Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni comments on the team, World Cup qualifiers, more


Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni commented on the team, the World Cup qualifiers and much more.

Lionel Scaloni spoke about several things at a press conference on Monday. From the team playing well against Paraguay to VAR and much more. Here’s what he had to say:

“Against Paraguay, I believe it was all us. The best we played was in the second half. We have to capitalize on the chances we get. I believe we dominated Paraguay for 65 minutes.

“The idea was that of what we saw as of minute 20, moving the ball, generate chances, have players that can get to the goal. Against Paraguay we didn’t win but I believe we played much better. I think we are on the right track.”

Scaloni also spoke about Nicolas Gonzalez, who will play against Peru on Tuesday:

“I believe Nico Gonzalez played a good game. We had no doubts about what he could bring to the team. He’s in good form, we believe he could be an important player.”

In regards to VAR and Lionel Messi’s goal which was ruled offside:

“The other day, we were convinced that the goal which was ruled off was valid. On a psychological level, it was difficult. But just as much, the team continued to attack. There are some decisions that are rule differently elsewhere.

“The VAR protocol is the same all over the world, if not, it makes no sense. I get the feeling that there’s no exact criteria for VAR. There are a lot of doubts which shouldn’t be there.”

He also spoke about the team and the starting eleven:

“Armani; Montiel, Martínez Quarta, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Paredes, Lo Celso; Nico González, Messi and Lautaro Martínez.

“The second call up we were more calm but the first one was very interesting. With the players separate, eating in their rooms. This time, we were able to unite them, we are a bit more calm but it’s a difficult situation. We talk a lot about occupying space and to have a lot of movement, above all in the middle of the pitch.”

About the upcoming game vs. Peru:

“I imagine Peru likes to play football, they have players that are good with their feet. I think their idea is to attack too, that there could be spaces.”



  1. Lucky Brazil wont deal with full duo of Suaraz-Cavani. Hope Brazil drop points. I know if Uruguay wins, the qualification would be easier. But I dont care I want Brazil to lose. We would qualify with our capabilities. Dont want any help from the table.

  2. Did anyone see the match Spain vs Germany? That was a true masterclass by Spain in terms of speed, positioning, passing and technique. Wish Argentina could match a performance like that. The bar has been set very high now.

  3. CONMEBOL WC QUALIFICATIONS does not have any minnows. Its the most hardest and trickiest qualifications. Every point counts. So I am with Scaloni for not experimenting early. He can experiment later once we are in safe zone.

  4. Loew is finished, a mediocre Spain beat them easily. Neuer the only real world class player there, old Kroos, and a lot of overrated system player. Flick made them great, but without the system most of them are average.

    • He is similar to the director or manager of sporting operations. In some ways you can think of him like Beccacece’s boss. In Racing this manager role (Milito) and coach role (Beccacece) are distinct.

  5. I don’t know why these European bodies holds such decisions in forming big money leagues and tournaments. I don’t see any sense in it. In the last few days there was lot of turmoils over the whole football world that whether the big teams will agree to join the elite European premier League or not. To some former footballer’s frustrations they resented the offer and felt that it would do more harm than any entertainment, and I think it is quite rational and logical. Bringing in together the rich clubs would leave the smaller ones in the fringes, and it will, from that moment on, look no good to any enthusiastic football fan to spend ££ to buy tickets. Because, sports doesn’t agree and settle with margins and class. It has to be open and it has been the only pathway through whole of human evolution where people had come to greet, enjoy and forget all the wars, politics and indecency to play and celebrate hand in hand with each other. No matter how large or how small the divisions among different ethnicities be.

    I believe if FIFA, European bodies and conmobel jointly works toward a tournament where each country can play a friendly qualification tournament then it will at least benefit the nationals teams a lot. Apart from the world cup held in every four year fans will get the chance to watch another global tournament without thinking and scratching their heads over who’s goona get selected in next world cup or what the selection will be. And not only that, it will also boost the chance for many coaches to try out their squad and will help much in raising talents that will boost the quality of both international and club football.

