something special to his legacy which he deserves. However, we are still one man team, and one man show. What is our plan B if Messi is injured before the world cup? Nada.

    All articles and news congratulate Argentina for qualifying but pinpoint their worry about dependence on one man savior. Here are just a few:

    https://deadspin.com/lionel-messi-saves-argentinas-ass-1819341504

    http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/11076553/guillem-balague-impossible-lionel-messi-saved-a-mediocre-argentina-side

    https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/news/argentina-3-1-ecuador-messi-saves-argentina-from-disaster-clinches-world-cup-spot/

    So after all, it wasn’t team work, it was Messi’s magic and his undeniable skills.

  5. Maya

    While others are busy celebrating, Romero walk slowly with the calmness of a Buddha. He is a mystery sometimes. In the words of Christian Bale in “The Machinist”, let me sleep.. Champions..

    1. Ahmad

      Great
      haaaa

  6. KidultHood

    Against Ecuador, the team showed character, experience and a will to succeed. Everything could have gone wrong after Ecuador scored with barely one minute on the clock. The team could have drop their heads and throw their hands up in the air, but they didn’t, the boys fought back and Argentina persistent paid off. The experience of Messi, Di Maria, Masche, Biglia, Enzo, Otamendi etc. work well for the team in a difficult situation. Ecuador decided to play and it benefited guys like Messi and Di Maria who relish in space given to them by the opponent. Thank God the game wasn’t played under 4pm heat, the evening time kickoff benefited Argentina given that it was already challenging playing at height. What you guys saw last night was a team that played their way through rounds after rounds in the last three tournaments. Sampaoli need to keep this core of players together with a couple new faces and old faces back.

    The first half was great especially given how the team responded after the early goal from Ecuador. The second half Argentina started to concede territory and possession to Ecuador because you could see that the altitude was taking its effect on the players; Messi, Di Maria, Biglia, Mashe, Enzo etc. were all gasping for air at times. Messi tried to stay down as long as possible at every chance he got just so that he and his team mates could get a chance to breathe for several seconds during the game. This was a great win in a difficult situation under tough playing conditions.

    Well done boys, and even though I was losing faith in Sampaoli, I know he will excel with this team outside of the confines of CONMEBOL where every single game seems to be a bitter rivalry and turf battle among all the South American teams, not to mention the emotion that comes with it (arghhh, I’m so glad the qualifiers are over). It’s not like after you play Colombia or Uruguay in one round of game knowing in the next rounds of game you will face a Rock of Gibraltar or Liechtenstein where the team can have a shooting practice; no, this is not the case, the team will have to travel to a place like Bolivia (La Paz) and play under inhumane condition or play against a Peru side that will come at you none stop for 90 minutes!! Argentina could have easily defeat Venezuela and Peru at home on another day, but these teams are far from what they use to be 15-20 years ago. No team in CONMEBOL today is a push over. Brazil went through a good period during the qualifiers when all the other teams were dealing with their inner problems. Note: Argentina used three different coaches during the CONEMBOL qualifiers while Brazil used only two. Brazil new coach (Tite) at the time also had the luxury of playing Olympics football with several of the players that are currently on the senior team.

    No matter what anyone says here, it will take experience from a team on how to navigate its way through the round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinal and final at the world cup. A lot of these games played during qualifier will be tougher than what Argentina might come across in Russia next year, even as far as the semifinal. If you watch the European Championships last year, then you know what I’m talking about, majority of those games were boring and lethargic.

    Argentina don’t need to start from scratch in the summer of 2018 else the team will be just another 1998, 2002,2006, and 2010 team that got knockout by the quarterfinal stage. Argentina with this group of players started a project since 2014, Sampaoli need to finish it by winning the world cup in Russia then dismantle the team afterwards because most of these guys will be gone anyways. Continuity is the key at winning the world cup. Just be patient like what the Spaniards and the Germans did in the past and our time will come hopefully in Russia 2018. I like how the fans in Argentina got behind their country yesterday, that is what fans supposed to do, when a team is down or going through difficult times you show them support and love. #Greets from my side of the world!!

    1. B

      The team was in a slump in part because of the instability within AFA. There is no doubt they had the talent, but sometimes even good teams slump. So the question was: When you are in a rut, do you have the stones to win anyway. Argentina and Messi won this game with stones. And that to me is the most important thing. They have 8 months to tweak the system, and Sampaoli who couldn’t quite solve the goal problem in his first 3 games will have some more time to experiment with less pressure. He’ll also have three weeks prior to the world cup to really drill this team. I think that will make a difference.

      As for the football side of yesterday. I think that Benedetto played well enough to seriously be considered for the final roster. He may not start, and probably won’t start if Icardi learns to play with Messi, but aside from his finishing he’s done about everything that’s been asked of him.

      Enzo Perez might be the box to box utility midfielder that we’ve been missing. His ability to break the line and also track back makes him another potential candidate. Biglia played well in each of his games I think and especially the last two. It’s become clear that Biglia is the anchor of the midfield, and Banega may be on the way out.

      Di Maria had another one of those games that makes you question whether you were wrong to ever doubt him. He was all over the left flank, almost scored, and most importantly set Messi up for the first goal. Still, I’m honestly not certain if he should be part of the squad or left home. His upside is unmatched by few, but his inconsistency has been a problem for us this cycle.

