Argentina contemplates Angel Di Maria’s return for clash against Brazil

Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni hints at veteran winger Angel Di Maria’s potential return for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Brazil at Maracana stadium. Despite considering changes, Scaloni emphasizes focusing on the present challenges.

In preparation for the FIFA World Cup qualifier clash against Brazil at Maracana stadium, Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni revealed the possibility of veteran winger Angel Di Maria making a return to the starting lineup.

Following a vibrant second-half performance against Uruguay, signaling his full recovery from a leg muscle injury, Di Maria, 35, is being considered for a starting role in the match, as disclosed by Scaloni in a press conference on Monday.

While contemplating changes, Scaloni indicated that Di Maria might replace Porto midfielder Nico Gonzalez for the pivotal encounter in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, Inter Milan captain Lautaro Martinez could feature, potentially taking the place of Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez.


Scaloni clarified that alterations to the lineup wouldn’t be solely based on the players’ previous performances. Instead, tactical considerations against the opponents would dictate any changes.

Argentina, currently leading the South American qualifying group with 12 points from five games, is set to face a Brazil squad that sits fifth in the standings, eager to bounce back from recent inconsistencies.

Despite Brazil’s erratic form under manager Fernando Diniz, Scaloni cautioned against underestimating the five-time world champions, emphasizing their perennial threat.

The upcoming qualifier marks Argentina’s return to Maracana stadium, the site of their victorious 2021 Copa America campaign. Scaloni stressed the need to focus on the present challenge, steering clear of relying on past glories.

Acknowledging the anticipated electric atmosphere with a packed 78,000-seat venue, Scaloni urged his team to concentrate on the task at hand, emphasizing the importance of living in the moment rather than dwelling on previous accomplishments.

“We are playing against Brazil on their own turf. It won’t help us to think about the Copa America,” said Scaloni. “We have to focus on the present because that is what’s important.”


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