    This is a model that even arsene Wenger suggested last year when he said that instead of developing useless club competitions, football bodies should rather invest and structure international tournaments. And echoing those words I think the same as well. It’s just trachereous to build another competitions when you already have champions League every year. Something that’s takes a while lot of time other than the league schedule.
    And if they concur to build international tournaments (which seems impossible at the moment) then our NT could play matches with European teams. Something which they haven’t played in regular succession since the Germany match. Exposure is needed and so is varieties, cause without it football will become too bland, like playing carom and cards.

  6. tomorrow’s CONEMBOL game sequences are interesting. We play last tomorrow. So we have a good view on point table as we get into field.
    A) Worst Case scenario – Paraguay & Chile will mostly collect 3 points & also maybe improve their goal differences ( goal difference ) with a good margin win. So Paraguay will be at 8 pts & Chile 7pts with maybe a better GD than us. If Uruguay upsets Brazil , both of them are at 9 points . Similarly if Ecuador beats Colombia – its Ecuador is also 9 points & Colombia is at 4points. If we then lose to Peru – we will remain at 7 points & mostly a worse GD than Chile. So effectively we will be at 6th spot behind Brazil, Uru, Ecu, Paraguay, Chile . This then follows with we running into Uru & Brazil in March 21. Highly unlikely scenario – though technically possible.
    B) Best Case Scenario – We take 3 points in Lima & are at 10 points. Brazil beats a covid impacted Uru . Ecu- Col is a draw , Venezuela manages to draw against Chile . However i think bolivia will still lose to Paraguay ( even without suspended Almiron) . In this case Brazil 12 , Arg 10, Par 8, Ecu 7, Uru 6, Chile 5, Col 5.
    Yes it can also happen that Brazil loses & we actually top group – though i doubt Uruguay can manage it without Suarez & who knows how many more covid drop outs.
    C) Another Possible Scenario – Brazil, Colombia, Chile , Paraguay win & we get a draw in Lima. In this case we will be at 2/3 based on GD. Brazil 12 , Arg/Par 8 , Col/Chile 7 , Uru/Ecu – 6pts.

      • I doubt Uruguay will beat Brazil. Suarez comes good in big matches & they will miss him. Remember the last year friendly with us when he was in bad club form.
        Maxi Gomez also not available. Also from point standpoint better for Argentina if Uruguay loses tomorrow. They will be under massive pressure in march when they face us.

    • Thanks Amit. Your case A clearly demonstrates how tight these tables can run.

      I have counted at least six changes fans are demanding here – CB pairing change, goal keeper change, both full back change (count that as one or two?), defensive mid change, left wing change, #9 change – maybe there are more that I am missing. Given the tight tables, the rampant experimentation up and down the pitch that is asked for right now is Sampaoli level lunacy. It is clear to see where the coach has prioritized changes versus where he is more comfortable right now, while still chasing such a narrow table.

      • Agree completely. We can’t go back to the sampaoli or maradona fluctuating lineups. Will kill the chemistry painstakingly built in last 2 years. Having said a modern GK is a very genuine fan ask ( especially when we seem to have a ready option) & delaying that will only make change even more difficult to happen later. Also gradual derisking of ota with a pacy CB with similar otamendi attributes of aerial strength , ball play ( Medina for me) is something to consider. Maybe atleast some quality substitute stint.

        • It’s just prioritization for him. Imagine – you are going into the 3rd game and your starting left back is out and you have been having trouble creating penetration on the left side anyways. You decide to experiment with a new left back, a kid who has never played in the position before. On top of that experiment in the back, will you also add a new goalkeeper change?? Something that is not really broken?

          Maybe one can say – he should have played acuna and keep everything else same and have martinez in goal. Let that be the only experiment. But scaloni did not choose that. he choose the other option. That is his priority and his vision of where the team is lacking.

          Personally I don’t have a problem with it. In a vacuum we can say X is better than Y but when many things are in the process of being fixed, he has his order of things. If you believe it is not wise to be Sampaoli level change maker then you see the logic in his progression.
          If we are able to get separation in the table, the second order changes will come.

          • It was always obvious that Armani will start in Paraguay & Peru game. Tagli injury was not the trigger. My only concern is that . More than prioritization , its bordering ultra conservatism or maybe succumbing to local pressure. On CB i agree with you – still no pressing reason for a sea change at a WCQ / Copa level. But GK – not using Emi & letting him settle in is a bad move in the long term.
            Familiarity angle is being overused. Nico G is a classic example. It was a forced change . Going by logic of changes disturbing equilibrium , he could have been poor or bang average. In reality he was our best player on pitch that day.