      Salvio may not be ready. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt though because of the altitude.

      As sad as it will make me if Mascherano (a real f-ing hero!) doesn’t make it to Russia, I think we maybe saw the last of him. I wouldn’t object to him going as a sub, but I just don’t see where he fits in. He may be a better CB option than Fazio, but at his age and with his height it may be difficult liability against some of the bigger more athletic European teams.

      So the question I have is does Samapaoli revert back to a back 3 after this game, or keep the quasi back 4 he’s got going with Acuna on the left. I read someone who wanted Marcos Rojo, but I’m not sure I like Rojo’s pace in Sampaoli’s system. Thoughts?

  7. Arjunanmessi

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4969196/Lionel-Messi-leads-Argentina-World-Cup-2018-celebrations.html if some of them said messi loves dimaria banega biglia… kids… go this link… watch if you have eyes….

  8. Arjunanmessi

    many of them think argentina is one man team…. the real truth is not.. and many of them want taller guys in the center back possition to safe a defence… why we lost last three finals…. we are defensively great… we never concede a goal in 90 minutes…. one goal in three finals… defensively we are great we have four cb and mache and biglia.. infront of the defense… and many of them have a doubt why messi never performed for argentina in the final and knock out in the world cup…. the answer is offensively we are very poor…messi has no support…. against small team he never need any help from others he can do on his own… but bigger teams are inteligent…. they can handle messi easily.. with no support.. thats what happen in the knockout stage…. he score against small teams in group stage… against big teams switch.. he made assist.. and belgium.. unlucky goal… semi we struggled…went on to penalty… final… we lost in one defensive error… copa small teams untill semis… and final chille we never scored a goal… because team lacks offensively….. if we dont have any attacking players we can do it that way… but we have aguero dybala icardi dimaria gomez pastore banega lanzini parades perez augusto who can support messi with attack…. thats coach decesion whether we are going to attack or defend … we tried to defend last three times…. now we have to move to attack… we must try… if messi has support from the attack it will be easy to score agiainst big teams.. he done with barca.. if we we concede two goals against big teams we can score four goals with attacking talent. if we loose the ball middel we have to press and retain the ball quickly we have to find the players.. i know argentina have the quality players for example.. seria a top scorer dybala icadi or higuain premier league auguro laliaga messi… we are dominating europe why we want to defend with tall guys… we can have the players in the top club… playing ball from the back… example otamendi mache .. we have to try this way… yes other team can score goal .. but we can score goals we need to find the balance… sampolli tried… first messi stuggled… others gets chace but they never scored…. but today messi step up scores three… icardi miss the party… but im confident…. sampolli will find the solution…. they we cand see goal from icardi dybala dimaria even from midfield and from defence.. and with sub also… it will happen in soon …. i strongle beleive… attack only will lead worldcup to argentina… ohter wise samething will happen if we put mache back to midfield….

  9. vimaldass

    Here’s our hope for the upcoming wc :
    – Roberto perreyra is back playing for watford
    – Lamela is finally back training with their first team

    In my honest opinion, rojo should be partnering otamendi at the back. Mascherano doesn’t have the legs to do it anymore. Perez was absolutely brilliant at the centre due to his composure on the ball and decent vision. Constantly attracted central/defensive midfielders towards him and freed Messi. He has the much needed tenacity that Argentina lacks. Not to mention he almost racked up an assist for icardi as well. Rigoni is a much better player than Salvio but needs some time to settle. His trickery and his ability to cut in to D box is much needed currently. Icardi when fit should be played instead of Benedetto. Physically he is a beast to be contained in the box not forgetting his aerial ability.

    Next up Russia at their home ground on the 11th of November. Let’s play with more confidence guys !

    1. pallab

      After every single game our opinion change. ….

      Mascherano played very well against peru. .We were praising him then. ..After beating Ecuador we are here to blame Masche that he is not good.

      That’s our problem

      It is clear that Masche has more problem due to the height …in Russia He will be ok….
      Mascherano is great. Man how could you leave him. ..He is a fighter. …

      Congratulations to all mundolabiceleste members for this historic win. ….Love you all. …
      In Russia we will be more and more dangerous

      1. vimaldass

        Don’t get me wrong bro. I didn’t say he should be dropped from the squad but from the starting eleven instead. His lack of speed and height seem to me like a liability. Even mammana with adequate training could do better at defending.

  10. vis

    Massive massive victory. Can sleep well today. We now have time to develop tactics and partnerships. I think it’s vital to get and integrate a player of Dybala”s class. The serie A triad of Dybala Gomez and Icardi plus Benedetto are a must. I liked the movement of Benedetto very much . Seems to have speed and fluidity and most importantly was not selfish. Pleased with Benedetto’s commitment.
    The goals will come

  11. Rune

    In my opinion we need to get some new players into the team, but we do not have the time or many games to do this. The most important thing is to work out a plan and a system that can make Messi and Dybala play together. This MUST happen!!
    I would love to seen both J. Correa and A. Correa in the squad. Rojo should also be in the squad when he gets fit again. I have no problem with the likes of Acuna and Salvio, they are working very hard and can be very useful. I would keep them in the squad and drop L. Acosta.
    I see Ascasibar just as a younger version of Biglia, he is not better than Biglia…hope I am wrong.
    An inform Roberto Pereyra would be the perfect box to box midfielder for this team. But he is injured too often I guess. Masch should be used mostly as a sub, he can play both in defence and in the midfield and is great to have in the squad. If he can up his game when the world cup draws near I would not hesitate to use him from the start though.

