Mourinho expects big World Cup from Dybala, suggests Argentina owe Roma

·2-min read

Paulo Dybala's fine performances for Roma are good news for Argentina with the 2022 World Cup on the horizon, according to Jose Mourinho.

Two goals from Dybala against Monza on Tuesday – his first for Roma – fired the Giallorossi to the top of the Serie A table with a 3-0 win.

The forward, signed from Juventus in this transfer window, had not scored more than once in a Serie A match since April 2018.

But this brace took Dybala to 100 goals in the competition for his career; he is only the eighth player since 2004-05 to pass 100 goals and 50 assists.

Roma coach Mourinho is working to ensure Dybala remains in top condition, having started all four matches so far this season but been substituted in each of them.

Dybala never started 30 league games in a single season for Juve, too often beset by injury problems that also impacted his international career.

In this form, Dybala will have a key role for Argentina in Qatar in November, so Mourinho is expecting gratitude from Albiceleste coach Lionel Scaloni.

"In the other games, he couldn't quite pull off the things he wanted to at times, but he never showed the wrong attitude," Mourinho said of Dybala after the Monza game. "Great.

"For me, there can be times when a talented player helps his side but he's also a bit isolated from it.

"But with us, Paulo is a great talent who also plays for and with the team. Right now, when it comes to the defensive side of the game, he's doing a great job for us – and that's not something that he was born to do.

"When he came off today, he said to me: 'Boss, if I carried on I would have got my third.' I told him: 'Get it against Udinese instead!'

"It's important to manage him a bit, because he has had a bit of bad luck with injuries in the past and he did not play a huge amount last season. Right now, his levels are improving.

"For us, he’s great, and I can already see what is going to happen in Qatar. Maybe the Argentina coach should offer us a bottle of wine."

Dybala has scored only three goals in 34 caps for Argentina; he has started just one match at a major tournament and was restricted to 77 minutes in 2022 World Cup qualifying.