Argentina plans farewell game with Nicaragua
• Aimar joins Sampaoli’s coaching staff
Argentina plans to meet Nicaragua in its farewell match before flying out to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
The Albiceleste has been trying to arrest its latest bad results in recent matches and it is expected that a win against the fellow Latin Americans would boost the players’ psyche ahead of the World Cup where it will face Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland in the first round.
In recent friendlies, Argentina lost 4-2 to Nigeria late last year, beat Italy 2-0 before suffering a humiliating 6-1 defeat in the hands of Spain.
Even with the bad turns, the Argentines believe Russia is a great opportunity for them to win the title they last had in 1986. It is also expected to be Lionel Messi’s last realistic chance of joining such Argentine greats as Mario Kempes and Diego Maradona as World Cup winners.
The match against Nicaragua will hold on May 29 at La Bombonera, home of Boca Juniors.
However, with the final of the UEFA Champions League being on May 26, some of their top stars may not be available for the game.
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Diego Perotti (AS Roma), Federico Fazio (AS Roma), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Joaquin Correa (Sevilla), Guido Pizzaro (Sevilla), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) and Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) are all at the later stage of the Champions League and may not be in the party if their teams reach the final of Europe’s biggest club championship.
Meanwhile, Pablo Aimar has officially joined the Argentina coaching staff.
After having joined the Argentina coaching staff on their recent trips for the friendly matches against Italy and Spain, Aimar has now joined the staff and will be part of the team, which goes to Russia for the World Cup.