    • Well, this is only the fourth game out of 18, so its not even a quarter of the whole qualifier. Win or lose will not decide our fate. I’d do all those math if we’re in situation like the last few games of 2010 and 2018 qualifiers lol

  7. Fun fact: the last time Argentina scored a header from a set piece in a WCQ was 20 years ago when El Raton (Ayala) scored vs. Venezuela. Our players need to improve and work on their jumping/leaping and positioning skills for set the pieces. I know the majority of our players aren’t very tall, but that won’t stop them from taking advantage of the set pieces. Nico Gonzalez’s header was superb and hopefully he will score many such goals in the near future.

    • I heard that in a tom Robinson podcast & astonishing fact. So scaloni actually getting lot of cranky facts corrected – Win in Bolivia , set piece header , consistently being able to come from behind ( uru, Germany, Bolivia , Paraguay).

  8. I think in next friendily match Chile, Uruguay,Paraguay and Argentina will win their respective match. Colombia and Ecuador is tough match to predict.

    • Scaloni is going to choose Emi Martinez against Uruguay and if there are friendlies in January then there is also chance for Emi Martinez but these may be rumours

      • He is not selecting emi against peru or Paraguay or equador what made you think he will start him against one of the toughest match of qualifiers??? If no injury armani will start until copa is completed

  9. Argentina can beat Peru; all the players talent, skill and experience are above the Peru’s player. Scaloni needs to motivate, implement and push his plans rightfully with the in form players. Only Argentina team now is not as 1986 or 1990 although Messi is playing; the last 2 wins and one draw is not an impressive and need to be improved a lot. The player movement with and without the ball, accurate passing and dribbling just create a chance with no goal. Long shoot from outside the box is not yet seen. Mid us having problem to distribute and control the ball, defense is still have a gap and space, attackers have to play deep to get the ball and can’t pass the 2-3 defenders; bringing Papu Gomez, Emi Martinez, but did not optimize them is just like bringing a friend into a holiday trip, enjoying the atmosphere and avoiding the voice from fans and media

    Let’s be optimistic that Scaloni have found a new formula and luck be with us this time

  10. I was really hoping to get 6 points from these 2 games. Especially, 3 points at home. We have to build a fortress at home. Now this is a must win game. The next two we will lose points. The following 2 will be tough too.

    And we need an early goal or a first goal. we are falling behind too much. We also need some high margin games, comfortable wins. then we can sub some players and experiment some. Hope this game works well for me.

    These conmebol teams like Peru etc. are tricky. You don’t know what version will show up. Hoping for a good solid win for us today! VAMOS!

  11. If he starts alario, some will say why no lautaro scaloni is stupid.. If he starts lautaro, some will say why no alario.. If he starts both they will say why no icardi or why two strikers,he is stupid.. . If he starts all of them they will say he is stupid to play three.. If he starts lo celso they will say lo celso is not a NT player.. This will go on and on even with analytical Argentinian supporters.. I am happy with scaloni making minimal changes and not trying new set with every other game.. Once it starts clicking we will be unstoppable.. We are showing signs of great future especially with the teams showing nature of coming back from behind.. Only thing I found lacking in scaloni is his time of substitutions… He can improve on that… Come on Argentina..

  12. If Peru don’t sit and defend then we need to score atleast 2 goals without conceding, We are not scoring many goals lately and should maintain intensity for whole match even if we are winning by good margin.
    Subs should be
    Papu for messi(unlikely but needed one)
    Alario for Lautaro
    Any cb for Otamendi or LMQ
    Guido for Paredes
    Any other one sub

    • Lisandro for Paredes *
      If we don’t try new players against minnows then we won’t try against anyone. Over relying on same set of players is not good for team on long term

      • the subs need to be based on match situation, how individual player is performing, fitness , opposition tactics . U never know who will be firing all cylinders & who may be off color that day. But Scaloni should use the 5 sub effectively as that is a competitive advantage for Argentina/ Brazil . In Paraguay game – not subbing Lautaro post 60mins & Messi maybe post 70 mins was a bad move imo. We couldnt kill the game in last 15-20 mins.
        I am expecting an open play & we will get our chances . Peru’s starting DM Renato Tapia also suspended with 2nd yellow.

