Rodrigo de Paul imagined it. but not like this “We’ve been through years not playing the Copa America in our country. And we have the opportunity to live that way,” he said. “We know the passion of the Argentinian people. We knew the stadium was going to explode. We know every team playing will not just face us but 60,000 or 70,000 people shouting. We saw it in Brazil two years ago. It was like they were playing with a special guy. This year it̵7;s our turn With us we will be stronger, but…”
But Argentina is heading back to Brazil. The Copa America was supposed to start at Monumental in Buenos Aires on June 12, 2020, but will start at Mané Garrincha in Brasilia on Sunday. Starting the next night with Chile in Rio. The match was delayed a year, with co-host Colombia losing the match amid political unrest on May 20. Ten days later, Argentina also surrendered. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the next day the 2019 hosts stepped in if they weren’t willing.
2019 winners Argentina also lost 2-0 in the semi-finals, with Brazilian Lionel Messi sent off in the third round. Refusing to attend the medal ceremony and banned the match 3 matches from saying the match was correct However, De Paul insisted the Argentine was “proud”.
He has something deeper and more important than disappointment: a new era, a new hope after the 2018 World Cup, a new generation under manager Lionel Scaloni, who look to be successful this month. It’s one of the Udinese midfielders who has stood at heart – even if it drew him. friendHe calls himself a “spare tire”, which is a very telling description of how he views football. A collective consciousness consistent with his qualities.
“This process starts with [last] “With the new players we got 14 shots from Brazilian goals, hit the crossbar, the posts.” We started a process that followed the same path: we beat Brazil. draw with Uruguay Draw with Germany in Dortmund Beat Mexico, draw with Chile, win in La Paz, which we haven’t done in 20 years, we went nine and 10 games without losing, every outcome we have less doubt. we grow up virus interrupt But I think the process is good.”
He then added that and for that process We have the best captain we can have. I’m not going to talk about his football level. because it is too much to discuss As a person and guide, Leo [Messi] incomparable With him everything will be easier.
“At the human level I only contacted him once at Valencia-Barcelona. We’re talking 2014, other than that, I don’t know him. With everything he lives in – you can’t go anywhere. Step into the airport and 200 people are there – he might be a reserved character. So he surprised me. he enjoys having friend, enjoy listening to music, enjoy Tips [cards]. We do a warm-up game where you dribble, jump hoops, shoot. I say: ‘Leo; I’ll take you.’ He loves that. humanized You can see him in another dimension. But he is a person.”
But can you win? DePaul laughed, “No, it’s not possible. And I’ll tell you if I do, right? You can try to repel him. try anything But it is impossible.”
De Paul defeated them. which is the program that Scaloni undertook Listening to him analyze his game is to see why. So depth and understanding are outstanding. “Scaloni understands me. Deployment [physical coverage] and understanding the tactics taught by Italy,” de Paul said. “With this we can cover Leo Paredes and help Messi. I have Deployment to press the lintel or end cap How do I describe my role? I’m like a spare tire Often, important players stay with me.”
It’s an unflattering description (myself) for Captain Udinese among A standout player in Serie A, with nine goals and nine assists this season. “But I have no problem saying that,” he insisted, “and everything I have to do to put on the Argentine shirt, I will do it, everything comes at its own pace. There were moments when he had to go into the box, break the line, to help Leo stay fresh in attacking or grabbing Paredes. you fill them
“People talk about goals and assists. But I’m looking for statistics on the return of the ball the day before. I almost tripled in the first year: it was 150, now more than 400. What I don’t have now I do. Now you think: ‘OK, what’s next? What was missing?’ The day I retired from Argentina. Maybe because some people are better Not because I’m not working I prefer to pass the ball more than score goals. And there are moments that have to throw themselves into the extraction I have no problem doing that. And I don’t want to be on the first page.”
That made De Paul an interesting proposition, with Atletico Madrid interested, the Premier League has called and will again. A quick-deleted tweet last fall responded to reports of a move to Leeds with a crossed finger. He’s gone nowhere; He seems to be possible. His spouse is more important. And Udinese will be alert to the market.
“I’m very sincere. It’s clear who I have to be clear with,” De Paul said. “I say what I think. what i want I’m 27 now, I won’t say it anywhere else because I respect everyone at Udinese, especially the fans who really love me.”
Another Copa America, more pressure, more expectations. Argentina has been runner-up twice. World Cup runner-up as well. But it’s still not enough Messi saw it as a failure. “For me, they are heroes,” De Paul said. “I understand that the people of Argentina want trophies, wins, because people ask football teams what they don’t get in other areas: government, work, insecurity because no one demands from anyone Who will unload They turned to football.
“The important thing is to arrive on the first day and try to leave on the last day. In the final, the ball hit the post, it was a centimeter. football is the moment You cannot judge by missed penalties.”
Now Argentina try again, even if it’s not the way they want. But the tournament is mired in crisis, which lacks the usual enthusiasm. “We live in a time when no one teaches us how to live. And we have to be very careful at every step,” De Paul said. “The fans have brought life to football and I want them to come back soon with all my heart. They make it as beautiful as the players do. But now it is up to us to bring that happiness into their homes.”