    1. Gonzalo

      Now we need as many friendlies as possible. As for me only few new players to call up and check: Nacho Fernandez, both Correas, Battaglia, Bustos, Ascacibar. Maybe one of Pavon/Pity Martinez.

      1. Rune

        But the club football is so demanding these days and there will not be enough free dates in the calendar to get many friendlies. This is where Germany, Brazil and France are above us….they already have a system and will not change much and are full of confidence in the months leading up to the world cup.
        I have faith in Sampaoli and believe he is the best coach we can have for the next years, but time is not on his side now before the world cup. Let us just hope and pray that our most important players do not pick up injuries in the months before the world cup. I would welcome the idea of testing Bustos and Pavon…if we have time;-)

        1. pallab

          Keep faith in Sampaolism. …He is preparing a prolific squad

  12. Debraj Neogi

    That one-touch passing observation from Gonzalo is brilliant. We need to watch the matches much more closely. Hope Sampaoli will note this.

  13. tmisellati

    i just read that Argentina , Brazil , Germany , France , Poland , Belgium , Portugal and Russia will be the heads of the groups in the world cup !!

    1. pallab

      Yes correct

  14. tmisellati

    from the comments i read , i realized that many fans are not happy with benedetto. personally , i liked his speed and movement without the ball. he was involved indirectly in all three goals scored yesterday. i liked how he slip aside to make space for leo.

    1. Gonzalo

      I’m rather disappointed he didn’t scored as far but:

      1. what I was so sure he will be more running and working off the ball player than Higuain, Aguero, Icardi, Alario. At this point only Pratto may be as good as Benedetto.

      2. I’m not surprised, no a bit, Sampaoli prefers him (as far) over most famous teammates. I think everyone who watched him a lot in Boca understand that his scoring is just matter of time but first of all he is just really smart player. As far he has apparently some mentall novice problem. One goal should make him relaxed and let him show 100%

      1. tmisellati

        yeah he runs and works harder than higuain and Aguero. i think Sampaoli likes his speed and hardwork. and i think he can be more compatible with Messi with more matches.
        tell me your opinion about Salvio yesterday ?

        1. Gonzalo

          well, I must to admit Salvio somehow didn’t drew my attention hence I’m not sure about my opinion. He just escaped my notice. Maybe he did good quiet work maybe not.

          I always watch Argentina matches 2 times and must re-watch.

          Generally I like last Sampaoli’s line up and that will be perhaps his starting point, base to work with and improve.

          1. tmisellati

            to be honest , initially i liked the line up but after the match i realized there is still need alot of work. Masche was not that good yesterday especially with high balls. mercado was slow and he is not good enough with ball. Salvio was very bad yesterday. we scored 3 goals and thanks for indivisual performance by messi but the midfield still need adjustments. i liked the inclusion of E.perez. he added dynamicism and power but the midfield still lacks creativity and speed.
            did you see brazil goals yesterday ?
            the second and the third ones were from a precise long ball.
            we lack these touches.did you brazil goals yesterday ? the second was from a precise long ball. we lack these touches.

          2. Gonzalo

            As I can remember Enzo was always bringing good improvement to team when starter. He and Lavezzi. I thought Salvio may do Lavezzi’s work but somehow as far he is not of the kind.

            One hardowker, dynamic runner or box-to-box as Enzo is must in midfield.

            I just watched the Brazil goals. The 2 you mentioned were counterattacking. I saw rather broken spirit and defence of CHile than briliance of Brazil. But that crossed long passes markable indeed. We should watch more teams like Germany and Brazil.

            Fas est et ab hoste doceri

      2. mattjeff

        Benedetto reminds me of Saviola’s role in the NT under Pekerman. To me Saviola was the best Argentina player in WC 2006 with his on/off the ball movement especially his ability to move between the lines seamlessly.

        I liked how Argentina was able to play quick one touch passing under Pekerman but I didn’t like that there was no urgency in the gameplay. Personally, I think the downside of Pekerman’s system was Argentina could not muster any quick counter attack.

        As for Bielsa’s system I really like that Argentina was very direct and kept on attacking relentlessly. Argentina could score with just a few touches from quick counter and also from more elaborate play. But that highly energetic system was unsustainable for a tournament where the team will have a match every 3 days.

        As for Alejandro Sabella’s system it was very rigid and conservative. That system depended a lot on 4 star attackers – Messi, Di Maria, Higuain and Aguero – to perform. Argentina was unfortunate to have Aguero and Higuain injured before the WC and later lost Di Maria in the match against Belgium.

        1. Martinjean

          I said it many times, defense win championship. Having a bunch of midget at the back won’t cut it. Mercado is average, Mascherano as much as i loved him, he is too short to be exposed at the back. Sabella had 3 defenders taller than 6 ft and he shielded his defense with Biblia and Mascherano. Now we have 3 players at the back who are less than 6 ft tall. If we played Germany, it is going to be a goalfest for them. Long ball for Mueller, Schurrle, Wagner and we are doomed.

          1. Gonzalo

            I always got the impression Sabella prefered taller players both defence and midfield. Even if they were not that good technically as the midgets.