        • Absolutely correct, subs are depending on the match situations, but are we prepared if any main players are not fIt for the match.
          When was the last time our cbs Or back line in general were subs?
          Easily opponents can guess our subs that we depend only on 3 or maximum 4 players.
          If we don’t play together few more players then we were going to do that ?

          • Ur rite. Its just that conservatism which Scaloni should shed off & be more bold. Its a great advantage that Argentina/ Brazil kind of teams have with 5 sub rule as long as it lasts. Bringing Alario as late as 83min when Lautaro is not firing are the situations to avoid . Rest pieces he has done considerably well & built the core of team . Small tweaks is what we need imo.
            1) modern GK – dont want to elaborate as the points is overstretched in this forum.
            2) a pacy CB – LMQ-Ota-Parades offer no pace & we need atleast 1 CB who offers pace

      • It should not be like that considering if we want to go deep in any major tournaments, Messi should be rested at least for 15 to 20 mins when we are winning with a good margin and Messi should understand that. Messi is not getting younger.

  13. # scaloni out. He should Start with lucas alario. Scaloni is stupid. In Bundesliga he compared with world best striker robert Lewandowski. In his day lautaro is best but in recent form alario is better.

    • Scaloni selection at goalkeeping is biased but he is doing pretty well in other department that does not call for quit. Scaloni should be the coach and Emi Martinez should be statrter.

  14. I think now its looking silly to see again and again and again seeing comments about Emiliano Martinez over Armani, DAMNNNN.

    Its tough times after a long gap in Football, Chill guys, Whatever decisions Scaloni and his team is taking it is for the good of the team.

    • all the time armani is kicking the ball on the sky. if he is kicking the ball on the sky then why should scaloni keep 11 players in the team. only armani is enough to score the goal through kicking over the air from his place. if he is having guts/confidence then he can play through passes between back line and midfield. he dont have confidence and he is frightening to pass between the players or he don’t have the confidence on our back line. that is y he is kicking the ball whenever getting the ball. this is not good fro European football and south American football. all the teams are buildup the game from GK.

      • Its okay we think that Emiliano is a better GK for sure, But we have no idea what Scaloni sees in Armani which makes him to start in all the matches. So its better we accept that, and move on. Eventually he may replace Armani with a better option, whoever it is. Saying the same thing again and again here is no use.

  15. In the past few days the comments have become very predictable. Scrolling down the comments section you won’t see anything else than Armani Vs. Emi Martinez discussion. This kind of discussion tortures those of us who want to enjoy reading great comments supported with good logic. Right now I’m in a position where I don’t care anymore who starts over who, the only thing I want to see is grabbing the three points. Some folks are just here to troll and make the forum ugly as much as they can. I add my voice to the voices that have been calling for the “Ignore button”. We need it now more than anytime in the past.

    • Do you just want team to qualify somehow or want team to be competitive enough in world Cup?
      What’s wrong in speaking against injustice and biased activities of afa and scalloni, menotti co?

      • “Do you just want team to qualify somehow or want team to be competitive enough in world Cup?”

        When the team is able to grab the three points the team is surely a competitive one and I’ve said that in my above comment. “the only thing I want to see is grabbing the three points”…I think you’ve missed this part of my comment which directly answers your question.

        On the other hand, the way Armani Vs. Emi Martinez is discussed is a very boring way and our opinions change nothing, so when your point of view has zero impact on team selection what is the point of bringing up the same topic again and again? The only people that can change the way Scaloni selects his team are the Argentines in general and their media in particular whom we already know their favorite golie. I myself have an opinion on our GK position, but I haven’t discussed it because others have said enough of it and for that reason never wanted to repeat it in order not to make the forum boring.

  16. I don’t think emi Martinez will be selected before Copa. After copa if only we qualify early or manage some friendlies he may get a chance. Otherwise scaloni may again start armani at 2022 wc also

  17. I am not gonna complain or cry about Emi Martinez. I beleive he ll be in Starting line up soon. It is what it is. I give my 100% support to Albiceleste. Whoever wearing that skyblue shirt. Give your best.

Comments are closed.