a World Cup wish, its candidates and why it sees less and less Argentine football

Already on vacation in Argentina after having shared days with his teammates from the National Team under the orders of Lionel Scaloni, Leandro Paredes (he was unable to play as he was still not 100% fit after the abdominal operation they did in April) talked about everything and everyone: the Selected, the undefeated and the group, Scaloni; the season at PSG with Messi, the next World Cup, Boca and Argentine football. In dialogue with La Red, we share their best phrases on the respective topics.

Walls with De Paul and Messi.


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The group: “After we were eliminated in the 2019 Cup, after which we played for third and fourth place, the way we played and how we experienced the elimination with Brazil and others, the group became stronger than it was. The results helped keep growing”.

*”We really enjoy being in the National Team, playing and day-to-day. Being on the pitch, getting together and enjoying other things outside of football. It’s a privilege to wear the shirt and we have a great time.”

*”We became strong, the youngsters. Lio always says it, they are the youngsters who became great very quickly, references of the National Team. Beyond their image, Leo, Ota and Fide are very important. Behind them, we we made strong as a group and how they treat us.

Walls with people in Bilbao (EFE).

Walls with people in Bilbao (EFE).

His position as 5: “Football improved and progressed, the games are more colorful. I was a victim but I never felt that way. I knew what I could give to the National Team, the coach and my teammates as well. That gave me the confidence I needed to achieve what I did and as a group. I don’t know that I’m indisputable either, the only one is Leo. The rest of us have to keep showing in every training session and game that we’re up to the task”.

The trust: “From the first moment we trusted the coaching staff and coach a lot. Just like him with us. We went hand in hand growing as a group and a team, improving after each training session and match. He kept a large part of the group he was in the first time”.

Paredes with the ball in a 2021 game.

Paredes with the ball in a 2021 game.

The match against Italy: “Surely yes, but it was an important test. There was talk in Argentina that we had to give a test with a European team. We gave a more than good one, we played against one of the best countries in the world. We did it in the best way, we were protagonists the 90 minutes. It was more than important”.

Collective pressure: “Lio (Messi) is not a player who can press the whole game. When he activates, we activate ourselves so that the next one comes out in the best way and we can recover as quickly as possible. If we don’t recover quickly, we don’t have natural recovery players. . If we lose possession, we will suffer. We try to recover in the short term.”

Undefeated: “It’s important but it doesn’t worry us. If we think about it, the day we lose we’re going to suffer a lot. We go day by day, keep improving and winning for our confidence, not thinking about the undefeated. Surely, winning and being champion gave us confidence, it was seen after the Copa América, we loosened up a little more. It was a great relief.”

Midfield: “It is demonstrated in this National Team, the three midfielders that we play are almost always three former hitches who play as central and internal midfielders, who had never done it before. He gave us play and dynamics with Gio and Rodri, very good”.

Scaloni virtues: “The confidence that he gives you, being close, talking a lot and making things clear to you, which he wants. It’s more than important.”

The cut in the list for the World Cup: “We are not talking about the list, but it will be an important and difficult decision for the coach. There are very good players and leaving anyone out will be difficult.”

Paredes with his children after the game with Italy.

Paredes with his children after the game with Italy.

The level of your peers: “Undisputed in the National Team, it’s difficult taking Leo out. Obviously there are players who are doing very well like Cuti, Dibu, Rodri, Gio, Lautaro. There are players who have been doing very well for a long time”.

“The Argentines are crazy, the euphoria for the National Team and football. That they fill the stadiums is incredible, it gives us strength.”


“There are chances for everyone, we depend on many things. We are going to try to try.”

Candidates? “France, Spain play very well, England have very good players. It will be very difficult.”

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His first season at PSG: “It was not easy this year, it was complicated. Leo’s first year was not easy after 20 years in Barcelona. These last few months he has been much better and we hope that next year he will start it in the best way for his good.” and we”.

The adaptation to Paris: “I lived it and was with them. They ended up suffering more by leaving them at school. It’s what you don’t see.”

Lean with Leo in Paris (AFP).

Lean with Leo in Paris (AFP).

The disapproval of the people: “It was weird, people were angry about the Champions issue. It was weird to see Leo whistled at. It was hard for him and us. There are things we can’t handle.”

He wants Messi to win the World Cup: “I would love it and I would be much happier for him than for me. It would be a football award.”

The last World Cup? “I don’t know, I hope it’s not Leo’s last World Cup. It’s not going to be easy for him to wait four years for the next one. If he wants to play as a five, central defender, ha ha.”


Difference between South America and Europe: “Surely it is difficult, they are used to something else. They will never know what it is to come to these games, play at high altitude, with the heat of Colombia, of those places. It is different. It is what we have to do Each one with what they can try to qualify for the World Cup and we are more than happy”.

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His next season: “I’m staying in Paris.”

PSG’s next manager: “I don’t know if it’s true or rumor about Gallardo. We have a DT to whom we owe respect. If the club decides to change him, if it’s Gallardo or another, we’ll see later. Gallardo is a great DT and he will do football very well , but we have a DT and we owe him respect”.

PSG season: “In the Champions League we lacked taking care of the result. We had played a very good game in Paris, in Madrid we played 60 spectacular minutes, we needed to be more damned to take care of the result”.

He will continue at PSG for one more season.

He will continue at PSG for one more season.

*”Real Madrid was demonstrated in this Champions League. In no group stage match was it better than the other teams and beat them all”.

Mbappe: “I had the illusion that he would stay, he is an important and young player. Luckily, he stayed”.

The spent of Neymar post triumph with Italy: “I didn’t talk to Neymar. He doesn’t do it that way. He always has that humor, he doesn’t do it with bad intentions.”

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Reception at the Bombonera: “What I experienced yesterday was unbelievable. I didn’t know they were going to do that to me, receive me like this. A very nice surprise.”

Entertained in the Bombonera.

Entertained in the Bombonera.

Return: “I’m still young, I have a lot to enjoy in Europe. I want to stay. Surely, try to return to Boca at the time and, if not, I’ll stay there.”

*”Roman knows very well. He told me, I have much more time left in Europe. I am very well. When the time comes to return, I will do it. I do not want to excite anyone”.

*”From Argentina I miss my friends, my family. Being at a table chatting about soccer, life, playing cards”.

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Julian Alvarez: “He is doing things very well, he is very young, he has a lot ahead of him, to improve. He has very good conditions, he is very focused. He wants to learn and continue improving, he will surely do very well. He has to go to a very important club like I hope that City has the desire and enthusiasm to continue improving and growing. That will surely lead to success”.

Julian with Argentina (Quinteros).

Julian with Argentina (Quinteros).

“I see less and less because they play ugly here. It is difficult for a team to play well. Vélez, River, Defense and Justice. There are not many who try to play. Boca sometimes does not need to play well having good players to do it. He did not find the game but they ended up winning the last championship.