Argentina's all-time xi?

Fortitude

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Most sides have a pretty definable all-time xi, perhaps save a couple of positions at most, but Argentina? Their xi is a mess with several DIFFICULT PERSONALITIES, who, outside of names on paper, could just never co-exist in the same xi, right?

Passarella; Di Stefano; Maradona, Moreno and Messi... two of them hated each other, and four from the five of them would rightfully expect the team to be built around them. Unless there's a Brazil '70 scenario going on, one, two or even three of them, would have to be omitted to create a functional team, wouldn't you say?

On paper:

----------------------------------------Moreno
-----------------------------------------------------------Messi
---------------------Maradona
----------------------------------------------Di Stefano
------------------------------Monti
---------------------------------------------Mascherano
Marzolini----------------------------------------------------------------Zanetti
-------------------------Passarella--------Ayala
---------------------------------------Fillol

Even if you take out Moreno for Batistuta or Kempes, not much changes; the team has too many ridiculously strong egos and figures with barely any comprehension of sharing a spotlight equally with anyone else - it could even be argued that to get the best out of the individual superstars, they need this to be the case.

Moreno and Di Stefano shone together at River, but Di Stefano wasn't Di Stefano yet; Messi also proved he could function with great players such as Xavi, Ronaldinho, Iniesta and Neymar, but none of them are going to take over everything, like Maradona did, so how would things pan out? What, for you, would be a functional Argentina all-time xi, and why?
 
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Moby

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Should have 1 out of Messi, Diego and Di Stefano. Rest should be fine. Say,

Kempes - Batistuta - Messi
Cambiasso - Simeone
Redondo
Marzolini - Passarella - Ruggeri - Zanetti
Fillol​
 

2mufc0

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Diego and Messi have to play, best combination would be Maradona at 10 and younger winger version of Messi as RW.
 

harms

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Batistuta
↓Ardiles - Di Stefano - Messi↑
Redondo - Simeone
Marzolini - Passarella - Ruggeri - Zanetti
Carrizo​
 

P-Nut

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Di Stefano and Messi look like they could play together. Don't reckon Maradona could play with any of the other 2 though.
 

Invictus

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Maradona is the Amun-Ra type supreme god of Argentine football and as such, his berth as a starter is non-negotiable for me, even if Di Stéfano / Messi are both dropped and extra concessions are forcibly made in certain positions. Spiritually, leaving him out would be like excluding Pelé from a Brazilian lineup or Beckenbauer from a German lineup.



His inclusion also opens the door for the multi-faceted Jorge Burruchaga — who could harmonize the dynamics of the left flank ahead of Marzolini as he often played there for Independiente, on top of being a supreme conduit for El Pibe de Oro...
Every hero had his sidekick. Anyone that achieves great things has the person that perhaps sacrifices their own prestige, their own potential for glory and fame, for the greater good. They offer a nod of acceptance to the fact that the other person may have greater powers, and selflessly does their bit to ensure that ‘the talent’ has maximum opportunity to deliver. Batman had Robin. Morecambe had Wise. Even Don Quixote had Sancho Panza.

In the World Cup of 1986, Jorge Burruchaga was that man for Maradona. A truly outstanding player in his own right, he took on the role as best supporting actor to Maradona’s Oscar-winning superstar performances. Maradona was box office; Burruchaga was box-to-box. After 84 minutes of a dramatic game at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on 29 June 1986, though, the fates cast their eyes with grace on Burru, and rewarded him with the goal that won the World Cup
https://thesefootballtimes.co/2018/03/13/jorge-burruchaga-and-the-tears-of-world-cup-joy/

