Cesar Luis Menotti Named Director Of Argentina National Teams

He takes handle approximately forty yrs right after World Cup triumph in 1978.

Argentina have appointed Cesar Luis Menotti to be the in general manager of their national groups. Menotti is now eighty. When he was not but half that age he took Argentina to their initially World Cup win – an accomplishment that has consistently been beneath-rated.

Emphasis on that 1978 event ordinarily falls on the point that Argentina had home benefit – and on the allegations of shenanigans close to the match against Peru, which Argentina essential to win by a four goal margin in purchase to make it by way of to the final.

There may been some sharp practice at a federal government stage. And the organisation of the competitiveness – whereby Argentina took the field recognizing how several goals they essential – was clearly flawed.

But what is not in question is that the 1978 World Cup signifies a before and right after instant for the Argentina national team – and that considerably of that has to do with Menotti.

They had been off the speed in prior World Cups – not even qualifying for 1970 and humiliated by the Dutch in 1974.  Menotti introduced them back to the top rated table.  Ever considering the fact that 1978, even when they have occur up small, Argentina have been observed as 1 of the groups to defeat. This is mainly because Menotti took care of both equally the significant image, and also the tiny information.

The significant image was the design and style of play. With their emphatic victories in excess of the continent’s significant a few, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, Holland seventy four appeared to have made South American football out of date. How to counter the physicality of the new, dynamic northern European problem? Brazil’s principal response was to think in phrases of bulking up and profitable games on the counter attack. Menotti took a distinct route – that a standard South American passing game could nonetheless be competitive – as lengthy as they upped the rhythm of their play. This answered the significant issue – how really should we play?

The other issue – how to go about it? – took a much more specific solution. Menotti constructed not only a team from scratch, but constructed the extremely idea of a real Argentina team.

The country and its football continue being extremely centralised close to Buenos Aires, the dominant money city. From Rosario, Menotti realized from private working experience how difficult it was for a player from the provinces to be supplied an extended option. So he fashioned a number of distinct groups – a youth team, for example, which went on to win the initially Beneath-20 World Cup in 1979 and distinct groups from the provinces, so that players could ease their way into the national aspect in less overwhelming situations. A broad vary of players have been identified and monitored, with the exceptional kinds filtering by way of to the World Cup squad.

Probably the greatest example was a tiny, slight, shy midfielder from the city of Cordoba – Osvaldo Ardiles, who with his superior tempo, fetch and carry game was critical to Menotti’s game plan..

The procedure of profitable the World Cup took a lot out of Menotti – not the very least mainly because when he was in cost the country endured a navy coup. A brutal appropriate wing dictatorship took electricity. Menotti has normally argued that the triumph was for the persons, not the regime. But the pressure was clearly immense. He himself points out how considerably he aged in the yrs concerning 1974 and seventy eight – though his chain smoking pattern can rarely have assisted. Then once again, several coaches who received the World Cup back then, when it was unrivalled as the game’s most important prize.

And so the issue now is what he will carry to the national team. It would undoubtedly be too considerably to be expecting him to have the identical zeal for information as he showed 45 yrs ago. His ideas on the significant image, although, continue being distinct and fascinating – and herein may lie a problem.

Menotti has explained that he will aid the coaches develop their very own strategies.  But there is no question which design and style he favours. He is enchanted with the possession dependent football of Pep Guardiola.

Right up until the Copa The united states this June, although, Argentina are trapped with the inexperienced Lionel Scaloni, who places himself in the opposing camp, that of the fast counter attack. Their relationship could be fascinating.

For the appointment of Menotti to be genuinely coherent, his initially and most essential activity would have been to choose the coach of the senior aspect, and then assist him by way of a 12 months of friendlies adopted by the Copa The united states, all making towards the next set of World Cup qualifiers. In its place of which, the significant determination on Argentina’s next coach will have to hold out right up until the eve of the qualifiers – an example of the disorganisation that reigned in Argentina before Menotti took in excess of in 1974.

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Hamann: I assume Argentina, Brazil or Spain will triumph

Didi Hamann would be “very surprised” if Germany becomes the first side in fifty-six many years to keep the FIFA World Cup™ and believes the Russia 2018 winners will be Argentina, Brazil or Spain.

“With the personnel, we have received, I assume in depth we may be superior to 4 many years ago, but I don’t assume the first eleven are superior,” the fifty nine-times-capped former defensive midfielder explained to Gulf News. “There are a number of positions I’m genuinely fearful about and I’d be very shocked if Germany were being equipped to defend the title.

