Make way for youth. This is the strategy of Argentinian coach Lionel Scaloni since the end of the Copa America 2019. And the important result acquired in Peru (2-0) on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday can only confirm this idea. Even if Lionel Messi (33 years old) was very “active”, as the sports daily Olé points out, the goals arrived from the promises Nico Gonzalez (22 years old) and Lautaro Martinez (23 years old), attackers in Stuttgart (Germany ) and Inter (Italy).
And Angel Di Maria, in all of this? The PSG winger (32 years old) was back with the Albiceleste after missing the last four meetings, from October 2019 to October 2020. But the left-hander was content with the sidelines at the start of the two matches of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. Against Paraguay (1-1) and Peru (2-0), “ADM” played around 30 and 20 minutes, without influencing the final score of these meetings.
“Happy to be able to wear my country’s jersey again”
While Argentina is in second position in the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, behind Brazil of Marquinhos, wide winner in Uruguay (3-0), the future of Di Maria with his selection remains in suspense. Each time, Scaloni preferred Lucas Ocampos, the former Marseillais, and Nico Gonzalez. It remains to be seen what matters most to Di Maria: simply being present or being the holder? His Instagram account partially answers this question. In ten days of presence, eight publications of him in training, with his teammates, like Paredes or Messi, or in a match. Enough to get the message across.
“Very nice victory,” Di Maria wrote on social networks on Wednesday. Happy to be able to wear my country’s jersey again ”. A state of mind far removed from that of October: “I have no words,” he confided about his non-selection. It’s a difficult time. I do not know what to say … “With 104 selections, the PSG player consolidates his status as the sixth most capped Argentinian in history, two units from Diego Simeone, the current technician of Atlético de Madrid.
The next events are salivating: Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Colombia on the program of the rallies in March and June. All before the Copa America 2021, which will start on June 12 for the Albiceleste, in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Perhaps the last chance to win an international trophy for Di Maria after failures in the 2014 World Cup final or the 2015 and 2016 Copa America.