• Back 4 is straightforward and picks itself as most of us would rate Ruggeri over Perfumo/Ayala and Marzolini over Tarantini.
• Monti is a better theoretical fit for this team than Redondo given his double ancho coverage style, at the base of the Cuadrado Mágico.
• Would also have Néstor Rossi over Redondo as he would be more uncomplicated for Passarella and Maradona.
• Cambiasso was adept at doing thankless donkey work and proficient at shoring up the right flank.
• Tempted to start Tévez as a function-over-form foil but he had an up-and-down Albiceleste career so maybe not.
• Ridiculous but ultimately superfluous strength in forward positions with Messi, Di Stéfano, Moreno, Sívori, Sastre, Pedernera...
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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Brindisi could be a good choice as a midfield support act for a more attacking Maradona team as he formed a great partnership with him at Boca late in his career. Versatile player with imo more quality than a lot of the other midfielders that would be there for balance like Cambiasso, Simeone, Mascherano etc... he could be attacking mid, start in wide-right midfield or play as an all-around 8. From what i've watched of him i think he might be the closest of the tv-era Argentinian midfielders to a Falcao like 8.

He made AFA all-time 11 from a few years ago.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180814210638/http://www.afa.com.ar/3023/la-seleccion-de-todos-los-tiempos
 

Fortitude

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Interesting takes.

If you have adult Maradona at his peak of performance - but also ego - can you then have Passarella in the same side? Serious question as we surely have to ask who would defer/concede to the other or whether they would be prepared to co-exist and form an alliance. I know this is more a question of ego than footballing logistics, but it does overlap and thus overspill onto the pitch as Maradona giving some concessions is the only way Passarella can maruad.

Even omitting the disdain they had for one another, did peak Diego ever give another player a say in the build up? Once the ball got to him, he became the conduit, deciding all progressive action from that point to the conclusion of a play, be that with him passing or taking chances on himself - Diego wasn't necessarily greedy, but he was the shot caller absolute, which just clashes with Passarella in so many ways unless Passarella dialled back his offensive instincts to the point you're not really capturing the essence of the player anymore and have somewhat of a husk in his stead. Nevermind Diego; can you genuinely envisage Passarella in his prime playing second fiddle?

- Have to agree that Maradona is the first name on an Argentine teamsheet.

- Agree it has to be baby Messi of the Ronaldinho era if he's going to co-exist.

- Seems Di Stefano is the instantaneous fall guy, which really is crazy - which other nation has to omit an institution for another to function? I'm instantly drawn to Sicrea because of Baresi, but perhaps Zidane and Platini?

- The omissions of Mascherano do surprise me, I have to say. What more could he have done in an Argentine shirt to earn his place in the team? Not only that, his deference and 'go fetch and relay' mentality is just perfect for any forward-thinking midfielder around him.

Think I'm learning towards:

----------------------------------------Batistuta
-----------------Kempes-------------------------------Messi (baby)
---‐----------------------------------Maradona
------------------------Redondo-------------Mascherano
Marzolini----------------------------------------------------------------Zanetti
--------------------------------Ayala-------Ruggeri
---------------------------------------Fillol


Unfortunately, removing all potential obstacles and putting willing runners and deferential personalities in who won't take umbrage to/with Maradona.

Kempes out for Burrachaga is also a coin toss. Funny to think he's the player who most looks like he shouldn't be there, on paper, despite being such a crucial foil in '86.
 

Michaelf7777777

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GK Ubaldo Fillol
RB Javier Zanetti
CB Oscar Ruggeri
CB Roberto Perfumo
LB Silvio Marzolini
#5 Fernando Redondo
B2BDM Luis Monti
AM Diego Maradona
RIF Lionel Messi
F9 Alfredo Di Stefano
LIF Angel Labruna
 

Gio

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I’ll go muppet team and then reign it in with a functional one. I think the only way to accommodate Di Stefano, Messi and Maradona in the same team would be to pull Di Stefano back into the middle third. His record as a CF is compelling enough but he's not the right type of striker to really get the best out of Maradona. Something like:



I don't think Messi and Maradona have to be involved in the build-up and they have far superior 1v1 qualities you'd want to maximise against the opposition back line.

The left flank needs some thought. I don’t think Marzolini (a right-footed defensive full-back) fits if the left sided attacker is one of Kempes, Maradona or Ardiles. They’ll all make the pitch narrower which will be compounded by Marzolini.

