7 learnings for Argentina as road to Russia runs out – Messi, Agüero, Lo Celso, the full-backs & more


It’s perhaps difficult to read too much into Argentina’s straight-forward 4-0 win over Haiti, but as La Albiceleste jet off to Barcelona to complete World Cup preparations, here are a few takeaways.

Hopes lie with Messi

Even against such lowly opposition, Argentina’s dependence on their inspirational captain was clear. Lionel Messi’s sixth international hat-trick aside, everything that Argentina tried to generate went through the world’s best player.

Three goals and an assist, Messi was once again creator and scorer and despite Jorge Sampaoli trying to tweak the system and personnel, his number ten was still dropping deep to get on the ball.

Agüero over Higuaín

Sampaoli’s decision to take Sergio Agüero and Gonzalo Higuaín as his two number nine options was contentious but if there was anything to garner from the win over Haiti it was that the Man City man should be first choice.

Ten minutes after coming on, Agüero had looked livelier than Higuaín had in over an hour. Linking up play well and looking to dart in behind, Kun latched onto one of Messi’s through-balls to score and looks far better suited to what Sampaoli wants.

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