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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

Diego Simeone's son fulfills prophecy with debut goal for Argentina

Giovanni Simeone scored on his debut for Argentina against Guatemala on Friday.

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer-Argentina at Guatemala 23-year-old Giovanni Simeone scores against Guatemala. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

GIOVANNI SIMEONE SAYS his goal-scoring debut for Argentina was the realisation of a path long anticipated by famous father Diego.

The Fiorentina striker netted the final goal in a 3-0 friendly win over Guatemala in Los Angeles as he became the second member of his family to represent the Albiceleste.

His debut arrived 16 years after dad Diego finished a glittering a 14-year international career that included 106 caps and selection for three World Cups.

And the younger Simeone revealed the Atletico Madrid boss has touted his national team potential since the early part of his career with River Plate.

“As a kid when I played at River, my old man said that one day I would be here,” the 23-year-old told TyC Sports.

Marseille v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Europa League - Final - Parc Olympique Lyonnais The 48-year-old led Atletico to the Europa League in 2017/18. Source: Nick Potts

“I had several opportunities [in the match] and I am very happy because I have great team-mates who are always giving everything to be able to win.

“There were many nerves, anxiety and desire to see this new Argentina.

“In the first half we did everything we had to do and in the second we were a little more tired, but I think we played a great game.”

Argentina’s encouraging performance in the absence of Lionel Messi went some way to justifying interim coach Lionel Scaloni’s investment in youth.

Jorge Sampaoli’s former assistant handed out 11 debuts in his first match in charge and was pleased with what he saw.

“The least important was my debut,” Scaloni told his post-match news conference.

“The most important thing was the debut of many of the guys and the goal is fulfilled. We hope they are the future.

“We are proud that these guys have been able to play for the first time with the national team. They understood very well what it is like to play with this shirt.”

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