One option could be to introduce Loustau who wasy all accounts a classic outside-left, in order to provide that play-stretching space for the others:



I reckon Monti/Mascherano/Simeone are all fairly interchangeable. I rate Ayala and Perfumo but Ruggeri is marginally more complementary to Passarella.
 
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BlackShark_80

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On Paper:
Batistuta
Orsi - Maradona - Messi
Redondo - Monti
Marzolini - Passarella - Perfumo - Zanetti
Carrizo​
 
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GodShaveTheQueen

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There are 3 Argentina players not having whom in your team is an absolute crime just for their WC winning exploits. Two are obvious and the 3rd one is KEMPES. If I was active in the dead drafter's society, my nomination would have been the 1978 WC final. Made Krol and co look like a joke by the end.
 

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Seriously forgetting Sivori?? 3 ballon d'or winner?
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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Seriously forgetting Sivori?? 3 ballon d'or winner?
His first best position is not up for debate.

His second best position runs into Kempes.

Also won only one ballon d'or from what I remember.
 

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The thing with Messi and Maradona together is that most would agree that Messi's 'GOAT' claims came in two incarnations - one was the ultimate goalscoring false 9 playing ahead of Xaviesta, winning CLs, smashing El Classico's etc. And the second would be his rejuvenation after that couple of years of slump and taking up that right sided playmaker spot in the MSN attack, catapulting Barca to another CL win and being the architect of that devastating frontline. If we are to have that second version in these teams, then it is pretty difficult to have that co-exist with prime Diego as both are going to be the premier ball handlers, and responsible of controlling the entire attack and creating chances.

Like others have mentioned, only a very very early version of Leo, pretty much pre-Pep, would be the one viable with a prime Diego where he was generally a right winger concentrating on dribbling and goalscoring. To be honest that's still a pretty great presence and possibly better than any other right winger Argentina has produced. But surely not Leo in his prime.
 

Physiocrat

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Nobody going to address the Passarella sized elephant in the room? :wenger:
Is it really that much of a problem? They did hate each other but Passarella wasn't a proper playmaker, more a CB who ⁸would makes lots of off the ball runs from deep like Beckenbauer and Beckenbauer worked with a dominant playmaker in Netzer so I don't see why the Passarella Maradona shouldn't work.

One question though I was thinking about was would Redondo or Ardilles be happy to play second fiddle to Maradona but still be at their best?
 

Isotope

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I don't see any problem with Maradona - Messi. THey have different play characteristic. Maradona likes to leave a mark on every set of play, even dropping deeper, or going left and right. Messi is more stationary up-front, and he doesn't like to run around much.
 

paraguayo

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Players I saw

Roa

Sorin
Samuel
Mascherano
Zanetti

Redondo
Cambiasso
Veron

Messi

Aguero
Batistuta
 

Pat_Mustard

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A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.
Players I saw

Roa

Sorin
Samuel
Mascherano
Zanetti

Redondo
Cambiasso
Veron

Messi

Aguero
Batistuta
Excellent team. The amount of good to great players they've produced in that time frame is exceptional. Ayala, Milito x 2, Simeone, Almeyda, Kily Gonzalez, Claudio Lopez, Aimar, Riquelme, Crespo and no doubt a bunch of others that I've forgotten about in addition to those in your team.
 

harms

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Maradona is the Amun-Ra type supreme god of Argentine football and as such, his berth as a starter is non-negotiable for me, even if Di Stéfano / Messi are both dropped and extra concessions are forcibly made in certain positions. Spiritually, leaving him out would be like excluding Pelé from a Brazilian lineup or Beckenbauer from a German lineup.
That’s fair enough. While I think that Di Stefano and Messi give more quality combined, it’s definitely feels sacrilegious to leave Diego our — more so than literally any other player.

I feel that Ardiles isn’t getting enough credit, it’s such a rarity to see a player combining insane energy levels with truly outstanding technique — he’s like a slightly worse version of Tigana in that regard (with an additional bonus of actually being capable of scoring goals). He also feels very comfortable out wide on either side.
 

harms

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Also I really tried to get Veron in, such an outstanding player at his peak — and you can say that Argentina is a bit weak in the middle (compared to the amount of GOATs further forward). But with Redondo being a certainty and at least one creative GOAT further forward, you really don’t need another playmaker and that set up would need as many water-carriers as possible.
 

