Argentina coach Lionel SCALONI talks Copa America, Lionel MESSI, local squad, more


Argentina coach Lionel SCALONI spoke about a number of topics regarding the national team.

During the announcement of the latest Argentina squad, the coach commented on this year’s Copa America, Lionel MESSI’s return, forming a local squad and more. Here’s what he had to say:

On the players called:

“We look to continue a bit with the majority of the players which were here before and also to see new ones which were brought to our attention and it’s obvious that they deserve an opportunity.”

On the Copa America:

“The list for the Copa America will surely have modifications because there are players that are injured. This is a provisional list. We believe that the more players we see the better. We are going to the Copa to compete like Argentina has to do. It will be difficult, I can’t sit here and say we’re going to win it.”

Lionel SCALONI talking about Lionel MESSI:

“The decision by the coaching staff was to not include Leo (MESSI) in the first matches. Now he’s back and he’s most welcomed. Leo (MESSI) is called up, after that, we will see if he will play one match or both matches. I will take that decision. I think we knew how to take advantage of MESSI at times. With him, the team got to three finals but couldn’t (win it) because of very little differences.”

SCLAONI on Argentina’s goalkeepers:

“We need to see players for the goalkeeping position. We haven’t totally decided who will play from the start for the next matches.”

On the Argentina team:

“All the players which were called are at a great level. We have to work for the future of the Argentina national team. The group we have is sacred and the player that comes in will bring his own. Argentina always has to compete and to give the best possible. But the idea doesn’t change, we always want to work for the future. Our idea is that every player knows what they have to do. We have to be flexible about our setup. With humility and hard work, we can return the Argentina national team to the level we were at.”

Lionel SCALONI on MENOTTI and a potential local Argentina team:

“With Cesar Luis MENOTTI, we would love to have a local national team. We know it’s hard but it’s a big dream. Cesar Luis MENOTTI is very important to us. He’s gonig to help us a lot. We will try to reach an agreement with the clubs to be able to work with some local players during the week.”


  1. Oh man. They are so many players available. I see some names and I feel so bad about that. I’m glad higuan is not in the list. Where is icardi? For CB Romero and otamendi will be great. For god sake use dybala and Messi behind the main striker. 2 things driving me crazy. We can’t prouduce world class midfielders and defenders and goal keepers at all. Look at freaking Brazil now. They have super players in each area. We are better than this. My heart aches every time watch Argentina lose to bunch of garbage teams sometimes. I seriously gave up when it about a new coach. Bring a europian coach put the pride aside. I’m not fan of conte or moriniho but I believe they will fix our defense and goalkeeper issues at least. I’m sick and tired of experimenting. Why he can’t repalce our goalkeeper with a young motivated goalkeeper instead of those craps he called up. Let youth shines. We didn’t get shit with Messi,Aguiro, higuan, di maria, and those super average midfielders such as gago, bigilia, banega and plenty of more. Give the pitch with young and notivitated players and put big sharks in the reserve so they can feel they need to work hard to play as fix player. I just we don’t screw up this copa America either. I always love Argentina and I will love them forever. No matter what. Let’s destroy Brazil and Uruguay and chilie this time. Viva Argentina

  2. We are committing the same error again and again. Caballero was almost the best keeper in 2014. He was not even included in the list. Then his second international match was a high pressure game against Croatia. For four long years between 14 – 18 he was no where in the picture. Why Scaloni select Gazzaniga for last friendlies? How long we keep experimenting? Marchesin is average.. in his 30’s.. Armani won’t be our saviour.. also in his 30’s..why don’t we groom gazza n benitez? Also Mercado, Acuna all are average..we are risking another big tournament with a very average coach Scaloni.. Scaloni should be our U-20 coach in Poland not for a high profile tournament like Copa America.. not a fan of Mourinho.. but he is much obsessed with results and try every trick.. good or bad to get that.. again we just go to a tournament with hope only because of Messi..

  3. Hi, Neel here, from India, a fan of Argentina football team for the last 25 years or more.. I am following this site for quite some time now…finally decided to be a member. Being present in India, we do not have the chance to watch many matches, thus this site is really helpful to know about players, and their performances. I really thank all the authors and the members for their inputs.
    Every world cup, copa america now brings heart break…….stupid team selection (almost every coach), mad coaches (Maradona, Sampaoli), weird substitutions (Riquelme in 2006), being one-man army……dont know why this happens only with Argentina.
    Still, looking forward for something glorious…next Copa and the World Cup…we can always hope!

