Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said on Thursday that he is optimistic angel di maria and rodrigo De Paul will be in the World Cup quarter-final against the Netherlands. Di Maria missed the round of 16 win over Australia through injury and there are concerns about the fitness of midfielder De Paul, who played every minute of the tournament in Qatar. “They’re doing well. Today we’ll be meeting them in practice to decide the squad,” Scaloni said, clearly displeased by reports that De Paul is being treated for a hamstring problem.
“Yesterday we trained behind closed doors and I don’t know where this information is coming from,” he raged.
“The truth is always after a game, there are players who practice individually or half-time based on the minutes played.
“Today we will make a decision on how to approach the game. That is the most important thing.”
Argentina face the Netherlands on Friday to repeat their 2014 semi-final clash in Brazil, where South America won on penalties after a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes.
The two countries have met five times before at the World Cup, including the 1978 final, which Argentina won 3-1 after extra time. Argentina have never beaten the Netherlands in 90 minutes.
Scaloni said: “Yesterday they took the penalty kick. They always continue to practice penalty shootouts in practice.
“It’s all down to luck when you get the penalty kick. I hope we don’t do that and win the previous game.”
“Football can be very beautiful sometimes and sometimes it can be cruel,” he added.
The Netherlands are unbeaten in 19 matches since Louis van Gaal returned to charge for the third time last August.
Van Gaal was also responsible when the Netherlands missed their chance to reach the World Cup final for the fourth time.
Instead, Argentina’s team led by Alejandro Sabella advanced before losing 0-1 to Germany in the final after extra time. Thursday marks two years since Sabella’s death.
Sabella died in 2020 at the age of 66, less than two weeks after the death of Diego Maradona after years of battling cancer and heart disease.
“Today is a sad day for us. This is a huge loss for Argentina because of all he has given us and the values he has passed on to us. I want to remind people of him,” Scaloni said.
“We will give everything for this shirt to represent our country. When the game is over, I really hope we can be satisfied with the result. And if not, I hope. people can sympathize with us.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from an aggregated feed.)
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