Invictus

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That’s fair enough. While I think that Di Stefano and Messi give more quality combined, it’s definitely feels sacrilegious to leave Diego our — more so than literally any other player.

I feel that Ardiles isn’t getting enough credit, it’s such a rarity to see a player combining insane energy levels with truly outstanding technique — he’s like a slightly worse version of Tigana in that regard (with an additional bonus of actually being capable of scoring goals). He also feels very comfortable out wide on either side.
Oh, Ardiles would've been among the first names on the team sheet if I wasn't hyper-focused on Maradona (perhaps to the detriment of the quality of the rest of the midfield?) Cambiasso and Burruchaga are there to mostly serve Maradona in strictly water carrier roles — and while Ossie could do that, it would be somewhat unbecoming for a player of his stature (and with his skill set). Should be a no-brainer in a team featuring Messi, though! :drool:

Brindisi is a great midfield shout, too @Demyanenko_square_jaw — definitely an alternative to Burruchaga as he also paired really well with Maradona (on top of being an outstanding player in his own right)...

 

Michaelf7777777

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Is it really that much of a problem? They did hate each other but Passarella wasn't a proper playmaker, more a CB who ⁸would makes lots of off the ball runs from deep like Beckenbauer and Beckenbauer worked with a dominant playmaker in Netzer so I don't see why the Passarella Maradona shouldn't work.

One question though I was thinking about was would Redondo or Ardilles be happy to play second fiddle to Maradona but still be at their best?
The traditional Argentine midfield structure had 3 midfield roles. The first was a #5 whose job was to sit in front of the defense and organize the defense while setting the team's tempo in offense. Redondo was the greatest player ever in this role in my opinion. The second was a defensive box to box midfielder who was supposed to be mainly focused on winning the ball back but would roam around in their attempts to do so. Diego Simeone is an example of this type of role. Lastly, we have the #10 whose job it is to link the midfield and attack together. In 1986, Argentina played a similar structure with Maradona as the #10, Batista as the #5 and both Burruchaga and Enrique as the defensive box to box midfielders (which was a varient that was also used by Independiente in the 1980's for whom both Burruchaga and Bochini (who was Maradona's backup in the 86 squad and arguably should have played alongside Maradona) played for). So yes, I definately believe that Maradona and Redondo's styles could coexist.
 

Physiocrat

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The traditional Argentine midfield structure had 3 midfield roles. The first was a #5 whose job was to sit in front of the defense and organize the defense while setting the team's tempo in offense. Redondo was the greatest player ever in this role in my opinion. The second was a defensive box to box midfielder who was supposed to be mainly focused on winning the ball back but would roam around in their attempts to do so. Diego Simeone is an example of this type of role. Lastly, we have the #10 whose job it is to link the midfield and attack together. In 1986, Argentina played a similar structure with Maradona as the #10, Batista as the #5 and both Burruchaga and Enrique as the defensive box to box midfielders (which was a varient that was also used by Independiente in the 1980's for whom both Burruchaga and Bochini (who was Maradona's backup in the 86 squad and arguably should have played alongside Maradona) played for). So yes, I definately believe that Maradona and Redondo's styles could coexist.
Ah yes, Batista. I remember watching a couple of all-touch compilations of him and he was definitely a DLP type.
 

Šjor Bepo

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Country of three GOATs and in my opinion 2 can play together without a problem - Di Stefano and Messi.

Fillol
Zanetti Ruggeri Passarella Marzolini
Cambiasso Don Ardiles
Messi Tevez Kempes

Defence is pretty much sorted, two great support players around Don in midfield and decided to go Tevez over Batistuta as i reckon the team would gel better this way, you dont need goals with Messi and Don in the team and Tevez is the ultimate team-player when you talk from a striker perspective. Insane defensive workrate is also a big factor as we all know the wing Messi will do feck all without the ball.

