“Brother, there are four minutes left, let’s go in with everything because something will remain”, Paulo Dybala whispered to Nicola gonzález just before entering the Wembley playing field. They were 45 minutes away from the Grand Final. Argentina, with Lionel Messi on fire, beat Italy 2-0 and getting the title was a matter of seconds.
28-year-old Cordovan knew he had to make the most of those few grains of sand at his disposal. In each step, a place in the final standings of the World Cup in Qatar is at stake. He knows he has his last bullet in the chamber to hit the target.
And boy, did Dybala get him juice in those four minutes. He joined Giovani Lo Celso to try to hurt an Italy already resigned to defeat. The striker who greeted Juventus at the end of the season went out to play as if the match had just begun. Because of this it was: his four-minute match, in which he was the figure.
He retrieves the ball, passes it to Messi, who starts running towards Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal. It was the 10 goal, but no. And on the second play there was the man born in Laguna Larga, well positioned and careful to follow the game and have the opportunism of the scorer. He nailed the 3-0 so that the final had a result more in line with the superiority that Argentina had shown. The cry, of course, was a relief.
Dybala celebrates his goal against Italy in London. Photo: AFP
Calmer, but still with the adrenaline pumping and a satisfied smile tattooed on his face, Dybala chats with Clarione at Wembley about what that moment in London meant that made him feel like he was back in the running for the World Cup.
-This call was important for you, to return to the national team and again with the group and to be able to enter this match and put it on the pitch.
-Safe. For me it is beautiful and special to be able to score a goal for the national team and in a final. It’s always nice to share things that happen with a beautiful group like this. We are with good feelings. We hope to be able to continue like this.
-It is the last stretch towards the World Cup, do you feel the pressure to do things well to enter the final list?
– There is always pressure. At this level there is always pressure. You always have to give something more of each. This makes the group grow on a human and sporting level. We are fine, with confidence. But you always have to keep working.
-But go easy …
-I am happy because he got a title.
Paulo Dybala was pure precision and nailed his left well away from the giant Donnarumma. Photo: Adrian DENNIS / AFP.
Dybala and its black and white history
Things in the national team did not go as he would have liked in recent years. Wednesday’s was his third goal dressed as albiceleste in 33 presentations in total. This footballer who came out of the Córdoba Institute never finished settling down. He was encapsulated as a replacement for Messi and this may have worked against him for a very simple reason: No one, no matter how many qualities, can replace the best in the world.
“Paulo has to be himself again, there was a moment when he got carried away by the nickname of the ‘new Messi’. A player cannot emulate or think he is like another”, Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus DT said a few days ago. The truth is that Dybala is determined and focused on showing that he just wants to be him and thus earn his place in the last call of Lionel Scaloni.
“We are very happy, we played a great match, the group is beautiful. We are doing well. Talking about the World Cup is now very early. We hope to continue like this.” And he adds: “I intend to give my all for the rest of the World Cup. There is still a long way to go and Argentina have incredible players in all positions.”
It was all happiness at Wembley