          2. Arjunanmessi

            long ball to germany… thats comedy… it will be tough far small teams.. if we have to score team like germany spain brazil we need better ball playing centerback not tall…. i know mache will struggle against small teams in his aerial ablity… but he is the best game reader when he plays in the centerback… that will give more ball control… european teams will play football … not long… ball … we have to worry against southameriacan teams only… like uruguay equadar venezuela… not with spain germany france… they wont attack with cross…. they attack with their inteligence….. mache plays should be in cb… he playing great and make some runs through the middle… he is done far barca last 6 years… if he plays in the middle … his back pass is enough for other teams.. and other two cb will never touch the ball if we are in possesion.. sampolli will know better than us… dont worry … we will see different argenina in the groupstage of 2018wc

        2. pallab

          Benedetto and icardi are good. ….no need of Higuain

  15. Gonzalo

    What this team lost is ability to one-touch football. Before yesterday’s match I rewatched Argentina – Peru. You may check it: there were only 2 times when the team played quick one-touch passes. And ‘surprisingly’ that one-touch actions provided 2 best opportunities of that match (Papu Gomez in 56 min, and one of Benedetto’s). Literally, they played one-touch only 2 times. Yesterday was the same. I didn’t counted but so little one-touch football. Except Messi-Di Maria moments that lead to goals. Also against Uruguay the only moment worth of remember and best opportunity was when Messi and Dybala did that. That is clue. This team lost the abilities. Abilities that made Sabella’s team best in last 10 years.

    That is also main difference between teams like Argentina and Germany.

    1. Kitty

      @Gonzalo, I always liked your posts; I can understand your disappointment about lack of team play; but this is not the time to express it (while every1 celebrating as the team qualified for the World Cup & after being at risk of not qualifying to the biggest show piece event). There is time for doing the analysis/judging the players performances.

      First we need to congratulate the Team, Coach and the Players for their efforts and making it. They were under lot of pressure coming into this match.

      Just chill, and enjoy for a day or two; Also let the fans enjoy & share their happiness.

      We can scrutinize and analyze the team performance later. When is the next (friendly) match for Argentina?

      By the way, I felt Enzo made a lot of difference today; some very good passes. Dont know how would he perform against tighter defences/parked buses. Would like to see how Lanzini & Paredes would perform if given a chance

      1. Gonzalo

        Kitty,

        Maybe you are right. I was just always very very demanding while being convinced Argentina has best talents in the world. So I’m rarely fully pleased only by win. Normally I want win in good style. But yes. This time win is just win. I even thought about which the game most important in last years: WC final or that of yesterday.

  16. Gonzalo

    eun, Arjunamessi

    90 % of people here is here only when Argentina NT is playing (including you), especially most important games. They are not here everyday or atleast everyweak. They are fans of holiday occasions. But supporting Argentina players is more than NT games only. That is also performances of our players in Europe, local league, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana. You are far from these everyday events so stop to talk about who is Argentina fan. As I said many times: to be Messi fan doesn’t makes you Argentina fan yet. What I’m talking about will be clear when Messi will retire. I bet more than 50% of Mundo memebers will leave the site.

    To be honest, not disrespectfull, what you know about Argentina football and their players all over the world and their potentiall is at best top of Ice Berg. At best. Most people here even can’t write Benedetto name properly let alone to watch him at least in one full club game. But they still may prejudge after 1-2 games in NT he is rubbish. Despite Sampaoli bet on him. Well, ARROGANCE AND IGNORANCE GO HEAD IN HEAD.

    1. tmisellati

      in other words , the team is more around some individual genius rather than collective football.

      1. Gonzalo

        tmisellatti,

        no doubt. But we must regain at least part of that abilities to think seriously about good run in Russia. ATM we are at starting point.

        1. tmisellati

          with all honest ,i have doubts that Argentina can play collective football with this team.

          1. Gonzalo

            Me too. Messi in final third is must. But everytime when things goes wrong and we need desperately goals he will draw back to take things into his own hands. I understand that. It’s instinct. But we must realize football is still more collective game. Germany – Argentina is antithesis of football approach thesedays. However we looking like team that just can’t adaptate to any other football recently.

    2. Arjunanmessi

      argentina just name like india usa …. they were created by human… people divided by their language… its just feeling…. i was not born in argentina… messi made me to support barca and argentina…. barca is not my city… catalonia is not my language…. messi is universal hero… messi attracts everyone…. i will support my rest of life barca and argentina…. i just consider just name like other countries…. but i fall in love because of messi…. u dont know that… u want team football … yes i want it too… i want with messi you want without messi… thats difference between u and me… if barca can play with this individual talent… to dominate club like real madrid… then if argentina have enough players they must do the same… that,s not messi fault… its coach fault… just understand… messi can help others but some of them in this argentina must help him… or anybody have doubt…. without messi argentina can do great… hell no… with him is easy… with out him is difficult… without him argentina still strong team… with him.. they are contenders… understand… gonzalo… with him is easy to win the world cup… without him they do more work then now… with him four finals dont forget…. without him you will know in the future… then u will praise him.. when he is no longer….

  17. mattjeff

    They have got the monkey off their back now. I’m sure we’ll see more flexible tactics and formations in the future with Argentina.

