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Argentina must get most out of Lionel Messi in World Cup - Lucas Biglia

Lucas Biglia (left) said it will be necessary for Argentina to play as a team around Lionel Messi.

Argentina international Lucas Biglia believes his national team is "ordinary" without Lionel Messi yet admits the South American giants must learn how to get the best out of the Barcelona superstar without wearing him out.

Messi scored a hat trick in Argentina's final qualifier, a 3-1 win at Ecuador on Oct. 10, to book their place in the World Cup in Russia.

The Albiceleste went into that game in danger of missing out not only on direct qualification but even a spot in the playoffs.

"We got accustomed...

AFA president hopes Lionel Messi plays fewer games for Barcelona

Lionel Messi hopes that Argentina will reach another World Cup final, but admits he's focusing on the group stage first.
MLS MVP Diego Valeri chats with the FC crew about a surprising offseason for Portland and the case for fellow Argentinian Lionel Messi as the best ever.

Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia has said he would be pleased if Lionel Messi played less for Barcelona in the remainder of the season so he arrives at the World Cup in top condition.

Messi has featured in all 23 of Barca's La Liga games this campaign, 22 of them starts, also starting five Copa del Rey games and playing in all six of their Champions League matches.

Tapia told TyC Sports: "We hope all the players arrive at the level they are at, which is very high.

"[Sergio]...

 By Chris Wright

Diego Maradona blacks out Sergio Aguero's face in family photo

Diego Maradona has inadvertently proved that his ongoing rift with former son-in-law Sergio Aguero shows no signs of being healed in the near future.

Matias Morla, the lawyer for the Argentine legend, shared a seemingly innocuous photo on social media -- only for eagle-eyed followers to pounce on a small but poignant detail in the background.

Hanging on the wall is a photo of Aguero holding Maradona's grandson, Benjamin, who is wearing an Atletico Madrid shirt, but the Manchester City striker's...

Argentine coach Cristian Neira quits after benched player pulls gun

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- A coach in the lower divisions of Argentine football quit after being threatened at gunpoint by a benched player.

Coach Cristian Neira of the Escuela Presidente Roca club, in one of the regional lower divisions in the Cordoba province north of Buenos Aires, quit after midfielder Cesar Pagani pulled a gun during training and demanded to be included in the starting lineup on Thursday, said president of the Cordoba Football League Emeterio Farias.

"The coach quit," Farias...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Real Madrid watching Mauro Icardi closely - Argentina's Jorge Sampaoli

Inter Milan playmaker Mauro Icardi is a long-term target for Real Madrid, his Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has said.

Sampaoli spoke to journalists at the airport in Buenos Aires as he returned from a European tour.

"I spoke to Icardi," he said, "and I told him that, if he doesn't relax in the second part of the season, he will be called up for the World Cup this summer.

"I also know that Real Madrid are following him closely."

Icardi has been linked with a move away from San Siro in recent days,...