Argentine Legend Urges Jorge Sampaoli To Pick Team On Merit And Not Reputation

Argentine legend Gabriel Batistuta has urged coach Jorge Sampaoli to find the right mix of players ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Russia. Argentina only progressed to the World Cup after Lionel Messi scored a match-winning hat-trick in the final qualifying game and they have since not enjoyed the best of times.

In the most recent international break, Argentina managed to secure a 2-0 friendly win over Italy but this was followed up by a 6-1 thrashing against Spain which has got the alarm bells ringing. Central defensive duo Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Rojo were thoroughly outclassed by La Roja during the friendly and Batistuta has now urged Sampaoli to rethink his selection criteria.

Diego Simeone: Lionel Messi ‘Decisive Factor’ In La Liga Pursuit

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has played down his side’s prospects of making a late challenge for the La Liga title. The Capital outfit currently trail Barcelona by nine points in the standings but Simeone has already admitted defeat after another Lionel Messi master class at Sevilla last weekend.

Barcelona were on course to suffer their first league defeat of the season after trailing Sevilla 2-0 during the second period, but they somehow managed to turn their fortunes around. The Catalan giants scored two late goals in the space of just 53 seconds, and the latter came from the feet of Argentina superstar Messi, who shocked the Andalusian faithful.

Lionel Messi Planning To Retire From International Football If Argentina Fail To Lift World Cup

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has suggested that he will retirement from international football, if Argentine fail to lift this summer’s World Cup in Russia. The 30-year-old has never won a major international trophy with his country, and this has created a difficult relationship between him and the country’s faithful.

Eden Hazard hails Lionel Messi as the 'greatest ever'

Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard has hailed Lionel Messi as the 'greatest ever' ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League last-16 tie versus Barcelona. The Blues are due to host the Catalan giants in the first-leg and Hazard is relishing the prospect of putting in a strong performance to help his side progress further in the competition.

Sergio Aguero content to remain at Manchester City

Argentina international Sergio Aguero has stressed that he is content to remain at Manchester City for the remainder of his contract. The 29-year-old has been with the Citizens since the summer of 2011, and he broke the club's all-time scoring record earlier this campaign after he surpassed Eric Brook's goal tally.

Aguero netted the third goal during the Citizens' 3-1 win over Watford in midweek, and shortly after the game, he expressed his intention to remain at the club until 2020 at the least, he said: "I have until 2020, I think. The truth is that I hope to see out my contract and I'll try to do my best from here until the end of the season, and after that we will see what happens with me. For me, yes. Obviously, my plan is not to change clubs. The truth is I'm very happy here but, as always, as I said before, the club has the last word."

Jorge Sampaoli Surprised by Loss against Nigeria

Jorge Sampaoli claims that he is surprised by the collapse of Argentina in a friendly game against Nigeria. Despite having a 2-0 lead in the game, Argentina witnessed a stunning comeback from Nigeria that resulted in the game finishing as a 4-2 defeat for the South Americans. It was a disappointing into the preparations for the World Cup 2018, and Argentina will be going into the World Cup 2018 in Russia with a lot of doubt in their mind. First and foremost is the inability to qualify comfortably for the competition, as the national team could only finish in the third position.

For long periods of the World Cup qualification campaign from South America, it looked like Argentina would miss out on the path to the World Cup. The national team had been logged in the fifth place, which meant a play-off, for much of the campaign. Yet, they managed to finish in the third place only because of teams like Columbia and Peru not being capable enough of taking advantage. The victory over Ecuador in the final qualification game sealed progress into the World Cup. Sampaoli has not been able to see a convincing performance from Argentina in recent months. After having narrowly beaten Russia in a friendly match, the national team would not have wished for such a shock loss.

Paul Merson feels Diego Simeone would consider a shock move to Everton

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson feels Diego Simeone would prefer the opportunity of managing a Premier League club with Atletico Madrid having dropped their performance levels this term. The Argentine has emerged as a surprise target for Everton with major shareholder Farhad Moshiri looking to recruit a head coach of high pedigree following Ronald Koeman's dismissal.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Merson believes Simeone could be tempted to takeover the managerial reigns at Goodison Park with Atletico Madrid's progress on the decline in recent months, he said, "This is where it has taken Simeone now. People are saying he might be a bit big for the club but he's been around a long time, Atletico Madrid are not the team they were and they are falling behind a bit. He'll look at the Premier League and think 'right, I'm not going to be manager of Liverpool, Man City or Arsenal, maybe Chelsea' and all of a sudden, Everton are the next best thing. Even with where they are, they are the next biggest club with money and big wages, then he's in the Premier League."

Pep Guardiola has no problem with Sergio Aguero's Netherlands trip

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that he has no problem with Sergio Aguero, who met up with a car accident in Amsterdam earlier on Thursday.

The Argentina international sustained a broken rib while he was travelling to the airport with a taxi after watching Colombian singer Maluma at a music concert.

The Citizens had not provided an update on the Argentine striker following the incident, and it was left to Guardiola to release a statement over the striker's wellbeing, he said: "He had a day off. He's OK - the most important thing.


Barcelona sporting director provides update on future of Lionel Messi

Barcelona's sporting director Albert Soler has revealed that Lionel Messi will sign a new contract soon with the Argentine and the club having already finalised terms informally.


Tottenham confirm pursuit of Argentine striker

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that they attempted to open their cheque book this summer, with a large bid placed for Genoa striker Giovanni Simeone as the transfer deadline approached.

The North London giants were amongst the quietest clubs in English football this summer after having not made a signing of as the transfer window's end approached. The likes of Ricardo Pereira and Thomas Lemar had been linked in recent weeks, but manager Mauricio Pochettino opted to cool their interest as the club are not keen to spend massive sums.