D-day for Argentina: miss Messi and co the world cup?

Friday night are Uruguay and Argentina for the 204de time opposite each other, in the South American qualifications for the world cup next year. Who will win put a big step in the direction of Russia, the loser is still waiting for three duels to the death. With Jorge Sampaoli as the new strong man at the helm can Messi and co can’t slip more afford. How has it come this far with Argentina?

Coach Sampaoli between Icardi and lionel Messi © Belga Image

Exactly four months ago, reached the administrative and sporting mess in Argentina to a low point of the turn. At the rarefied height of La Paz and without Lionel Messi, who a few days before an official report had geschoffeerd, went to Argentina cup against Bolivia. The confidence in coach Edgardo Bauza, barely a half years in the service, was looking for. Argentina fell back to fifth place in the hypercompetitieve South American kwalificatiezone, a classification that gives the right to the safety net of the intercontinental play-offs against the best country of Oceania.

For a historical powerhouse like Argentina would be such a back door in the direction of Russia, a small humiliation mean. Nevertheless, the difference with number two, Colombia is just two points. At the same time, pants first pursuer Ecuador in the neck of Argentina. Any misstep can thus be fatal.


The current malaise evokes bad memories of the qualifying for the world Cup in South Africa. With Diego Maradona on the sidelines struggled for the national eleven eventually narrowly to the world cup. The major difference from eight years ago is the man along the sidelines this time, however, a real top trainer is, albeit only recently. Jorge Sampaoli, former success coach of Chile but born Argentinian, joined on 1 June to serve as head coach.

Sampaoli’s teams are known for vrank en vrij to attack the ball and organized pressing when losing the ball. In short, modern football with a clear vision, something already missing in Argentina. Neither cost nor effort, as a lump sum of $ 1.5 million to Sevilla, were also spared to him as soon as possible, at the helm of the Albiceleste. Gleaming with pride presented back Claudio Tapia him during his first press conference. Tapia called him euphoric ‘the best coach in the world’.

The feelings were mutual because Sampaoli vrolijkte the press conference with a touch of poetry of folkartiest José Larralde: ‘es lindo estar cerca de lo que de lejos se admira’, which means if there is something that you are far admire. The joyous entry felt so like a long-cherished desire is finally fulfilled.

Despite his cult status remains Sampaoli, an outsider in his own country, that swears by everything that is real Argentinian is: no glorious spelerscarrière, no trainersverleden at a top club and travels throughout South America. No coincidence, therefore, that his first press conference impression as a small charm offensive. He let the name fall of Che Guevara as a source of inspiration and moved to the Argentine flag and colors in his argument about the future of the Albiceleste. Save what to save falls, that is, the mess that his predecessors have created to be destroyed, was his message.

Corruption and fraudeDelen

Another presidential election resulted last year, with 75 voting members, in… a 38-38 tie

The roots of the Argentine malaise, however, are deeper. Not only on the field but also in the boardrooms around there was, until recently, there paniekvoetbal. The chaos started after the death of the back and the figurehead Julio Grondona in 2014. The search for his successor has laid down a network of corruption and fraud exposed. So, the result of a yet another presidential election last year, with 75 voting members, in… a 38-38 tie. Reason enough for FIFA to the bond under guardianship, a solution that is normally only used in third world countries.

The administrative chaos was parallel with a search for new financial supply by the clubs and federation. The neoliberal government of president Maurico Macri turned in 2015 after all the funding tap in the direction of the national football close. For many years, could clubs and federation to count on a nationalized TV deal that all the races are free to the man brought: Futbol Para Todos. Now the tv-rights entrusted to the free market, the uncertainty is again returned to the clubs.

The effect was immediately noticeable: the spelersvakbond went on strike due to overdue salaries which makes the Primera Division, one month, and lay still. Also the federation itself struggled for a while with an empty treasury, to the great annoyance of the internationals that their support greatly reduced saw. Lionel Messi paid out of your own pocket the wages of the security personnel. The brief retirement of the captain when the national team was on the one hand, motivated by this frustration.


On the other hand, showed Messi is guided by the haze of defeat and fatalism that surrounds the Albiceleste. The lost Copa America final last year, the third lost the final battle in as many years, has large wounds beaten. All 24-year wait for Argentina meanwhile, on a new trophy. Six times was a new title in the prospect, but it went completely wrong in the final battle. Especially the way Argentina each fell, so did pain: a beating by Brazil, owngoals or missed penalties. Argentina has all the possible ways to the final to lose now undergo.

It seems that this golden generation, so successful in the jeugdreeksen, crushed by a disappointment to many. The world Cup in Russia is their last chance to make the long cherished third Argentine world title win. It is still the question of whether exponents such as Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero on their 35th will be in Qatar in 2022.

Since the arrival of Sampaoli is the rest more or less returned to the Argentine camp. Back Tapia could the four games suspension of Lionel Messi quickly undone, and the player base has even decided her mediaboycot to end. Sampaoli’s baptism of fire in June, including a friendly victory against Brazil voted happy, but, of course, was merely preparation.

Nevertheless, it begins in Argentina as the favorite at the derby, a classic that both nations are passionately looking forward to. Host Uruguay may not count on the injured Luis Suárez, the leader of the team on and off the field. In addition, coach Oscar Tabárez is sitting tied to a generation, which began its sell by date reached.

Also Argentina relying for years on more or less the same so, after the but there seems to be under Sampaoli still some change to come. Only Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano may rely on a hard rise. In June he called already striker Mauro Icardi , already successful years at Inter but never called up for Argentina. In the national press continued for a long time the story around that Messi is nothing need to know from Icardi and each time his veto argued against his selection. The victim of this choice is Gonzalo Higuaín, also a doelpuntenmachine in Italy, but absent in the important moments in Argentina.

Sampaoli seems to choose for young players such as Paulo Dybala, who meet the requirements for ultraoffensief football. However, the question is how the age of being defense will adapt itself to the physically demanding game.

Green table

As well as Sampaoli, Argentina is not in time on the rails, the sterrenensemble may still be a ticket to enforce in court. Direct competitor Chile was, after all, three points in the laps because Bolivia is a non-speelgerechtigde player was drafted. According to the BAG has Chile his complaint, however, too late and the original 0-0 draw as possible. The impending judgment day and night difference for Sampaoli, Messi and the entire future of Argentine football.

What it is: a two-part series against New Zealand or qualification through the green table: the two roads to Russia would be a superpower like Argentina and a legend like Messi unworthy.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular