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Argentina showing signs of renewal under Lionel Scaloni

Interim coach Lionel Scaloni admits he's uncertain if Lionel Messi will return to the national team, but is optimistic for the newcomers to the side.
Argentina interim head coach Lionel Scaloni quashes claims of a rift with Paulo Dybala after the Juve star started on the bench against Colombia.

The Nations League is giving European national team football a welcome shot of competitive action. A similar thing happened to South America in 1996, when the current marathon format of World Cup qualification was introduced.

Until that point, the continent's 10 teams were split into groups. The process was a quick one, and there were times when the teams -- especially those who failed to make the cut -- would have massive gaps between competitive fixtures.

From 1996, all that came to an end. Instead...

Argentina players support Lionel Scaloni for permanent manager

Several Argentina players said interim boss Lionel Scaloni should be given the job on a permanent basis and that the current under-20s team manager has earned the confidence of the senior squad.

"We are working well with him, it is a staff that helps and supports us, obviously we want him to continue, but is not our decision," Argentina midfielder Paulo Dybala said after their 2-0 win over Mexico on Friday. 

"He gives us the liberty [to play] and makes us work in a good way," the Juventus star...

Mexico struggles in Argentina loss; Paulo Dybala's drought continues

CORDOBA, Argentina -- A goal from Ramiro Funes Mori and an own goal from Isaac Brizuela secured a 2-0 win for Argentina against Mexico on Friday in Estadio Mario Kempes in the first of two games between the sides this international break.

Here are three talking points:

1. Mexico forced to adapt in rare road match

Mexico interim boss Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti has regularly been talking up the need for the Mexican national team to play these kinds of more difficult away games. But as the "Mexican" wave...

Argentina beat Mexico on Ramiro Funes Mori's header, Isaac Brizuela's gaffe

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MexicoMexico
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Ramiro Funes Mori headed in a first-half goal as Argentina beat Mexico 2-0 on Friday.

A first-half header from defender Ramiro Funes Mori and a second-half own goal from substitute Isaac Brizuela gave Argentina a 2-0 win over Mexico in a friendly in Cordoba on Friday.

The Villareal centre-half opened the scoring a minute before half time when he got his head to a Paulo Dybala free kick as Mexican defenders stood back and watched.

Then Brizuela, who had replaced Miguel Layun only three minutes earlier, put through his own net eight minutes from time to seal a deserved win for the...

How jaded fans can still appreciate Lionel Messi on the 15th anniversary of his Barca debut

The fact that Lionel Messi makes the extraordinary look ordinary at times shouldn't diminish just how brilliant he is.
The fact that Lionel Messi makes the extraordinary look ordinary at times shouldn't diminish just how brilliant he is.

Sporting greatness is a form of anesthetic -- it has a numbing effect. The first time you watch Simone Biles skip across the floor, Roger Federer execute a perfect drop shot or Lewis Hamilton take a corner in the driving rain, you're utterly enchanted. By the hundredth time you see them do it, there's a danger that you will become immune to the sheer wonder, the same way you might if you'd grown up with your bedroom looking out toward the Northern Lights.

For that reason, there's a risk that...