The Argentine national team formally began this afternoon his preparation for next Thursday’s match against Venezuela, for the ninth date of the South American Qualifiers, to be played in Caracas, with a massive training session but captain Lionel Messi was missing and the rain was left over. Under which he trained with 27 members in the complex of the Deportivo La Guaira club.
Messi, along with his teammates from Paris Saint Germain, Ángel Di María and Leandro Paredes, was undertaking this midnight trip from the French capital in the Argentine captain’s private plane bound for the Venezuelan capital, so that tomorrow the coach Lionel Scaloni will be able to have the 30 summoned for this triple qualifying date that will follow on Sunday no less than against Brazil, in São Paulo.
That game is pending the sixth date that should have been played in March and Conmebol attached to this September window, causing the anger of the European leagues, which moved chips to deny the transfer to the South American countries arguing health reasons for the coronavirus pandemic , although the real reasons pointed to calendar problems.
But the timely intervention of the TAS, to which LaLiga, from Spain appealed, denying their request not to assign footballers despite the mandatory nature of the FIFA date, ended up disarming that same position that the Premier League had started and to which the Federations of Italy and Portugal.
However, some players had to make concessions to travel, such as goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez and Mar del Plata Emiliano Buendía, who had to “sacrifice” their presence in the third game of this window against Bolivia, on Thursday, September 9, for the tenth Qualifying date, which will be held at the River Plate stadium with a capacity of 30 percent of the public and celebrations for the Copa América.
Faced with this panorama and the tight schedule, Scaloni will then face a new challenge, since he will have to dose energy in a large squad and oil a rotation within an uncomfortable route, since less than 70 hours after facing Venezuela, on Thursday At 21 (from Argentina, 20 local), he will have to visit no less than the leader with the ideal score of these Qualifiers, Brazil, in São Paulo, from 16.
Of course, the obvious difference in qualities makes the second game of this window highly demanding for an Argentine team that will also have a trip in the middle between Venezuela and San Pablo, where the match will be played against the defeated rival in the final of the Copa América on July 10, at the Arena Corinthians stadium.
And details such as that Messi made his debut just yesterday in Paris Saint Germain and is arriving tomorrow in Caracas on a transoceanic flight, it is not a minor fact, something to which two other headlines are added such as the aforementioned “Fideo” Di María and Paredes .
That is why it is probable that Scaloni will not bet on all the starters who played the final of the Copa América mentioned for the match against the Venezuelans, with the exception of the goalkeeper “Draw” Martínez, pointing all the cannons to the match 67 hours later against Brazil, to repeat later, already with a greater margin of rest time in the concentration of the AFA property, in Ezeiza, against Bolivia, on Thursday 9 from 21.
For this reason, with an eye on these three games to be played in just seven days, with long trips between them, it was that today 27 players worked regardless of the copious rain that fell on Caracas, performing essentially regenerative and physical complementation tasks.
To do this, first the soccer players did exercises in the gym of the Deportivo La Guaira club and then, together with the physical trainer, Luis Martín, they carried out speed movements with the ball in different circuits.
After this first block and already under the orders of Scaloni and his field assistants, Walter Samuel, Roberto Ayala and Pablo Aimar, the players had soccer action in small spaces separated into three teams of eight members each.
Meanwhile the goalkeepers Emiliano Martínez, Franco Armani, Juan Musso and Gerónimop Rulli worked separately with the goalkeeper coach, Martín Tocalli, in tasks related to that position.
The national team, already with Messi, Di María and Paredes, will carry out a new training session behind closed doors tomorrow at 4.30 p.m. (5.30 p.m. in Argentina) on the same stage as today, while on Wednesday and after a virtual press conference that Scaloni will offer, according to the AFA, there will be a last practice that could have as alternative venues again Deportivo La Guaira or the Olympic stadium.
The conference that Scaloni will offer will begin at 11:30 in Venezuela, 12:30 in Argentina, and there may already be clearer indications of how and with whom Argentina will face the match against the Venezuelans.
The alternative of the Olympic Stadium of the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, is due to the fact that it will be the headquarters of that meeting, although for that very fact it is that beyond the recognition of its floor, it is not very practical to stop the team that will finish playing the next day.
The 27 players who trained today in the first mass practice of the Argentine team after obtaining the Copa América, were the following:
Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martínez, Franco Armani, Gerónimo Rulli and Juan Musso.
Defenders: Cristian Romero, Gonzalo Montiel, Juan Foyth, Marcos Acuña, Germán Pezzella, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Nahuel Molina, Nicolás Otamendi, Nicolás Tagliafico and Lisandro Martínez.
Midfielders: Rodrigo De Paul, Guido Rodríguez, Alejandro Gómez, Ángel and Joaquín Correa, Nicolás Domínguez, Exequiel Palacios and Giovani Lo Celso.
Forwards: Lautaro Martínez, Julián Álvarez, Nicolás González, Paulo Dybala and Emiliano Buendía.