Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala.

The reason Jorge Sampaoli is refusing to play Messi & Dybala together for Argentina

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Football News

If you think being an England fan is frustrating, try being in Argentina's shoes right now.

The runners-up at the 2014 World Cup are currently fifth in their World Cup qualifying group having only managed to win six of their 16 games.

That's despite possessing quite possibly the greatest player of all-time and a litany of other standout talents.

Boss Jorge Sampaoli is starting to feel the heat and if the Argies fail to finish inside the top five following their final two group games against Peru - who are above them currently - and Ecuador, then they won't be playing in Russia next summer.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Sampaoli has decided that in order to make his team work, he has to drop one of the most exciting young forwards in world football.

The former Sevilla boss believes that Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala cannot play together because they are too similar, something which is harming each player's influence on the side.

Both men have made electric starts to their respective seasons with Messi firing in 14 goals for Barcelona and Dybala rattling in 12 for Juventus.

However, it looks like Dybala, who is yet to score for Argentina in 10 attempts, will be watching the next two games from the bench.


Sampaoli said: "As there is no time to work the Dybala-Messi relationship, we should go to something more concrete.

"I don't see as something bad what Dybala said. He said that he was happy to play with Messi, but he just did not find his place.

"Leo needs to move in the field normally as he does with his club. To invent a position so as he can develop a system or to structure him, that would be crazy.


"When we use 4-2-3-1 formation he is even further forward, always near the box. Being away from the box puts our best player far from the scoring positions and that is what he does best in his club.

"It is my job to make him understand that he is vital in the finishing, in the last third of the pitch."

Sergio Aguero is also out injured for the Argentines right now, but it's not like they are short of options going forward. Gonzalo Higuain, although not selected this time around, and Mauro Icardi are not bad alternatives.

Paulo Dybala
World Cup

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