  4. Scaloni gave a decent list but with some players not needed like mathias suarez,gabriel mercado and marsechin , kannarman, marcos acuna,instead of these guys he could have called cristian romero,walter benitez and u 20 players like adolfo gaich instead of mathias suarez or dario bendetto and maybe even pedro de la vega might be given chance after copa america friendlies hopefully he givers players like walter benitez and cristian romero chance in next friendlies or atleast post copa america freindlies

    • I think Acuna give us a lot of options and he is really a workhorse. We need players like him aswell. Walter is a no nonsense solid CB. I am not happy with calling a old GK from Mexian league when we have a better option and opportunity to introduce some young talents. Armani is enough for experience.

      • if Jonathan Silva of leganes fc wasnt injured he would be an ideal replacement of marcos acuna in NT and better substitute for tagliafico and why bother with kannerman when young CB like cristian romero and Emanuel mamana are there and after copa america hopefully u 20 CBs like nehuen perez and leonardo balerdi might get called up to the NT other than that about GKs i agree with you

  5. Now these greedy italians want Christian romero of genoa to play for Italy (may be rumour) ,if this happens then I will curse scaloni for not calling a regular starter who is considered one of the best young talent in serie a

  6. Scaloni already tested Rulli & Romero and these two are certain for copa 100%, now for third spot the fight between the 4 GK selected in these friendlies unfortunately Gaza not impressed in scaloni bedroom and Benitez isn’t any consideration either, Armani is ahead of other 4 GK at moment now training on scaloni bedroom is going to be the crucial for all 4GK upcoming friendlies as noone them are certain for copa

  7. Names that should have been called:

    Walter Benitez:
    I understand Rulli’s absence as he is error prone, but, come on? Walter hs been in stunning form all season and he is the only true starter for our goalkeeper roster!

    Sergio Romero:
    No explanation needed. He is trustworthy abd knows the team better than anyone(chemostry).

    He has been top tier for the last 2 years and definitely deserves a call up. Our defense has always been one sided. Either we use speed defense woth aloppy work, or close controlled defensive play with a vulnerability against speed attacks(idiot mbappe). Thos guy has speed and close control.

    • Why romero when we have Armani? One is a CL winner and other plays 2 or 3 games per year, so it is obvious who deserves the chance.

  8. I have the feeling that Scaloni is not far from Sampaoli. If in three months from the copa america you still experimenting, there is something wrong with that man. Why Benedetto, why Marchesin, why DiMaria. I think that we have enough talents already. The only one who is a good one is Guido. I saw that guy in the Brazil game, I like him and I think he deserves to be there. Overall I m very skeptical about Scaloni.

    • Two cases looks similar but scaloni experiments justice, after 2014 Argentina kept same squad which benefits in copa reaching two consiqutive finals but ultimately turned Disaster in world cup, if Argentina can’t do experiment in useless friendlies in order to target 2022 then when they experiment??? In world cup qualifier, big no?? Copa America isn’t big tournament at all neither group stages matches will be difficult nor qualify through knockout stages even semifinals, best squad selection is enough to compete in copa but in friendlies there is no worng to experiment, only benedito selection ahead of Aguero hurts me as he isn’t young either

  9. Off-topic though but can’t wait to say that Rennes and Eintracht Frankfurt have been the two standout teams in the Europa League right from the start this season up to this point even if they don’t make it to the next round.

  10. The u20 team also planned friendlies from 20th of this month onwards… ..wonder whether clubs will release their first team players

  11. The GOAT and his IDOL reunited again. We weren’t fortunate enough to witness(thanks to our coaches; Diego in particular) those two magicians playing together and weaving their magic in La Albiceleste colours; but now we have albeit in a different scenario. Hope El Mago brings the best out of his fanboy and indeed the whole TEAM!

    Happy with the new selection but could have been better without the likes of Marchesin, Mercado and Angel Correa. Also glad that Lamela and Funes Mori didn’t make it this time. How’s the forgotten man Matias Suarez doing? At a time he was flying at Anderlecht, constantly linked with some heavyweights( albeit similar to Garay,Gaitan to Man United rumuors) but never heard of him since.