    The last 15-17 years Argentina has been adopting different systems and philosophies at NT level. From the high pressing and energy sapping system of Marcelo Bielsa to the possession maniac system of Jose Pekerman and to the overly defensive system of Alejandro Sabella – this team has had it all.

    I just hope Sampaoli can mould this team into his own and be more flexible and pragmatic in its approach. We know that the main problem with this Argentina team is the lack of pace in midfield and defense. It is not something you can easily fix.

    On another note, I’m really impressed with Benedetto’s off the ball movement. That makes me realize that since Pekerman’s era, Argentina has been very rigid in its system. This rigidness has made the gameplay very predictable and other teams can easily nullify Argentina’s attacking firepower by putting 10-men behind the ball.

    We need to see more offball movements from the midfield and wingbacks to support the movement of the attackers.

  18. Csabalala

    Chile would qualify if not the bolivian mistakes, instead of Bolivia-Peru 2:0 and Chile-Bolivia 0:0 +3 points to Peru, and “only” +2 to Chile. In this case Chile the 5th. Surreal story.

  19. santanu mallick

    What a game…… thank you lionel thank you for the show….. a world class hattrick from the best player in the world…. once again thank you lionel… Guys we are in the world cup finals… Next mission is to win the bloody World Cup and end the legacy…. congrats guyssss

  20. petro

    It was a good game to win and move to automatic qualifier spot. Before match started, Chile were in 3rd place while argentina was on 6th spot. It just reversed at the end of the match.

    Special mention to Peru for their determination.

    Sampaoli has still lot of things to do in terms of free flowing football and an organized defense.

    Mascherano is not a national team material anymore..He would be good as a backroom staff..

  21. Dfox1942

    It is about 7:26 AM, I just woke up after going to bed at 3AM,after working late last night to 10, my eyes are red, I need a shower and shave AND I NEVER FELT BETTER hehehe.

    In the words of NSYNC, Chile…”Bye bye bye ……BYE BYE”

    AND in the words of Jimi Hendrix, “move over rover and let MESSI take over tan tan tan….let me stand next to your fire”

    1. Brian Mann

      Is that Rune from the old WC blog ? Aurelius here.

      Sampaoli thinks the world owes Messi a World Cup ? God helped ?

      He needs to build a squad for next summer that is tactically flexible. Not fixated on one formation. A team that wins the ball quickly and when it has the ball does not throw it away or give away easy counters. A team that makes the pitch as wide as possible and most importantly a team in which every player takes responsibility and believes in their own ability instead of passing the buck.

      It needs to be a team picked on form a blend of youth and experience. Sampaoli needs to make some important and brave decisions like dropping Mascherano. There needs to be more young blood in the side with real energy and dynamism.

      Asascibar springs to mind immediately and Bustos would make a far better candidate down the right flank in getting up and down. Better defensively than Salvio (seriously as a wingback ?) and offering real width in attack.

      Samp understands that Messi needs to operate in the final third. He needs to get players close to him to offer options. Do so and few teams no matter how organized are going to stop him or others scoring. A rapid one two rarely seen since Sabella’s time and a higher press worked well. The number of free kicks and cards won will be higher and consequently aid the side. To acheive this will Samp move to the Barca model ? As I mentioned Bustos for instance could be a perfect for for the Alves role.

      These friendlies should be used to test systems and new players and recall others like Correa (who was very impressive) into the team. Then there will be a whole month in which Samp and his team can refine the system(s) and get the players into a unit.

      1. Rune

        Hi Aurelius! Yes it is Rune from the old world cup blog:-)
        So happy that we are in the world cup:-)

  22. George Thomas

    Thank you Messi for my birthday gift. It went from being the worst birthday ever in the 1st minute to the best.

    Here’s hoping they work out the team issues. Enzo played well, an Benedetto gave us the match that was owed.

  23. Richard
  24. arg2018

    I believe Messi will perform better if Argentina were to reach final again as well. I dont think he has vomiting problem any more thanks to Enrique and Messi’s new dietitian. However, i still believe that other player no named Messi should help argentina win the match; let him disappear from some of games allowing opponent to not to think about Messi, this is where he thrives. I believe we can do that my setting up better midfield, not using too slow players. I never thought of it but Benega not in the pitch was better for Argentina. Thank God Argentina are in finals.

  25. Rune

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!! We are in the world cup!!!! It is just incredible!
    I haven´t been able to get much sleep these last nights, and I have not been able to really function in my day job and I have been a distant dad and husband….I have been so nervous and sad…to see Argentina losing out on a place in the world cup, the thought of this has been more than I could bare.

    My predictions for the last round in this qualifier were soooooo wrong, and I love it!!! We won, Para lost and Chile lost by three goals.
    The start of the game made me feel so sad and it hurt so bad that I could barely watch…..but I decided to stay put and watch my beloved sinking ship go down. I always support Argentina, through thick and thin, through good times and bad times…I always love and support our NT…even if I am always pessimistic before the games….I love our players and our NT so much and my dream will always be to once again see us lift the world cup.
    And then Messi happened! What a game he had!! What a player! A hattrick, at altitude, where he has never been able to do much. It really took me by surprise and it makes me so happy. When Lio scored the third goal I started to cry tears of joy, I realised that we were now going to the world cup and that all the excitement and joy and frustration and sadness that I have experienced every four years in my life will now again happen next summer. It is so exciting and so intriguing. And once again Di Maria was so important! He is so frustrating to watch some times, loses the ball and misses big chances, picks up injury after injury. But almost every time Argentina deliver the goods and play well and win he is decisive and important. Biglia and Enzo played well, and so did Ota and Mercado. I am so relieved and happy today, we are in the world cup!!!

