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Ten years of Lionel Messi

Barcelona Oct 15, 2014
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Caravario: Messi and Martino reunite

Argentina Oct 10, 2014
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Assessing the state
of two old rivals

Argentina vs. Brazil Oct 10, 2014
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 By Tim Vickery
2 days ago

Carlos Tevez's Argentina return signals a clean slate under Gerardo Martino

After a three year hiatus, Carlos Tevez will return to the Albiceleste for two friendlies in November. The ESPN FC team debate whether or not the call-up by Tata Martino was the right move.

Argentina's new coach Gerardo Martino had prepared the way, so it was no great surprise when Carlos Tevez was recalled to the national squad for the coming friendlies against Croatia and Portugal. No great surprise, but still big news.

Tevez has cast his stocky shadow all over the Argentina team since his last appearance, in the 2011 Copa America. Campaigns were launched to try to get him into the World Cup squad -- one tango artist even recorded a song asking of previous coach Alejandro Sabella...

Oct 16, 2014

The best quotes about Lionel Messi's 10 years at Barcelona

Relive some of the most memorable moments from Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi's 10-year career at the Camp Nou.

In celebration the 10th anniversary of Lionel Messi's Barcelona debut, Dermot Corrigan has compiled the best quotes about the Argentinian since his introduction to senior football a decade ago.

1. Barcelona's then-manager, Frank Rijkaard, at a news conference after Messi's La Liga debut, versus Espanyol on October 16, 2004:

"Putting him on was not a prize [for good work in training]. We put him on for his quality and because I saw Deco a little tired. Messi is a lefty, he is a very good dribbler...

Oct 15, 2014

From the smiling, tame adolescent to the relentless record breaker

Leo Messi during his 2004 debut vs. Espanyol

Sudden bursts and stops. Flashes of speed. Effervescence. Determination and brazenness.

The young man posed a powerful threat in an intense game that quickly turned into a classic.

The match was defined by his friend Deco against the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Maxi Rodríguez, two emblems of Messi's beloved Newell's Old Boys, who today fondly recall that moment 10 years ago. Another Argentine, Hugo Ibarra, was also a member of that Espanyol team.

Ten minutes of adrenaline, eight plus extra...

 By Tim Vickery
Oct 15, 2014

Reviewing the results of CONMEBOL teams since the World Cup

With his comeback from suspension close, Luis Suarez has come to terms with his actions, which saw him sent home from the World Cup in disgrace.

After the FIFA dates of September and October, how have the South American national teams progressed as they warm up for next year's Copa America followed by the 2018 World Cup qualifiers?

ARGENTINA: Won 4-2 away to Germany, lost 2-0 to Brazil and beat Hong Kong 7-0

New coach Gerardo Martino has built on the work of predecessor Alejandro Sabella but has also made a tweak. The base formation remains 4-3-3 (which Sabella's Argentina abandoned in the World Cup due to injuries), but with a difference.

Instead...

 By Tim Vickery
Oct 11, 2014

Argentina's poor defending punished by Brazil in Superclasico

Argentina manager Tata Martino rues his team's missed opportunities in a 2-0 loss to Brazil in Beijing.

The test of a team is always when it goes a goal down -- a situation Gerardo Martino's Argentina emphatically did not have to face in the coach's debut match last month away to Germany. Soon after half-time, Argentina were four goals ahead.

They could have raced into an early lead in Beijing on Saturday. Argentina were dominant in the first 20 minutes, with Angel Di Maria especially eye-catching and Sergio Aguero wasteful in front of goal. In the end, though, they were lucky to lose by only a two-goal...

Oct 10, 2014

Despite Brazil vs. Argentina being a friendly, Dunga knows pressure's on

Brazil defender Dani Alves blamed the press for Brazil's poor performance at the World Cup.

Forget the fact it is quite bizarre to have Brazil and Argentina locking horns in Beijing, no matter how impressive the architecture of the Bird's Nest -- the iconic centerpiece of the 2008 Summer Olympics -- will always be. In fact, the underused venue last hosted a game one year ago -- a friendly between the Selecao and Zambia.

Don't think of how both the Brazilian and Argentine FAs have sold out their teams. Leave aside the fact an already crowded fixture list (Brazil's next stop is in Singapore...