Jorge Sampaoli insisted that playing Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala together involves too much risk as Argentina are desperately fighting to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Argentina are set to lock horns with Peru on Thursday with Sampaoli’s men determined to hold on to their fifth place in the CONMEBOL standings, which would be enough to secure a place in the play-off berth.
And Argentina boss Sampaoli made it clear that he is not willing to play Barcelona legend Lionel Messi and Juventus hero Paulo Dybala together in the same line-up – as there is no time to develop a partnership between the Argentine duo.
“As there is no time to work the Dybala-Messi relationship, we should go to something more concrete,” said Sampaoli, who is confident that Argentina will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Dybala, who has made an incredible start to the season – with 12 goals to his name for Juventus in Serie A, had previously insisted that it is very difficult to play with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, as the pair play in the same positions.
On Dybala’s comments, Sampaoli said: “I don’t see what Dybala said as something bad. He said that he was happy to play with Messi, but he just did not find his place.”
Sampaoli added: “Leo needs to move in the field normally as he does with his club. To invent a position or to structure him, that would be crazy.
“When we use the 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.”