The Argentina finished his road-movie by USA with an expected 3-0 win over Jamaica in New Jersey. Before, he had given an account of Honduras in Miami. She also did it with a proper name that seems to have earned her a place in the list of 26 for the World Cup: Enzo Fernandez. He did it without being able to measure the actuality of paulo dybala in the Rome. And she did, as always, with Lionel Messi as the leader: two goals, 90 in the history. And 100 wins with the albiceleste shirt.
The comparison with Russia 2018 may seem hateful. But it is necessary: on the last FIFA date before that appointment, the team led by Jorge Sampaoli ate a historic beating with Spain (1-6) and came to the World Cup with his plan full of questions. his successor, Lionel Scaloni, has everything clear. He will land in the prelude to the World Cup with an unbeaten record of 35 games, a record.
But much more important than statistics is what its eleven soccer players show inside the field. That in reality they are up to 18 or 20, because if the game against the Reggae Boyz was useful for something, it is for themto know that Alexis MacAllister can be the De Paul bis. Or that Guido Rodríguez can replace (and do well) Leandro Paredes in the midfield axis.
Even Julian Alvarez is capable of being a wing that arrives in position 9 and scores a goal, as happened in the play that opened the scoring against Jamaica: copyright belongs to Lautaro Martinez; the goal was from the Spider, who in that play became an area reference. Multi-functional attackers, who do not get stuck in one place. Like Messi against Honduras, he played 7, 10 and 9. Throughout his career, Messi played everything. Paulo Dybala was absent from the US tour. It was a golden opportunity for Jewelrevitalized since his arrival in Rome. The question, then, is whether that present will be enough to be in the World Cup.
If Sampaoli had doubts before Russia, Scaloni has plenty of certainties. The coach did not stop applauding his team every time they pressed in three quarters of the field or their defenders (imperial Nicolás Otamendi and Cristian Romero throughout the night) disrupted any advance attempt by the Jamaicans. The chapter on pressure is learned by heart by all Argentine soccer players. Just like the pass. Or that dynamic in three quarters. The national team is a team that rarely stops. That almost never yields the initiative.
It is true that these two games were against Central American rivals who did not qualify for the World Cup. That the European enemies are in theirs and that, it is known, they are the teams to fear. They are called France, Spain, Croatia, Portugal or Germany. But they also watch videos and analyze matches. Argentina is on the radar as a team to beat. Candidate to win the Cup? Messi preaches managing anxiety. Scaloni tries not to excite anyone ahead of time. Ultimately, glory is seven games away.
against Jamaica, Messi played 35 minutes and every time he touched the ball there were screams, great goals included (one play, one free throw). He jumped onto the field with Enzo Fernandez. Present and future of the Argentine national team. Fernández is, perhaps, the most important proper name of this excursion through the United States. At 21, he plays like a veteran. He doesn’t care about Florencio Varela’s “Tito” Tomaghello or the Monumental de Núñez or the Benfica stadium, his club in Portugal. Champions League or Argentine Cup. Professional League or Liga NOS. He plays 5 or inside. He almost always decides well. And everything suggests that his passport will have the Qatar visa stamped on it. To play the World Cup.
There is not much place left on the list of 26from which players with more minutes seem to have fallen in other times like Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen) or Lucas Alario (EintrachtFrankfurt). An unknown factor not yet revealed will be the third goalkeeper. And a little more. Everyone knows who plays in Argentina. And, more importantly, everyone knows what Argentina is playing at. It’s called identity.
There will be those who say that while Argentina chose a road-movie for the United States before rivals who will watch the World Cup on television like Honduras and Jamaica, Brazil was measured with Ghana and Tunisia, two that will be protagonists of the World Cup. There will be those who think that it is better to face teams of similar hierarchy to know where the albiceleste team stands. The statistics say that he has been undefeated for 35 games and that in the last confrontation against a team from the Old Continent thrashed the defending European Championship champion, Italy. Whoever wants to see, let him see.
The title in the past Copa América unlocked a level of individual and collective confidence. It was like crossing the Rubicon. “Know that you can”, he said Diego Torres. The footballers, the coach, the coaching staff and even the president of the AFA, a self-confessed “number one fan of the national team” are confident that Qatar has (must) be the place where Lionel Messi lifts the long-awaited World Cup. Now there is a team. And it’s been a while since Argentina is Messi +10. The sensations are much better than before the Russian Cup.
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