  12. Scaloni on Domingo Blanco (apparently he is open for more Defensa y Justicia players):

    “Juega en un equipo que transmite lo que nosotros queremos transmitirles a los jugadores. Es una cuenta pendiente traer más jugadores de Defensa, pero están peleando el campeoanto. Blanco tiene un nivel alto, desequilibra y puede jugar en dos o tres posiciones. Para nosotros es una buena apuesta traerlo”.

  13. I knew it since the afa appointed
    Cesar monetti as director football
    The Nt will have good guidice and
    benefit from him a lot ..
    He is the man who changed Argentina
    Football history for good ..

    • Do it!! I love Menotti’s idea*. In fact you don’t even need to go too deep into the table and you could build a pretty great XI with just the current top 2 squads (Racing and DyJ) plus the 2 powerhouses of Boca and River! Really the fact that most of the teams are in the larger Buenos Aires area means logistics should not be hard either.

      It is my main belief international success in the modern day is so hard to achieve since players barely spend any time together. Many of the good teams that played attractive football to win international tournaments in recent years did so because they already had a core that worked together: Spain 2010 and 2012 with Barcelona core, 2014 Germany with Bayern core, even Qatar in this years Asian Cup. And the teams that couldn’t build together had to turn to reactive football to win, Portugal 2016, France 2018 and even Chile 2015-16. So if Argentina want to go back to attractive football roots it is a great medium to long term approach.


      *edit: I will give it a shot for laughs. A young squad except #9
      Reynoso Zaracho
      Palacios Almada
      Angilieri Martinez Barboza Saravia

        • Stupid question but how does this work? Local team will practice/develop and play against South American teams? While the euro players will stick to Europe?

          • I don’t think it will actually be about full speed matches for local teams. The clubs will probably demand what things can be done and what can’t be and I can’t see them agreeing to full matches outside of international break.

            I think the concept will be more like identify 6,7,8, maybe a dozen players with NT potential. Get them together and make them do drills with one another. Not individual skill drills (which clubs should be responsible for), but passing drills, cone drills, pressing drills which need understanding with each other specifically. Penalty kick study both as keeper and taker. Do rondas, maybe, 5 v 5 play matches with each others or youth sides, set piece tips and tricks, ‘3rd man’ moves, ‘4th man’ moves. All of that will build the most important thing – chemistry.

            Then teach them history and the inside stories of national team (don’t forget these will be teenagers to maybe early 20 year olds who don’t have the full picture yet), talk strategy and tactics for example – in such and such situation in the NT our approach will be like this, so study it. Go over game tape and video review of important matches and opponents, both individual and team, for example – hey mister saravia you will go up against cuadrado, watch him do these moves and study it, we want you to break them like this, counter this way, show him to barboza this way, transition to mister almendra who will be next to you this way. Test them on it, make someone mimic coutinho and break it, mimic torreira and break it etc etc

            Then there is the mental and psychological aspect of it, career counseling and guidance with the NT in mind.

            There are many things to go over before you get to a match. A lot can be done this way without having to do it in only 12 days every three months.

      • You are right: a half of teams in Superliga is from greater Buenos Aires. Buenos has most football clubs in the world – 38, and left behind London and Rio de Janeiro. We should take advantage of that concentration of players and train with them on daily basis.

      • “It is my main belief international success in the modern day is so hard to achieve since players barely spend any time together. Many of the good teams that played attractive football to win international tournaments in recent years did so because they already had a core that worked together: Spain 2010 and 2012 with Barcelona core, 2014 Germany with Bayern core, even Qatar in this years Asian Cup. And the teams that couldn’t build together had to turn to reactive football to win, Portugal 2016, France 2018 and even Chile 2015-16. So if Argentina want to go back to attractive football roots it is a great medium to long term approach.”

        So true @elmongol. Everyone want attractive attacking football played overnight, easily forgetting the fact that how hard it is to achieve these days in international football.

        It’s a fantastic idea- The Local National Team, and it’s the right approach. Sabella did it albiet not frequently as Scaloni’s comments suggest.


    Base of local players is great idea. What is work on grassroots of NT in this case? To work with local players during week.

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