Gustavo Lombardi, Under 20 champion in 1995 and today commentator of the World Cup: “Mascherano is a symbol, he has a good revenge”

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He Sub 20 world starts this Saturday with four matches and one of them will be the protagonist of the Argentina national team against Uzbekistan, in Santiago del Estero. The match, like the rest of the championship, will be broadcast by TyC Sport and the Public TV.

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The sports signal will have the duo consisting of Giuliano Bricco AND Gustavo Lombardi in incumbent stories and commentary of Albiceleste matches, plus mega coverage following in the footsteps of the team led by his DT, Javier Mascherano. For Lombardi it will be a very special experience as he will see from the outside what he was able to enjoy from the inside almost 30 years ago.

The blond ex-footballer joined the Argentina national team which established itself in Sub 20 world From Qatar 1995. It was the second star after the first in 1979 and the beginning of a fantastic cycle at the hands of Jose Pekerman, with players like Juan Pablo Sorín and Ariel Ibagaza. Gustavo also played in one of the best River in history, champion of the Libertadores 1996, among other titles, and retired very young, at the age of 27 due to lack of motivation. Today he analyzes the Argentine team who are just hours away from leaving the field to face Uzbekistan.

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-How was your experience playing a Sub 20 World Cup? How does it feel to be so young to have the chance to represent your country?

-The experience of playing in an Under-20 World Cup is unique at the moment in the boys’ career. It’s starting to wear the national team shirt, being on site, listening to the anthem when you face the other teams. It is a pride to feel that you are one of the 20-year-olds of a whole generation of footballers and that you are lucky to be there. It’s a wonderful experience. It forms you as a footballer, as a person and gives you other responsibilities, those of my litter continue to be together and we always remember the experience. So it’s something for them to exploit and for us to support.

Gustavo Lombardi at the time of the Argentina national team.  Photo: Clarin Archive.

Gustavo Lombardi at the time of the Argentina national team. Photo: Clarin Archive.

-What do you think are the best projects of this Selection?

-It’s a generation that seems to me to have excellent plans. It is one of the first generations, or perhaps the first, where it is very clear that they are boys who left very young to play in Europe. It will be interesting to analyze that situation because it marks what Argentine football is. Boys who started very young, some until they were born in another country and chose to wear our shirt, perhaps having the opportunity to choose another. As for the names, you have to look Matias Soule AND Valentine Carboni, and it’s a shame that Alejandro Garnacho couldn’t come and see him with the Argentine shirt and the people’s reaction. It seems to me that, for example, for Luke Romero It is a good opportunity to consolidate. And then, as regards our players, we can highlight Valentine boatwith this appearance at Boca, which is not easy for a boy, since Alejo Veliz, the 9 of Rosario Central, which is an excellent project at a time when there are not many centre-forwards. But the names are many, fortunately. It seems to me that the strong point of the national team is from midfield forward.

-What do you think Mascherano will have to work on to improve the image left by the South American?

-I think Mascherano will have drawn many conclusions from the South American. Argentina has made many individual mistakes. In general it gave the feeling that it was much more of a team than others but at times they tried to play a lot from below on a pitch that was very bad, with very bad shots. Many of those errors come from not being able to play the game that Argentina had coached and which Mascherano believes is the identity of this team. Hence, the coaching staff is believed to have had time to work perhaps to adapt to the circumstances, players and rivals. It seems to me that by minimizing that margin of error and with the introduction of new players that this team has, I think the Argentina national team will improve a lot.

-How do you see Mascherano?

-I see it clearly, Mascherano is a symbol of the Selection. Together with Messi, Di María and a few other names from the last 20 years, it seems to me that he represents the Argentina shirt like few others. He is an identified player. Of course, when things don’t go your way, frustrations appear, and obviously he wasn’t happy in the South American. He now he has a very good chance of getting his revenge. He knows he has an excellent opportunity here in Argentina. It would be very important for Argentina to do well: I’m not saying win the title because it’s very ambitious, but to have a good World Cup, for the team to play well and show an identity. I see a coach who is convinced in this sense and sometimes coaches need a good result to get it. Mascherano and the national team need it and have a great opportunity. I trust it will happen.

Gustavo Lombardi will comment the matches for TyC Sports accompanied by the story of Julián Bricco.

Gustavo Lombardi will comment the matches for TyC Sports accompanied by the story of Julián Bricco.

-Can locality be an advantage or an extra burden?

-I think being local will be an advantage, I see people very predisposed to see the national team, whether they are older or younger. It happened recently with South American Sub 17. And I think it’s great that it’s played within the country, in San Juan, Santiago del Estero and Mendoza, as well as La Plata. It’s fantastic and the audience appreciates it, they will support and encourage these guys.

-Could you draw a parallel between what was José Pekerman’s stage and this ongoing team project?

I think so, although not exactly. The Pekerman trial had José as project manager, it was the surname that marked those years a little. Even if there is no such an important figure today, we must not forget that all these coaches who are working like Aimar, Placente, Mascherano and Scaloni himself, all grew up with Pekerman. So, it seems to me that these new coaches have their own brand but deep down, at the base, I see the imprint of those generations. It has to do with football but also with behavior and a very clear game identity, the DNA of Argentine football, which can be seen in matches and tournaments. And let’s hope he continues to establish himself in the World Cup which starts this weekend.

Source: Clarin

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