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 Posted by Sam Kelly
Sep 23, 2014

Machinations abound as Martino names first real Argentina squad

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno reacts to Tata Martino's decision to leave Carlos Tevez out of the Argentina squad despite his excellent form.

A few weeks after Gerardo Martino's debut, we finally get to see his first Argentina squad. It's an odd way of doing things, it's true -- but here we are. Having agreed to the Argentine Football Association's idea of calling up the bulk of the 23-man World Cup squad for his bow in charge of the national team against Germany in Dusseldorf, Martino has now finally had the chance to name a squad of his own.

The list, tweeted on Monday by the national side's official account, is in fact not the full...

ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Sep 12, 2014

#FCdebate: Could Argentina be a better team without Lionel Messi?

Craig Burley, Santiago Solari, Alejandro Moreno and Tommy Smyth have their say on Messi. What do you think? Vote now!

Argentina's recent 4-2 win in Germany over the world champions was achieved without Lionel Messi, who missed the game through injury. In his absence, Angel Di Maria starred with a goal and three assists, and it got some of the FC TV team pondering whether La Albiceleste could function more effectively without their best individual player.

With 42 goals in 93 games, Messi has a fine international record and won the Golden Ball at the recent World Cup, but Argentina have yet to win an international...

Sep 10, 2014

Exception to the rule: The first baby named 'Messi' OK'd in Argentina

Not even Lionel Messi could name his child 'Messi Messi' if he so chose. He had to settle for 'Thiago' for his own son.

The first baby to be named "Messi" has been born in Argentina, and he will likely be the last.

After a legal battle lasting almost two weeks, Hector Varela of the southern city of General Roca has circumvented Argentine law and received permission to baptise his son as Messi Daniel Varela.

Why the tough fight? Argentina has a long list of laws that prevent people from going all willy-nilly when naming their children, in particular Article 3.3: "Los apellidos como nombre" -- prohibiting...

 Posted by Tim Vickery
Sep 7, 2014

River Plate graduates Lamela and Cazares star on the world stage

New Argentina boss Tata Martino hailed Angel di Maria as one of the best players in the world after he inspired a 4-2 friendly victory over World Cup winners Germany.

Erik Lamela has started this season well after a horror of a first year with Tottenham.

Roque Santa Cruz was unable to celebrate his 100th international match with a goal, as Paraguay were held 0-0 by the United Arab Emirates in a friendly played in Austria. Meanwhile, some newcomers have been making their marks as the South American national teams return to action after the World Cup.

In particular, there were promising contributions from a couple attacking midfielders who know each other from the youth ranks of Buenos Aires giants River Plate. On opposite sides of the Atlantic,...

 Posted by Raphael Honigstein
Sep 2, 2014

Injuries, retirements leave different German team vs. Argentina this time

Germany trained in Dusseldorf ahead of their friendly match against Argentina, which will be a repeat of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final.

The feel-good factor has not waned over the summer break: 45,000 supporters turned up two days early to see the world champions kick a few balls around in Dusseldorf's Esprit Arena. The open training session ahead of the friendly against finals opponent Argentina (sans Lionel Messi) doubled up as another victory parade; at some point in the low-intensity workout, the World Cup was presented to the crowd again.

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A few of the Maracana heroes were missing, however. Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker...

 Posted by Sam Kelly
Sep 1, 2014

Argentina to step into the Martino era with some familiar faces

Argentina head coach Tata Martino has confirmed his 4-3-3 team formation ahead of their FIFA World Cup final rematch against Germany.

The first international dates since the World Cup are already upon us, and, even in a week which sees such epic clashes as Paraguay against Copa Libertadores runners-up Club Nacional de Paraguay in Austria (no, really!), it's not hard to pick out the juiciest-looking fixture from the list.

Germany versus Argentina was arranged long before the sides met in the World Cup final and should be an interesting rematch.

From both sides, there will be reason for interest in the start of a new era. While...