officially started the countdown to the Argentina national team in view of next Friday’s duel against Hollandfor the quarterfinals of this World Cup in Qatar 2022. It is the one after the victory over Australia and on the free Sunday that the team and coaching staff had, the group returned this Monday afternoon to work on the grounds of the Qatar National University. And there were two victims: Ángel Di María and Alejandro Papu Gómez, who stayed in the gym together with the kinesiologists to treat their respective ailments.
The rest of the footballers, with Lionel Messi in the lead, he did a slight physical activation in the fifteen minutes in which training was open to journalists, who this time mainly came to watch training. This time they changed their routine and moved to pitch 2 of the property, the furthest from the area where the press is located, the place where goalkeepers usually train.
Once the risk sprinklers went off, Lionel Scaloni was the first to take the field seven minutes into the session. Before crossing the line, faithful to his habits as a former footballer, he touched the grass and immediately scored. He walked looking at the grass until he found a ball and played with it until Pablo Aimar, Walter Samuel and the rest of his collaborators arrived. There, after a brief exchange with the former River, he waited with arms crossed for his managers to finish leaving the locker room area.
Once everyone was on the pitch, with the exception of the aforementioned Fideo Di María (fatigue in his right quadriceps) and Papu Gómez (slight sprain in his left ankle), the DT had a brief chat with his players. It was no more than three minutes that he was the only speaker.
It was then that the team was divided into four groups. Emiliano Dibu Martínez, Franco Armani, Gerónimo Rulli and sparring partner Federico Gomes Herth were in midfield carrying out a specific warm-up under orders from their coaches, Martín Tocalli and Damián Albil.
The players on the pitch, meanwhile, split into three to complete a routine of passing with and without the ball using a circuit delimited by fluorescent rods.
This is the first workout of a key week. Is that, in the words of Alejandro Sabella, the goal is to cross the Rubicon, reach the semi-finals and thus be guaranteed to play seven games in this World Cup.
The priority, before putting his head on the match plan, will be knowing whether both Di María and Papu Gómez will finish with their recovery so that Scaloni will once again have all his players available.
Free day for the Netherlands
Argentina rivals the Netherlands had this Monday off after doing regenerative work on Sunday for players to tune in following a 3-1 win over the United States to earn them through to the quarter-finals.
Unlike the agenda of the national team, still to be defined, Van Gaal has already designed the week. This Tuesday, at 16:30 local time (10:30 in Argentina), there will be a press conference and then they will show 15 minutes of training. In the meantime, training will be behind closed doors on Wednesday, but there will be half an hour of attention from the players.
The quarter-final duel will take place on Friday from 16:00 (Qatar 22) in Lusail, the largest stadium of the tournament. There, Argentina has already faced Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
Doha, Qatar. Special envoys.