  26. Richard

    Just a small addition to my post below.

    Coaching
    Sampaoli has a great track record and is not afraid to try new players or concepts. Yesterday he struck me as a nervous man pacing up and down the sideline. His assistant tried to talk some sense into him on several occasions. Ten minutes in the second half we lost steam. Sampaoli should have brought new legs (Paredes and Dybala) but he waited very long with his substitutions. Sabella and Basile were coaches that remained calm. Somehow I like these level headed coaches more. Let’s hope Sampa keeps thinking clear and makes rational decisions.

    I hope everyone at Mundo survived the celebrations 🙂

  27. eun

    After the match, Sampaoli told a new conference: “I told the group: Messi did not owe the World Cup to Argentina, but football owed the World Cup to Messi. The nationality of the best player in the world is luckily Argentine.”

    I guess Messi’s haters on Mundo will get angry at Sampaoli’s comments. I don’t want the haters to change their mind. But they must remember that Messi DOES NOT owe a Trophy or Anything to Argentina. After accepting the fact, you will find a peace in your mind.

  28. SouravBanerjee

    Is n’t it enough for Ballon d OR

  29. Raj

    I hope this will bring about the change in the fortune and luck to Argentina football. With all the coach changes, player rotations, messi retirement, press pressure etc the team has finally made it to the world cup in Russia. Now the qualifying table doesnt mean anything but our FIFA ranking does. Keeping my fingers crossed on the groupings in December. Sampaoli has time now to get the composition of the team right. As Mascherano mentioned we needs to look at what is going right and what is not? For me at the earliest Sampaoli needs to select a group of around 25 players and work with them. He needs to have a back up for every position and work on the formation. I think the following players need to be in the team:

    Forwards: Messi, Higuain, Aguero, Icardi, Dybala, Angel Correa, Joaquin Correa
    Midfielders: DiMaria, Banega,Pastore, Pardes, Biglia, Lanzini, Papu Gomez, Pablo Perez,Acuna
    Defenders: Mercado,Otamendi, Mascherano, Mammana, Fazio, Tagliafico,Peruzzi, Rojo
    Goal Keepers: Rulli, Romero, Guzman

    I am sure many are going to crib on the 2014 team members being part of the above list. After 2014 having followed most of the young talent and the folks who have played with the National team, I realized experience is much more valuable if the talent is limited. I have never been a great fan of DiMaria or Biglia or Rojo. But looking at the folks who have been tried and looking at the domestic talent, I just realize that it is worthwhile to go for the experienced members. One of the reasons I still want Aguero and Higuain in the team for their ability to pass and play.They can be much better impact substitutes compared to a Icardi or Benedetto who are not much suited to the counter attacking game. Icardi or any classical 9 striker will be effective if you have good wingers that can send crosses. I am not sure whether we will unearth good wingers in next 8 months. All the teams in the worldcup will use the park the bus strategy which can be overcome only by:
    1. Fast movement of the ball
    2. Ability to score from outside the box
    3. Use the width of the pitch
    4. Have a tight defence to prevent counter attack

    Sampaoli will hopefully go with a 4-3-3 formation. The eleven for me will be

    Rulli
    Mammana Mascherano Otamendi Tagliafico(Rojo)
    Pardes(Biglia)
    Lanzini(Pastore) DiMaria (Pappu Gomez)
    Dybala Angel Correa(Aguero)
    Messi

    Messi needs to play in the False 9 position and Dybala on the right and Angel Correa on the left.Need to play the above formation in atleast 3-4 friendlies and test how it works.

    In 2002 it seemed we had the cup before the tournament started and got out at the group stage. That for me was the worst moment of Argentine football. We peaked too early and everyone was scared to face Argentina and adopted the park the bus strategy. There was no luck and we faced an early exit. This time around hope the teams peaks at the right time. I want Messi and Mascherano to lift the cup. They just deserve it.

  30. Richard

    Now we are going to Russia, it is time to look at the team. It looks Sampaoli and his staff have 8 months to prepare, but in reality it is just 4 matches (2 in November and 2 in March). Little time to make the final selection. My thoughts:

    Goalkeeper
    Romero has been with the team a long time and although we have better keepers, he will be the starter in Russia. He has to be better with his feet. Yesterday almost all his long kicks went over the sideline and ended in loss of ball possession. Guzman, Marchesin or Rulli will fight for the other 2 spots.

    Defence
    Otamendi played well yesterday, is a starter for Man City and will start for us in Russia. Mascherano has experience and reads the game well. He has lost pace and makes more mistakes than before, but will not be dropped. He is too important in the dressing room. Mercado is physically strong, but lacks skill. His temper makes him a red card waiting to happen. He is not up to the level of Alves, Kimmich, Carvajal or Meunier. We need another right back. Fazio is tall and experienced but slow. Acuna lacks skill and does not read the game well.
    We eagerly await the return of Funes Mori and Rojo. Samp has to try other players as full backs. I haven’t seen them in Europe. Locally he will look at Gomez, Peruzzi, Casco and others.

