A Frenchman starting the Argentina team!


By: Manu Tournoux

The Argentina team is playing a friendly match against Costa Rica this Tuesday in the United States, without Lionel Messi, but with a certain Walter Benitez in goal, for the great first for the former OGC Nice goalkeeper.

“I don’t know why I never got called. We sometimes wonder what more we can do”, regretted Walter Benitez in May 2020. You simply had to wait your turn. Then an excellent goalkeeper for OGC Nice (2016-2022), the Argentinian had obtained French nationality to offer his services to Didier Deschamps. “We look at him like the other selectable players”replied the Blues coach in January 2022!

Two years later, the “Franco-Argentinian”, who now plays for PSV Eindhoven, will make his big debut with the Albiceleste, at 31 years old. A superb reward. Benitez is one of Emiliano Martinez's understudies (along with veteran Franco Armani, 37) and will take the place of “Dibu” this Tuesday against Costa Rica, in a friendly match at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles (3:30 a.m. French time during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday).

Without Messi or Lautaro Martinez

Lionel Scaloni, deprived of Lionel Messi, will line up many usual starters for this preparation meeting three months before the Copa América (June 20-July 14). After a 4-4-2 used against El Salvador (3-0), last Thursday in Philadelphia, with Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez in front, the 2018 world champions will play in 4-3-3 with Alejandro Garnacho and Julian Alvarez aligned with “Fideo” in the offensive sector.

Cristian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi will form the central hinge, Lyon's Nicolas Tagliafico will be aligned on the left of the defense, while Leandro Paredes, Alexis Mac Allister and Enzo Fernandez are announced as starters in the midfield. In addition to Emiliano Martinez and Lautaro Martinez, Rodrigo De Paul is relegated to the bench.

Next June, the Argentines will challenge Canada, Alexis Sanchez's Chile (who plays this Tuesday evening against the French team in Marseille) and Peru during the next Copa América organized in the United States. Hoping to count on their legendary captain, Leo Messi.

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