“In Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm and For every Mertesacker, they lost 300 caps after the previous World Cup. There are some gifted youngsters coming by means of now, but they are nonetheless to confirm their class. We have noticed it in the Champions League – the cream rises to the top rated and the World Cup is a one of a kind match, occasionally folks get found out there.”

Germany was being the only European team to win all ten of their Russia 2018 qualifiers, scoring 43 goals and conceding just 4 in the system. Joachim Low’s rates also conquered previous year’s FIFA Confederations Cup.

However, in their previous 4 outings, they have drawn with England, France and Spain and lost 1- at home to Brazil. And, in spite of Germany fielding below-toughness groups against them, Hamann was still left impressed sufficient to tag La Roja and A Seleção as the groups to conquer in Russia – along with yet another surprise side.

“We performed Brazil a number of months ago and Spain were being likely the superior side against us,” stated the 44-year-old. “You shouldn’t study way too much into friendlies, but I assume Spain and Brazil.

“And then the way that Argentina capable, for the reason that they wanted to conquer Ecuador in the previous game of South American qualifiers to get in. They went 1- down after two minutes and Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick and received that game.

“Sometimes when you have a close shave and qualify like that, and with it also quite possibly currently being Messi’s previous World Cup, I would not rule Argentina out possibly.”

Germany faces Mexico, Sweden and Korea Republic in Group F at Russia 2018.

Hamann was a section of a Germany side that Croatia dumped out of France 1998. The former Bayern Munich and Liverpool midfielder also aided his state reach the Korea/Japan 2002 Ultimate, wherever they were being undone by Ronaldo.

Valverde: Spain’s 6-1 victory over Argentina could be distracting

Valverde: Spain’s 6-1 victory over Argentina could be distracting

Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona

Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona Manager, Ernesto Valverde believes that the 6-1 win recorded by Spain over Argentina in an International friendly match in preparations for the summer World Cup can be distracting and ultimately dangerous.

The 2010 World Champions thrashed a Messi-less 2014 finalist after Isco scored a hat-trick and other goals from Diego Costa, Thiago Alcantara, and Iago Aspas completed the massacre.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has earlier cautioned his side of excessive excitement after extending his unbeaten run in charge to 18 matches stating that a friendly victory means nothing for his side’s World Cup hopes.

Vaverde stands with Lopetegui as he stated that he is unsure if the 6-1 victory is a good thing for the team at this point in time. He noted that over-confidence could be a problem for Spain seeing that they made light weight of an Argentina team that consists of many stars.

“We can think that we will win it all,” said Valverde. “6-1 is a wide margin, but that’s all.

“It’s dangerous because it can make you think that you have more points than you have before you start.

“[Argentina] lost a friendly game, but that doesn’t mean anything. The World Cup has not started. There’s nothing won by Spain or lost by Argentina.”

Dybala remain a significant part of my plans – Sampaoli

Dybala remain a significant part of my plans – Sampaoli

Jorge Sampaoli

Jorge Sampaoli

Argentina Coach, Jorge Sampaoli has stated that Juventus forward, Paulo Dybala remain a very significant part of his plans for the World Cup and his decision to not play him recently is simply because he desires to see other players play.
The 24-year old was left out of the squad that played Italy and Spain in an international friendly in preparations for the summer World Cup in Russia.
Due to the enormity of stars that the former Sevilla manager has at his disposal, there have been concerns that Dybala might be dropped but Sampaoli has spoken today to calm the Argentine football fans nerves.
“It’s not correct to say that Paulo is out of our World Cup squad,” the Albiceleste boss said in his pre-match press conference against Spain.

“He’s not here because I wanted to see other players. He’s still very much in my thoughts and remains a significant part of my plans, he has the chance to be called.
“I think I’ve got 70 or 80 percent of the list, but it can also be changed by injuries or other situations which will give opportunities to others.
“There’s an advanced list, but it’s not set in stone.”


Group D: Argentina and Croatia head tricky Group D

Group D looks likely to be one of the most fiercely-contested groups at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. It pits historic giants Argentina against two blossoming European sides in Croatia and Iceland, plus the ever-unpredictable Nigeria, who are sure to be a tough nut to crack.

Argentina Iceland Croatia Nigeria

Key Game

Argentina-Croatia, (21 June, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium)

The group’s two strongest teams on paper will lock horns at a World Cup for the first time since 1998, when Argentina edged to a 1-0 win. The showdown between Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi and Ivan Rakitic is one of the many intriguing subplots to what will be just the second meeting between the two nations on the global stage, one which could prove pivotal in deciding who qualifies and claims top spot. With France potentially lurking in the Round of 16 for the group runners-up, there will be plenty on the line.