    Midfield
    Many here have written about Biglia. He works hard but his time seems to have passed. He has been part of the squad for such a long time that Samp will not drop him. Enzo Perez can be our Maxi Rodriguez. Works hard and makes few mistakes. He should be in Russia. Di Maria has many flaws, but never gives up and brings much needed creativity. He will be there. Papu Gomez has had few chances and had yet to prove himself. A proven goal scorer at Atalanta. Hopefully he can bring it to the NT. Parades is growing fast at Zenit. He needs more chances. Salvio was a complete disaster yesterday and should not be considered. Pastore is injury prone and mentally weak. Banega is inconsistent. He scored a few goals for the NT, but has he ever played an unforgettable game for the NT? We need more creativity and energy in our midfield. Samp will be looking at the River boys in the Copa Libertadores. Maybe Martinez and Fernandez will be considered. Vazquez at Sevilla has not been tried yet. Samp knows him well and probably considers him unfit for the NT. Lo Celso is still young, but who knows.

    Attack
    Messi is our talisman. The best player in the world will lead our attack. Aguero is doing fine at Man City and will be there. Dybala is incredible at Juve at should be there too. Icardi and Higuain will fight for a spot. Samp will decide on form in April and May. J. Correa will be a contender just like Alario. If Samp goes for a home boy he should neglect Benedetto. This guy has attitude but lacks skill and tackles like a full back in the Bilardo days. Hopefully Lautaro Martinez comes back from injury and proves himself worthy.

    1. Sabellista

      Banega is inconsistent. He scored a few goals for the NT, but has he ever played an unforgettable game for the NT? I totally agree with your view.

      This is the most overrated player in the NT and should not be in the final 23 to Russia. Look how Enzo Perez works hard for the team. Lanzini and Paredes are more useful players than Banega.

    2. Gonzalo

      Benedetto lacks skills? Give him more time and you will see he has more skills than Higuain, Alario or even Icardi. Here are his goals only last year. Atleast since few years there were no striker in local league doing it so easy:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpHfhonmxoU&t=259s

  31. Arjunanmessi

    Argentina have a problem; they’re far too reliant on Leo Messi. This isn’t a new issue, and sure any team will come to rely on a player as good as Messi, but Argentina are ridiculous. This World Cup qualification period saw La Albiceleste play 18 games. Of those 18 they had to play 8 without Messi due to injuries, suspension and his brief international retirement.

    In those 8 games Argentina won just once, drawing 4 times and losing 3 (that’s just 7 of their 28 points). They scored just 6 times in those 8 games but conceded 10 goals. In the 10 qualifiers Messi played, Argentina won 6, drew 3 and lost just once, away to Brazil (21 of their 28 points). They conceded 6 times and scored a decent 13 goals.

    The reason for such a jump in production? Messi’s heroics. Of the 13 goals they scored with Messi on the field, the no. 10 scored 7. He also set-up a further 2, meaning that overall Messi bagged 69% of Argentina’s goals when he was on the field and 37% even including the 8 games he didn’t play in.

    The other goalscorers who make up the 63% are a disparate mass. No one has more than two goals (Di Maria, Pratto and Mercado all notched twice) and star strikers Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Mauro Icardi have combined for precisely one goal.

    That is an untenable amount of reliance on one man, however brilliant he is. And come the World Cup, Argentina will need to find other players who can step up and score goals, or risk suffering the same fate they did in that tragic tournament trilogy of 2014, 2015 and 2016.

    some of them said the team defends messi… messi wont play aginst 11 others he needs others.. i said many time messi will perform 5 out of 3 match surely…. he needs help from his teammates… messi fans wants also.. then only he can succeed..

    and this match top performer messi 2 perez 3 otamendi 4 dimaria 5 biglia 6 macherano.. if those five wont have a good game we will be out of wc… dont say messi done all alone.. he needs his team mates… he needs more from them other players of them poor… i said why we lost copa 2016 we lost augusto fernandez.. perez or augusto need to be in midfield.. and parades can replace biglia… or lanzini.. perez changes direction.. thats key… and agression and sampolli will do great… i have full faith this team.. they will deleiver

    1. Rhaelyn

      Gonzalo pointed out this yesterday and you made him messi hater

      1. eun

        You can see the difference between Arjun*** and Gonz*** if you read between the lines.

        I am not interested in picking up Messi’s haters on Mundo. But a few persons here think Lionel Messi owes a major trophy for Argentina and they don’t appreciate Messi playing for Argentina. These people will face the reality after Messi retires from international duty.

        1. santanu mallick

          People who dont appeciate Messi.. are the biggest fools of this generation

      2. Baluch10

        hahaha!!

        1. Baluch10

          But I agree with Arjuna; Messi will always perform (still dangerous even if not in form), the team has to support him and I hope in this 7-8 months Sampoali develops a team to get the best out of Messi & Dybala for the world cup.

  32. Baluch10

    Yes! Argentina in the world cup.
    Thank you Ecuador for playing an open game, new Adidas contract for Ecuador… hopefully 🙂

    Tapia hugs Messi
    https://twitter.com/UltraAutistic/status/917945982116958208

  33. mamoun elpipita

    Congrats to the albicelestes, Argentina and mundo. Argnetina has the best player in the world, an accomplished coach and a plethora of talent and so 9 months remain for Sampa to put all the pieces together.

