Argentina ran out 3-0 winners against Honduras at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium last night, with national footballing treasure Lionel Messi bagging a brace on either side of half-time to seal all three points against the CONCACAF outfit.
Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martínez had opened the scoring in the 16th minute and set Argentina on to a commanding performance that arguably should have featured five or six goals for the South American giants in a performance that extended their unbeaten run to 34 matches.
In what is being billed by some as the nation’s best chance to win the World Cup since the emergence of Messi on the international stage, for the first time in years La Albiceleste can call upon a player pool that not only boasts a depth of talent in the attacking third, but highly credible options in midfield as well as in the back line while sporting a tactical approach that exudes not just confidence, but one that has finally been stripped of its force-fed overreliance on the nation’s footballing hero.
But unfortunately for Giovanne Simeoni, his chance to come into the fold in time for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar may still pass him by as the son of Atlético Madrid manager and former Argentine international midfielder Diego Simeone has spoken out on his desire to be part of Lionel Scaloni’s squad for the winter tournament.
Simeone, now at SSC Napoli on a season-long loan from Hellas Verona, has come into the 2022-23 Serie A season on the back of a brilliant 2021-22 campaign in the city made famous by William Shakespeare after he bagged 17 goals and added 6 assists to his CV last term for I Mastini while helping the club achieve a 9th place finish for the second time in three seasons and only the fourth occasion they finished higher than 10th since 1986-87.
That form was good enough to see him joint-third in the race for the Paolo Rossi Award along with Juventus’ Serbian starlet Dušan Vlahović and AS Roma’s Tammy Abraham.
Despite a fantastic season, Simeone is, unfortunately, part of a national player pool oozing with attacking quality, with Scaloni’s latest call-ups in the forward line including the aforementioned Messi and Martínez as well as Ángel Di María, Paulo Dybala, Julián Álvarez, Joaquín Correa, Ángel Correa, and Nicolás Gonzalez.
Though he has received five caps to date and has already opened his international account when he scored on his debut in a 3-0 win against Guatemala in 2018, the former U20 youth international goalscoring machine has only an outside shot at making Scaloni’s team and his summer loan move to SSC Napoli may not have done him any favors.
Now the proud owner of his Champions League goal after helping Napoli to a 4-1 win over Liverpool to open their European campaign this season, Simeone has yet to feature in the starting XI under Luciano Spalletti on the domestic front while logging just 64-minutes of action in Serie A while also adding one goal to his tally.
Napoli might be the bigger club, but the now 27-year-old will have to fight tooth and nail to win additional time over clubmates Victor Osimhen, Hirving Lozano, Matteo Politano, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, and Giacomo Raspadori if he is to have any chance of appearing on the world’s biggest stage in two months time.