What you need to know
• Iceland and Croatia have met on six occasions in World Cup qualifying in the last eight years. The Croatians have the better of the head-to-head, with four wins from those games, but the Icelanders have the fonder memories of the most recent encounter, which they won 1-0 in June 2017.

• Nigeria and Iceland have only faced one another once before, with the Europeans easing to a 3-0 victory in a friendly in 1981.

• History will be made in two Group D fixtures: Argentina have never taken on Iceland before, while Croatia and Nigeria will also do battle for the first time.

The stat
4 – The number of times that Argentina and Nigeria have met in World Cup group action. La Albiceleste have triumphed in all four matches: 2-1 in 1994, 1-0 in 2002, 1-0 in 2010 and 3-2 in 2014.

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Tyronne Ebuehi: My speed did the talking against Argentina – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 14:00

Nigerian defender Tyronne Ebuehi says his speed did all the talking in his impressive performance against Argentina last week.

The 21-year-old Dutch-born player appeared in the second half of the Super Eagles’ 4-2 win over the South Americans in a friendly in Krasnodar, Russia, last Tuesday night.

Ebuehi, who made his Nigeria national team debut earlier this year against Togo, put in a fine showing against superstar attackers such as Pablo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria.

He humbly claimed that he didn’t make a major contribution to the victory, but is hopeful that his display will help him claim a place in the Super Eagles squad for next year’s World Cup.

“I did have some excitement indeed. It was a dream come true,” Ebuehi was quoted as saying by NOS.

“I did not contribute that much, I think it went well.

“I have a lot of speed and I try to use it, I think I left a good impression, it would be nice, the World Cup next year.”

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Nigeria’s Leon Balogun struggled because of fitness against Argentina – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Leon Balogun (left) in action against Algeriain Uyo

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 14:30

Despite beating Argentina 4-2 on Tuesday in an international friendly, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says his defender Leon Balogun struggled because of fitness issues.

Balogun failed to assert himself during the course of the game, particularly in the first half where he failed to function properly.

Resulting from his under par showing, he was substituted in the second half for Kenneth Omeruo just when many thought he was finally getting back to his best.

”He wasn’t properly fit for the game. As a matter of fact he was passed fit the morning before yesterday’s game,” one of the assistants of the coach told

“We should be praising him for playing through the pain barrier in the game.

”Everybody is aware of what Balogun brings, so yesterday was particularly difficult because he wasn’t really fit for the game, and the collision with Ola Aina early in the game further compounded his poor state.

”We feared the worst when he went down particularly considering the fact that he just returned from a cheek surgery but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as initially feared. He is still one of our best defenders.“

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Gernot Rohr praises Brian Idowu and Francis Uzoho after win over Argentina – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Nigeria’s head coach, German Gernot Rohr reacts, during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Algeria and Nigeria at Chahid-Hamlaoui stadium in Constantine, Algeria, 10 November 2017.

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 13:30

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has singled out Brian Idowu and Francis Uzoho for special praise after his side defeated Argentina 4-2 in a friendly in Krasnodar on Tuesday evening.

The Super Eagles found themselves 2-0 down to ‘La Albiceleste’, but a brace from Alex Iwobi and goals from Kelechi Iheanacho and Idowu saw them claim an impressive victory.

Idowu and Uzoho were half-time substitutes, replacing Ola Aina and Daniel Akpeyi respectively to make their debuts for the senior national team.

“Brian is a team newcomer, but he’s not the only one. We have three new players, and I would like to highlight our 19-year-old goalkeeper Uzoho. He played well,” Rohr said at the press conference attended by Sport Express Russia.

“Such matches are specially designed so that we can evaluate new players in the team. We have three players who have a special relationship with Russia. There’s also Ahmed Musa and the captain of the team, he has a connection here through the family.

“Brian played well, scored a goal. His prospects depend on how he will perform at the club. His debut, I’m happy.

“On his position we have other options, so who will play better will be in the team.”

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Nigeria’s William Troost Ekong unfazed by Argentina test – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 13:30

Nigerian defender William Troost-Ekong has issued a warning to the Argentine national squad ahead of their international friendly on Tuesday.

Ekong is on loan from Gent of Belgium at the Turkish club Bursaspor and says facing the Albiceleste would accord the Nigerian squad a huge opportunity to show what they are made of.

The clash comes after the Super Eagles clinched a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup unbeaten in a group tagged the Group of Death


The 24-year-old defender opted to represent Nigeria at senior level in 2015 and the ex-Tottenham Hotspur youth team player has 15 caps. He has also been shortlisted for the 2017 African Player of the Year Award.