  34. Dfox1942

    I’m watching the game now, first half just ended and Masche should be strictly a backup from this day forth…..nervous and shaky at best, we got away with it this game but no more chances.

    1. vimaldass

      Not to mention his vertical limitations too lol

  35. Kitty

    Very Happy for Argentina & Messi… Congrats to all Albiceleste and Mundo Fans…

  36. chalz

    Of what i can make out… Romero, Mercado, Otamandi, Mascherano, Lionel, Biglia, Di Maria will be main stays for the world cup if all is well with their fitness.
    .
    Sampaoli will sit with his team to work on other players… and of course later the opponents.
    .
    AFA is relived… Tapia crying as he hugs Lionel… tells it all.
    .
    Adidas is happy
    .
    FIFA is glad
    .
    Russia is joyous
    .
    what a qualifying campaign it has been… 2 words to sum it all ‘bitter sweet’… Thanks to God that it ended sweetly.
    .
    Now onto World Cup 2018… onward we march…

  37. chalz

    Very hearting to see our team celebrate together… smiling faces after a long time…
    .
    Enzo and Lionel hugged and celebrated so did Paredes with Lionel… wow
    .
    Want the team to celebrate the World Cup 2018 too.

  38. eun

    Messi saved Argentina again and I was happy to see him smiling with teammates after the match.
    There are people saying Argentina NT is not a team because of Messi and the NT will be stronger if Messi is gone with his friends and Mafia. These people insist that Argentina should replace the NT with young players and Argentina Primera players. I wonder if the young players have won a single trophy for Argentina and why he plays in local leagues if he is something else.
    It must be difficult for you to accept that Argentina NT doesn’t have a fast fullback, a skillful playmaker, a creative midfielder, a reliable defender, a striker with good finishing, to top it off, the goalkeeper kicks the ball to opponent’s leg.
    Find all connected components and create a TEAM and then call up Messi. This is a process if you want to have a real team.

  39. mattjeff

    Thanks to GOD and I’m very grateful that Argentina has finally qualified for Russia 2018. I believe this success will only make the team better. The team and especially the coach Sampaoli are relieved off a lot of unnecessary pressure and can now focus to build a winning team for the WC. Vamos Argentina!

    Vamos, Vamos Argentina!

  40. VasuAimar

    Congrtzz mundoooo…Vamos Argentina 😊😍💪

  41. chalz

    Lionel had a scintillating game… beyond words… when needed most. Thank You Lord for giving us a wonderful player in Lionel.

  42. Dfox1942
  43. chalz

    Thank God. We are there. No words. Its just amazing. We made it.
    .
    Now the real work begins.
    .
    Praise the Lord.

  44. vimaldass

    “Messi doesn’t owe a World Cup to Argentina. Football owes a World Cup to Messi. He’s the best in history.” – Sampaoli

    Love what he just said !

    1. Dfox1942

      Not that it really matters, BUT it does…..can you say Ballon d’Or, his 6th…..how you like them APPLES Christina????

      1. vimaldass

        messi cant win it for 2017 im pretty sure. CR7 will do it after madrid’s triumph in the league and champions league

      2. MMH

        All i care Messi to be fit and play less game for Barca if possible

  45. Dfox1942

    I had to work late tonight and had football score App set on the game, it buzzed telling me that the game started and then almost immediately after that buzzed again and i said, “could it be that we scored already”?? ONLY for me to pickup my phone to check the score and TO my horror to see that Ecuador had scored 37 secs into the game, i think i went pale, all the blood in the face drained out!!!

    I have not watched any highlights yet, waiting for the replay in less than an hour, 1AM and i’ll stay up until its over.

    FUCK YOU CHILE, YOU GOT WHAT YOU DESERVE YOU SONS A BITCHES…..AHH NOW I FEEL BETTER HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE

    1. vimaldass

      Yes the chileans have been royally bitch slapped by karma for being so resentful to the argentinians !

    2. MMH

      I had feelings we will equalise before 30 minutes

  46. Dfox1942

    THE FOLLOWING IS WHAT I SAID JUST A FEW DAYS AGO UNDER ‘Eduardo SALVIO and the potential line-up for Argentina’ POST.

    “October 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Notice ………..Messi not taking matters into his own hands and just going in with everything like we saw him do in the group stage in 2014.

    I believe he will do that on Tuesday from the get go and if there was any time to do that, its Tuesday.

    THANK YOU GOD for everything we have, we had and what we’re going to get in the future, thank you for everything and always.

    We are going to the BIG SHOW gentlemen, and I want to ask one thing, “are you not entertained, ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? ISN’T THAT WHY WE HERE???????????????”

    bYE byE chILE…….I AM NOT GOING TO use cuss words in a post where i mention the ALL MIGHTY, but everybody here who remembers what i said about them KNOWS!!

    ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA ARGENTINA
    Reply ↓”

    1. vimaldass

      Yes @DFox. Im so glad some us who have been constantly positive about our team and most importantly our coach have been rewarded ! Im overwhelmed with joy and am still walking on air right now. Can hardly hold my pen and do my job lol

  47. yvelot brianvil

    Sampaoli did a great job….he dederves it…Again thanks Messi thanks Argentina

  48. EnganChe

    Vamos Argentina!

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