Sampaoli calls for Argentina to match 'incredible' Messi

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying

But manager Jorge Celico - who was appointed a few weeks ago to replace Gustavo Quinteros - has said the team wants to end the qualifying campaign with a win over Argentina. Jorge Sampaoli is yet to win an official game with La Albiceleste, and the team is now riding a four-game winless streak with three draws and one defeat.

This most poignant of moments is the sad culmination of years of frustration for a stunning generation of youth prospects that included Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Juan Riquelme. Moreover, their failed qualification would be the first time in our lifetime that we would not be able to watch the "blue and white stripes" gracing a world cup stage. "They must play and chase the game because they need the victory and maybe the draw won't be enough for them, this is where Colombia must have patience and look for spaces", he said.

However, they are quite complicated on the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers, and they now sit sixth with 25 points. To make things even more complicated, they have not won in Quito since 2001.

Marcos Rojo, Ramiro Funes Mori and Fernando Gago are out as well due to injury. In fact, across the entire campaign Argentina and its talent-rich attacking stocks have produced a paltry 16 goals - a tally that puts it above only last placed Bolivia in the group.

Having romped to the 2005 Youth World Cup, then backed up winning the Olympic gold medal at Beijing in 2008, it was considered only a matter of time before this crew brought home the Jules Rimet for its adoring fans.

Argentina are yet to win in the Qualifiers since the arrival of Jorge Sampaoli. The latter tore his anterior cruciate ligament during Friday's draw against Peru. We will continue searching, as we did with Venezuela and Peru'.

Both sides have been on negative runs.

To keep it simple, Argentina must beat Ecuador on Wednesday to ensure a meeting with New Zealand in the play-offs, and if they do and Brazil avoid defeat against Chile they will progress automatically.

Ecuador have posted a 4W 1D 3L record at home.

The Vino Tinto squad is comprised of nine of their Under-20 World Cup finalists who were defeated by England in the summer, and they will go to Asuncion without fear following draws with Argentina and Uruguay.

Argentina need to win the match to keep themselves alive.

Former England worldwide Rachel Yankey explains how players keep themselves motivated and admits the challenges of a long global qualification campaign. Lionel Messi has not been playing well of late, and he needs to re-discover his FC Barcelona form playing for La Albiceleste. Come to think of it, that was even before than most of us were born.

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