Only the confirmation remained and it arrived this Monday, when the official account of the Argentine team on Twitter shot the message in the middle of the afternoon: “CONFIRMED: There is @lioscaloni for a while”. Lionel Scaloni, the coach who guided the Albiceleste to the title in Qatar, will continue to lead the team until at least 2026, when they will play the World Cup organized by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Under the direction of the 44-year-old coach, Argentina also won the 2021 Copa América and the 2022 Finalissima, against Italy.
On February 7, when asked by the press about the possible renewal of Scaloni as head of the Albiceleste coaching staff, the president of the Associated Football Association (AFA), Claudio Tapia, limited himself to answering: “We are used to give good news, so expect good news. We’re going to give it back.” After the title achieved on December 18, 2022, both parties expressed the idea of maintaining the link on several occasions, although an official confirmation remained. In January, Scaloni announced in an interview that he hoped to sit down with Tapia and try to reach an agreement. “I have a good relationship, I thank him for the opportunity and when he goes we will announce what has to be,” he said.
Scaloni finally sat down with Tapia in Paris, where they both coincided at the delivery of The Best awards, organized by FIFA. The president of the AFA uploaded a photo to his social networks where he is seen next to the coach at a coffee table, both smiling at the camera. “When trust is high, communication is easy and effective. We continue to strengthen the national team project, together with Lionel Scaloni, the world champion DT ”, Tapia wrote to accompany the image.
When trust is high, communication is easy and effective.
We continue to strengthen the national team project, together with Lionel Scaloni, the world champion DT ??? pic.twitter.com/KCMkHA5Otv
— Chiqui Tapia (@tapiachiqui) February 27, 2023
Scaloni thus joins the few Argentine coaches who have repeated their mandate, such as César Luis Menotti, Carlos Bilardo or Marcelo Bielsa. The first two were world champions with the albiceleste and the third made school.
Born in the small municipality of Pujato (Santa Fe province) in 1978, Scaloni made his debut at the helm of the Argentine team on September 8, 2018 and was confirmed in office two months later, amid criticism for his lack of experience. . The Argentine press was merciless with him, who was considered an impromptu who had climbed from the bench after accompanying Jorge Sampaoli in the via crucis that was the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Argentina was eliminated in the round of 16 against France and Sampaoli was ejected from the position. There was Scaloni with a contract that the AFA took advantage of to not leave the position vacant while looking for a high-profile figure. It was Menotti, the current national team director, who recommended that Tapia not give him a short contract, until the 2019 Copa América, but for three more years, until the World Cup in Qatar. The master’s eye had been right.
With the passage of time, Scaloni established himself as one of the greatest in the history of the albiceleste, renamed in his honor the Escaloneta. Argentina already considers him the coach of the future, a pragmatic young man who even managed to end the war that marked a generation of fans, the one waged by César Luis Menotti and Carlos Bilardo, one a cult of lyrical football and the other a defender of good results at any price. “Rather than saying that teams that defend well win the World Cup, I’m saying that it’s won by intelligent, cautious teams that know when to attack and when to defend,” Scaloni replied a week before the World Cup, avoiding the dichotomy between “defensive” teams. or “offensive”.
Since he sat on the Argentine bench, Scaloni had 37 wins, 15 draws and 5 losses, enough to win the World Cup after 36 years of drought and the Americas for the first time since 1991. But Scaloni also achieved something much more. harder than a trophy. Minutes after the 3-0 defeat of Croatia in the semifinal in Qatar, with the players still on the pitch, Lionel Messi approached Scaloni and whispered in his ear: “It’s all yours.” He had been blessed by number one.
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