“I am not scared to play against any team. But, of course, we hope for a favourable draw. We have to believe in ourselves just like we did in the qualifying campaign,” said the defender.

“Many doubted us winning a group with Cameroon and Algeria, and look where that got us! The experience garnered playing for the Super Eagles has been life-changing for me.

“Facing some of the best forwards in Africa, whilst having to perform and deliver for such a football-loving nation like Nigeria is a pressure that improves you as a player.

“I enjoy being with the team and working with quality players. Playing alongside someone like Leon Balogun with his quality has definitely helped, but I would feel just comfortable playing next to anyone now.”

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Messi advised Argentina FA to play Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Argentina star Lionel Messi

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 17:00

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his Argentine teammates convinced the Argentine Football Association to play Nigeria instead of Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

News circulating in Nigeria reveal that senior national team players, led by Messi have advised AFA to settle for a friendly game against the Super Eagles.

It is reported that AFA were in talks with Azerbaijan and also engaged Ukraine for a friendly after securing a high profile friendly against the hosts of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia.

Nigeria were originally looking for a game against Argentina next year, but the plan was brought forward after senior players in the team decided on facing the Super Eagles ahead of Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

”It’s normal for the FA to speak with the coach, who will then inform the players through the captain about any friendly game and venue,” said South American Tim Martin

“It’s so in Argentina because most of the players have to travel long miles because of their location.”

The two nations will meet in an international friendly in Russia on November 14.

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Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr to name 25 players for Algeria and Argentina clashes – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 16:30

According to Nigerian Football Federation’s spokesperson Toyin Ibitoye, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr will release a squad of 25 players for the Algeria and Argentina clashes.

The 2013 African champions will face the Desert Warriors in their final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier and face the Albiceleste in a friendly next month.

Rohr will release a list of 25 players on Monday with two on standby for the games versus Algeria on November 10 and 14 against Argentina respectively.

Ibitoye confirmed to that the list will be made up of players who have been in the team.

”Some players are going to be recalled, but that doesn’t mean new names. For now the coach is sticking with the players he has been working with the past few months”, Ibitoye said.

”Some players are presently injured so they won’t be in the list, but overall it will be made up of same players who have been working with the coach the past few months.

”The idea is to put out a formidable team for the game against Algeria and later Argentina.

“A good showing in both games will help our ranking with FIFA, which will play in our advantage during the World Cup draws in December.“

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Argentina include Lionel Messi for Nigeria clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 19:00

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are set to test their strength against Argentina in a friendly next month and the South Americans have announced their squad.

The La Albiceleste manager Jorge Sampaoli has released the list of foreign based players who are expected to line up in a friendly set for Russia.

Sampaoli has included skipper and Barcelona star Lionel Messi, Juventus‘ Paolo Dybala, Inter-Milan captain Mauro Icardi and Paris St. Germain’s Angel Di Maria.

Although the squad is yet to be complete as Sampaoli still has to announce local-based players, the encounter is set to be a thriller.

The Argentine squad:

Goalkeepers: Romero, Guzman, Marchesin.

Defenders: Marchesin, Fazio, Mercado, Otamendi, Pezzella; Salvio.

Midfielders: Biglia, Banega, Acuna, Paredes, Emiliano Rigoni, Kranevitter, Papu, Perotti.

Forwards: Messi, Aguero, Icardi, Di Maria, Dybala

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Nigeria to face Argentina in Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Zunis Stopilla of Zambia challenges Obi Mikel of Nigeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Oct 22, 2017. 13:00

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has announced that the Super Eagles will take on South American giants Argentina in an international friendly next month.

The encounter is scheduled to take place at the Krasnodar Arena Stadium in the Russian city of Krasnodar on Tuesday, 14th November 2017.

Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the NFF General Secretary, revealed at the weekend that nearly all arrangements have been concluded with regards to the big match, subject to approval by world football – ruling body, FIFA and agreeable flight arrangements.

“We have had long and fruitful talks, and we can say that we have an agreement. We await the approval by FIFA and also, we have to agree on the flight arrangements that would be comfortable for the players and crew,” Sanusi told the NFF’s official website.

“The match will come up on 14th November, four days after the Super Eagles’ final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match away to Algeria. We had offers from teams like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Morocco but we have opted for the Argentines,” Sanusi said.

Before facing Argentina, Nigeria will take on Algeria’s Desert Foxes in their last match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group B on 10 November 2017.

The match is set to take place at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine, Algeria. Nigeria have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup as Group B winners.

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