Saying that, that team isnt really close to the elite all-time XIs like Germany or Brazil so in a tournament based competition it might be better to just build a classic team around Diego and pray for a miracle.

Fillol
Zanetti Ruggeri Passarella Marzolini
Ardiles Cambiasso DiMaria
Maradona
Batistuta Kempes​
 

Physiocrat

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Country of three GOATs and in my opinion 2 can play together without a problem - Di Stefano and Messi.

Fillol
Zanetti Ruggeri Passarella Marzolini
Cambiasso Don Ardiles
Messi Tevez Kempes

Defence is pretty much sorted, two great support players around Don in midfield and decided to go Tevez over Batistuta as i reckon the team would gel better this way, you dont need goals with Messi and Don in the team and Tevez is the ultimate team-player when you talk from a striker perspective. Insane defensive workrate is also a big factor as we all know the wing Messi will do feck all without the ball.

Saying that, that team isnt really close to the elite all-time XIs like Germany or Brazil so in a tournament based competition it might be better to just build a classic team around Diego and pray for a miracle.

Fillol
Zanetti Ruggeri Passarella Marzolini
Ardiles Cambiasso DiMaria
Maradona
Batistuta Kempes​
Is the first side with post-Pep Messi? Why won't he step on the Don's toes?
 

Šjor Bepo

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Is the first side with post-Pep Messi? Why won't he step on the Don's toes?
Why would he? Both work well with other superstars and its not their game overlapps in many aspects.
 

Fortitude

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Is it really that much of a problem? They did hate each other but Passarella wasn't a proper playmaker, more a CB who ⁸would makes lots of off the ball runs from deep like Beckenbauer and Beckenbauer worked with a dominant playmaker in Netzer so I don't see why the Passarella Maradona shouldn't work.

One question though I was thinking about was would Redondo or Ardilles be happy to play second fiddle to Maradona but still be at their best?
Passarella was unimpressed by his demotion, stating in an interview “either I’m first choice or I’m not playing for Argentina” in October 1985. Passarella continued to play but the team went into the tournament divided: “Daniel Passarella could never accept the fact that I was the only certain starter and the captain of Bilardo’s team, never. So he started to put on pressure,” Maradona recalled. “We had a heated meeting in Mexico where we really had a go at each other, getting everything out in the open, telling it like it was… I arrived at the meeting fifteen minutes late, together with the other ‘rebels’ (that’s what we were according to Passarella) [Pedro] Pasculli, [Sergio] Batista, [Luis] Islas… we were fifteen minutes late, hardly late at all by Argentinian standards. So we had to swallow a lecture by Passarella, with his dictator-like style: how could the captain arrive late, this that and the other. I let him go on, I let him go on. Finally I said, ‘have you finished? Okay, so now let’s talk about you’. And I told them, the whole squad, everything he was, everything he’d done, everything I knew about him. And the ensuing mess was big, big, big!”

Passarella made claims about Maradona’s drug use and insinuated he was leading the younger players astray, while Maradona retorted with an unpaid phone bill for the squad Passarella had failed to own up to and his boasts about an affair with a teammate’s wife. “And then [Jorge] Valdano jumped up: ‘You’re a shit!’ he shouted at Passarella. That’s when all hell broke loose.” Fortunately, Passarella had to leave the camp before the tournament started after being struck down with enterocolitis, meaning that the squad was no longer split into two camps as they began their games. “The only truth is that Passarella wanted to win the group over like that, by sowing discord, making things up, putting spokes into the works. He wanted to win them back ever since he’d lost the captaincy and the leadership; it had really stuck in his throat. He’d been a good captain, yes, and I always said so. But I was the one who displaced him: the great captain, the true great captain, was, is and always will be me.”
This is before Maradona became prime and his ego went to another stratosphere compared to then. They are polar opposites and I think it would be a huge issue - Passarella needs the conditions to go forward; Maradona would be the key to whether that could happen. I don't see him making the concessions, and Passarella's ego is not going to allow him to be treated as the second fiddle being told or controlled on when he could and couldn't maraud - he was the captain in his own right, remember?

