ARGENTINE FOOTBALL NEWS
Lionel Scaloni, the evolution of a champion technician
By Guillermo Tagliaferri
Lionel Sebastián Scaloniled the Argentine National Team to its third world title and achieved recognition of the entire football planet. He armed and diagrammed the tactics, chose the most capable and suitable players and had a wrist to handle each situation. Before this consecration in Qatar 2022, being the youngest coach of the contest, he had to fall doubts and questions as usually happens with all the technical directors of the world.
The frustrating performance of Argentina in the previous World Cup, Russia 2018, eject the technical criticized Jorge Sampaoli of the position. Scaloni was part of the staff, as a rival analyst, that is, he was part of the Argentine Soccer Association (AFA). And, unlike the rest, his link remained.
At that time, the Alcudia Youth Tournament, a traditional International Contest for U20 soccer players, which has been disputed annually in that city of the Spanish province of Valencia, and the position of technician of Argentina was acéfalo, since Sebastián Beccaces, his previous manager and direct assistant to Sampaoli, had also left.
La Alcudia, the basis of success
Scaloni was a man from the house and the AFA gave him the reins of the squad, having Pablo Aimar as a collaborator. That would be the great impulse for the future, the foundations of a construction that would give enormous joy to all Argentina four and a half years later.
In La Alcudia, between July and August 2018, the Argentine National Team reached a high operation and was crowned undefeated champion. He led his group and in the semifinal surpassed Uruguay, on penalties after drawing 0-0, and in the final beat Russia 2-1. A curiosity: of those twenty -two champions players none repeated in the World Cup in Qatar.
That performance in Spanish territory gave support to Scaloni to remain an interim technician of the major selection. After some friendlies, the debut was a victory against Mexico 2 to 0 at the Mario Kempes stadium in Córdoba and Scaloni was confirmed in office. A third place in the 2019 Copa América was its official baptism.
The rest is known history: Argentina champion of the Copa América 2021, also played in Brazil, with the dream victory against the premises at the Maracaná stadium; The World Cup passage won in the South American Qualifiers and the fresh conquest in Qatar.
The versatility and vision for varying tactical proposals demonstrated, where appropriate, that it is not necessary to have a CV or experience. The selection was the first, and unique so far, a team led by Scaloni. He made the necessary replacement without controversy and demonstrated his knowledge of the European leagues, citing soccer players that few were in mind and that were great successes, such as Emiliano Draw Martínez, Cristian Cuti Romero or Nicolás González (marginalized at the last moment of the World Cup due to injury).
Outside the court, he knew how to form and affirm a strong, united, supportive and committed group, amalgamating a healthy costume and focused on the goal. In addition, he managed to infect Lionel Messi a feeling of happiness and identification as rarely showed a celestial and white dress.
Born in the Santa Fe city of Pujato on May 16, 1978 -40 days before Argentina became world champion for the first time in history-, Scaloni began his career at Newell's Old Boys. Then he went to Estudiantes de La Plata and in 1998 he was transferred to La Coruña de España. In that team he reached outstanding performances, being an important part of the only title achieved in the Spanish League, and was pledge of the club and the city, which became its place of residence.
After eight years in full celebration in La Coruña, the right flyer played at West Ham United, from England, Racing de Santander and Mallorca, both from Spain, Lazio and Atalanta, both from Italy, and closed his footballer career in 2015.
As a footballer, Scaloni had already enjoyed being a world champion with the national team. In the U20 World Cup in 1997, played in Malasia, the team led by José Pekerman who turned the Olympic. His teammates were Pablo Aimar and Walter Samuel, current members with Roberto Ayala, from his coaching staff. Scaloni wore at that contest the shirt number 18 and put it again last Sunday during the celebrations at the Lusail Stadium.
Lionel Scaloni directed the Argentine National Team in 57 games, distributed in 37 wins, 15 draws and 5 losses, with 113 goals in favor and 35 against. He shouted champion in the Copa América 2021, the 2022 final and the Qatar 2022 World Cup and fulfilled the greatest undefeated streak of the National Team and second telling all the world selected with 36 games without losing.