In September, Argentina’s national team manager Lionel Scaloni made headlines when he decided to omit Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Angel Di Maria from the team’s squad list for its October international fixtures. Di Maria had just capped off a season in which he was widely regarded as one of the best playmaking attacking talents in world football, so the decision from Scaloni was deemed questionable.
Scaloni claims that he made this decision based on the fact that the team had played well in its recent fixtures without Di Maria in the lineup. But now, Scaloni decided to reverse course as he called up the versatile midfielder for the team’s 2022 World Cup qualifying fixtures this month.
In a pre-match press conference ahead of Argentina’s fixture against Paraguay, Scaloni spoke (via TYC Sports) about the decision to call up Di Maria for the first time since the 2019 Copa America. This move was an interesting one as Di Maria had not featured in much of PSG’s fixtures as of late due to his Ligue 1 suspension. But for Scaloni, this decision did not have to do much with Di Maria’s recent play.
“In the previous call we had Nico González and Lo Celso, who after giving the list, both fell due to injury,” Scaloni said. “At that time I would have been in favor of calling Di María, but with everything that was happening it did not seem fair and It was respectful to call him when the Ecuador game was not going to arrive and the Bolivian game was going to arrive very fair.
“In this call, Nico González came with very few minutes, Lo Celso had not yet caught a football rhythm and we thought that this time we were not going to make the mistake of not bringing him again. My relationship with him is perfect, we are happy to have him and he is training very well.”
Di Maria has trained with the Argentina national team this week ahead of its contest against Paraguay. Whether he is in line to start or come off the bench, Di Maria is sure to be ready to prove that he still has much to provide for the national team.
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