Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nothing new in Argentina – Messi leads the same team

The preliminary Argentinian Copa América squad does not come up with a lot surprises. Lionel Messi continues to lead a team that finished second behind only Germany in the 2014 World Cup. The squad has a ton of experience in every position and will undoubtedly be one of the big favorites at the tournament in Chile.

Sergio Romero is the last man on the pitch for Argentina and has been for quite some years now. His reflexes make him one of the best goalkeepers at the Copa América. Backup Mariano Andújar is good enough to get the job done, but will most likely not be needed.

Half of Argentina’s defense is playing in the English Premier League, which is not the worst sign of quality. Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis at Manchester City, Marcos Rojo at United as well as Federico Fernández at Swansea. Two of them might well find themselves in the starting 11. Garay and Otamendi are strong alternatives at the CB position.


Reason to party also in Chile? Javier Mascherano (left) and Leo Messi, the most important players in Argentina’s team.

The strategic brain of this team is found in midfield, a position that he does not even play for his club. Javier Mascherano is being used as center back for Barcelona most of the time, but is extremely valuable for Argentina in a defensive midfield role. He not only showed his amazing abilities throughout the last World Cup. Mascherano will have a lot of quality around him, whoever joins him in midfield. Ángel di María had a rough (especially second part of the) season in Manchester, overshadowed by a burglary in his family home. His national team will not be able to replace him, and putting all things into account, some fresh air in another country and team might do wonders. Maxi Rodríguez, Fernando Gago or Éver Banega are more alternatives in the middle. Pastore, Lamela or Gaitán stand by if there is more need for creativity in midfield.

The attack of the team is breathtaking. I do not think I need to lose many more words over the captain. Messi is and remains the best footballer on this planet by a long distance. He is accompanied by Agüero, Tevez, Higuaín and Lavezzi. That is enough firepower for every imaginable situation for at least two teams. Coach Gerardo Martino is lucky enough to have it all in the same squad.

Here is the Argentinian squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andújar (Napoli), Nahuel Guzmán (UANL Tigres), Agustín Marchesín (Santos Laguna).

Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta, Martín Demichelis (both Manchester City), Federico Fernández (Swansea City), Marcos Rojo (Mancherster United), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Nicolás Otamendi (Valencia), Facundo Roncaglia (Genoa), Lucas Orbán (Valencia), Milton Casco (Newell’s Old Boys).

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Ángel di María (Manchester United), Maxi Rodríguez (Newell’s Old Boys), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Éver Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Javier Pastore (PSG), Enzo Pérez (Valencia), Érik Lamela (Tottenham), Nicolás Gaitán (Benfica), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus), Federico Mancuello (Independiente).

Attackers: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Carlos Tevez (Juventus), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli), Ezequiel Lavezzi (PSG).


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