I put Redondo in because I took Passarella out, too, btw. Just another timebomb there.
 
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Physiocrat

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Why would he? Both work well with other superstars and its not their game overlapps in many aspects.
Wouldn't post-Pep Messi want more of the ball in the final third than the Don would like? Whilst both played with superstars, in their playmaking versions everyone deferred to them. That's my concern.
 

Šjor Bepo

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Wouldn't post-Pep Messi want more of the ball in the final third than the Don would like? Whilst both played with superstars, in their playmaking versions everyone deferred to them. That's my concern.
There is a view like Puskas, Kopa and Gento all played like Pedro just so Don could do his thing. Yes, Puskas did focus more on scoring and changed his game but when you have 4 WC players that can pretty much carry the team on their own someone has to give but even then he was still pretty involved in the build up.
Don actually shared a ball a lot, you still had to provide him a platform to do his magic and wonder around the pitch as he decides it seems fit but i see no issue with majority of players, it would had to be one of the more dominant egos to do so - someone like Cruyff.
Messi on the other side had a great relationship with Neymar who loved the ball in the final third so dont think there would be any issue with Don, specially given the fact its just them as creative force of the team.
 

2mufc0

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Maradona is the Amun-Ra type supreme god of Argentine football and as such, his berth as a starter is non-negotiable for me, even if Di Stéfano / Messi are both dropped and extra concessions are forcibly made in certain positions. Spiritually, leaving him out would be like excluding Pelé from a Brazilian lineup or Beckenbauer from a German lineup.
This 100%, his legacy in Argentina is untouchable.
 

Gio

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The thing with Messi and Maradona together is that most would agree that Messi's 'GOAT' claims came in two incarnations - one was the ultimate goalscoring false 9 playing ahead of Xaviesta, winning CLs, smashing El Classico's etc. And the second would be his rejuvenation after that couple of years of slump and taking up that right sided playmaker spot in the MSN attack, catapulting Barca to another CL win and being the architect of that devastating frontline. If we are to have that second version in these teams, then it is pretty difficult to have that co-exist with prime Diego as both are going to be the premier ball handlers, and responsible of controlling the entire attack and creating chances.

Like others have mentioned, only a very very early version of Leo, pretty much pre-Pep, would be the one viable with a prime Diego where he was generally a right winger concentrating on dribbling and goalscoring. To be honest that's still a pretty great presence and possibly better than any other right winger Argentina has produced. But surely not Leo in his prime.
The playmaking primacy of these players reflects their status as the best playmaker in their team. They assume that mantle because there is a creative gap behind them, either because of the system (eg Pep 433 with Messi as f9) or because of the calibre and style of player behind them. For instance Messi circa 2015 assumed a more creative gig because the midfield had become more workmanlike compared to its earlier peak. And that continued through around 2017/18 where the deeper Messi dropped, the less effective the rest of the team had become.

In a stacked set up like this, there is no need for both Messi or Maradona to drop into the centre of the park. Messi is the GOAT at dribbling in from the right flank, he can do that alongside Diego. As long as his starting position is not too close to Maradona, then it should be fine. Whatever we lose in playmaking from the #10 position is a relatively small price to pay to get the two greats on the park at the same time.
 

Physiocrat

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This is before Maradona became prime and his ego went to another stratosphere compared to then. They are polar opposites and I think it would be a huge issue - Passarella needs the conditions to go forward; Maradona would be the key to whether that could happen. I don't see him making the concessions, and Passarella's ego is not going to allow him to be treated as the second fiddle being told or controlled on when he could and couldn't maraud - he was the captain in his own right, remember?

I put Redondo in because I took Passarella out, too, btw. Just another timebomb there.
I didn't realise they hated each other that much. If Passarella goes out who can play a sweeper CB role?
 

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The other great Argentine central defenders in my opinion are in order Roberto Perfumo, Rafael Albrecht and Roberto Ayala