Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni comments on Lionel Messi, his role with the team


Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni commented on captain Lionel Messi and his role on the team.

Lionel Scaloni spoke in an interview with Ole regarding the Argentina national team but was also asked several questions regarding Lionel Messi. From how Messi is truly like, to his role on the team to how much of a say he has in the squad.

If you missed it, the first part of the interview can be found by clicking here. Regarding Lionel Messi, here is what Scaloni had to say:

“What I admire about him, beyond how he is as a player, is that those who really know him know how he is and how he thinks. Because he is someone who sells a lot, people create topics about him… Lots of things can be said but honestly, we talk with the coaching staff and at times it’s impressive how naturally he takes it all.

“You have to tip your hat off. Everything that he generated and generates, what he is and what he does, it’s not just because he’s a good player but because of how he is as a person. A question to you…

“How many years has he been at the highest level and how many accomplishments does he have? I don’t know. It’s impressive how he handles things well.

“He’s someone that when he gets home, the entire world wants a photo of him, he always has to have a good face on, to be available and 99% of the time, he is available. You have to value that.

“He is the first one that when you need a hand, he’s there. He always tries to do what the coach asks, in that sense, I have nothing to say. But on a human level, it’s where he has our support because that is where he makes the difference.”

In regards to Messi and how under Scaloni as coach, he is more of a captain than ever, his comments against CONMEBOL at the last Copa America:

“What happened is also because what happened in that semi final vs. Brazil will drive anyone crazy. That game will go down in history and will be recorded. It’s for that reason I said that if they really knew him, they would realize that he is really like that. It just happened that before, there were more experienced players with the role that he has now.

“This happens with steps. When he came to the national team for the first time, there were players with 10 years experience. The times go by and that makes you more of a leader.

“But I assure you that is the one that wants to win the most, the one who hurts the most when he loses, I have no doubt.”

On how Messi looks more comfortable in that role:

“It happens that you feel more and more important. Although we always say that from our point of view and the coaching staff’s perspective, what we want the most is for him to enjoy it, to play football and to be happy.

“And I think that is the radical question. Because when a career is done, be it him or anyone, they’ll be left with moments where they were happy and he made the fans enjoy, After that, only one wins.

“And the ARGENTINE’S know very well that at the end, only one wins the final. Today, football is very competitive and it’s difficult to win. I always said that to enjoy it and to enjoy every training.”

About taking the pressure off Messi:

“It’s not about relieving the pressure because these guys don’t have pressure. Yes, they have a dream of wanting to win with the Argentina national team and to enjoy being here. For us, it’s very important to reach that point, to enjoy the process.

“If you can’t enjoy where you are, you have surely lost something. You’re coming to do well, it’s logical to want to compete but to always try to have things go well, to win, with happiness… And to put aside what could be said or the people that don’t want things to go well for you.

“I believe that Leo, just like his other team mates that are here, they understand that message. And today they are here, they are training and they don’t think all day of if they’re going to play or not, if they don’t win what will happen…”

How his relationship is with Messi:

“We only talk when we really have to. We are never invasive with any player. If there is something that happens, like with this pandemic, we call them to check on them and their families, to know their situation. There, yes, we are close.

“And in Leo’s case a little more because he is the captain, to see how everything is, a trip but not much more than that. But this is something we have been doing with him for a long time:

“Leo has to feel like one more player of the Argentina national team and he shouldn’t decide how or when to travel, or when he has to be next to someone. That is fundamental. He only has to dedicate himself to playing football and that’s it.

Regarding the myth the great players with their coaches and how much of an influence they have on the team and if Leo has ever asked him about how a team should play:

“I, as a coach, speak with De Paul, with Paredes, with Messi, with Lo Celso, with Ocampos, with Nicolas Gonzalez, with Lautaro… I tell them we are going to play like this or like this. This doesn’t mean that a player can say… In Leo’s case it’s impossible.

“If there is one thing that I can say and I can say it openly, it’s that never, never has a player put themselves in the starting eleven. It’s crazy to say that. It’s unfeasible.

“I can say it calmly, in that sense, it is impossible. Every stupid thing that has been said, that it seems like someone would have to go out of their way to say it and if I have to come out myself to defend it, I am going to do it. Because it’s crazy, it’s something that doesn’t make sense.

“He is dedicated to play and to play with his team mates. He has a better understanding with one than with another but because on the pitch, not everyone understand the best in the world. That is normal.

“But now for him to say yes to this or no to that, it’s crazy and it doesn’t make sense.”


  1. You know, I was HAPPY, ELIATED, delighted ………..etc that Pep, that FUCKING IDIOT didn’t win shit today……………AFTER ALL KUN did for ManCity, their fans(NOT their fault obviously) and the club, this imbecile does NOT start him….he is practically royalty

    WHO IN hell deserved to play in the UEFA final for ManCity more than KUN?????????
    I wanted Messi to play for him, F YOU Pep.

  2. Guardiola really missed the golden chance to deliver a fairy tales to Kun Aquero, his overthinking and sophisticated approached ( maybe the influence of Bielsa’s tactical mind 🙂 ) make City loss the Cup. Kun should start from the beginning and wrongly given KDB role. Sterling and Phil Foden out of form, everything goes wrong.

    and Tushel with his simple and defensive and counter effective tactics did won in the end; “… the cup will be only 6 feet from you, but you will not even able to touch it if you lose; and for many, that will be the closest you will ever get..”

  3. What a suicidal decision by pep by not playing Aguro in Start11. If aguro thr in first half surely city could go easily I think.A 90% aguro is clearly a best of 3 strikers in world. how poor from pep. .

  4. What lack of respect for Kun. Yes he’s been injured a lot but last game against he showed why he is one of the best strikers in the world. A 70% kun is better than no striker.

  5. Stupid stupid tactics from pep… leaving a striker of on a final.. Chelsea came out to score and that’s what and why they won.. pep u made aguero cried today… because your stupid starting 11

  6. Pep may well regret not starting Aguero. I feel there may already be a goal for City if he was on. Starting no striker seems to be hurting them so far and they have no clear end to any of their attacks and nobody with a poachers instinct

    • It was not a striker that was missing. I think Pep should have started Fernandinho/Rodri. Gundogan in first half was like what was going arround me in his single pivot role. As usual Pep somehow managed to overthink and took away the most valuable trophy from Aguero.

      • I definitely agree about the midfield. It was very attacking and lacked that defensive balance or presence (like what chelsea had with Kante). But I think a striker also would have been needed for that instinct to get in those scoring areas in the first half when it was end to end and there was a lot of space.

        • Agreed. But that was not the most weird decision from Pep yesterday. Because he was playing almost the entire season without starting a stricker and it was working as well. But leaving an important position unchecked and unanswered with too many midfeilders yet no one for recovery was too stupid for the biggest day. Either Fernandinho or Rodri should have started. Dias and Stones were too much exposed to pressure from Kai and Werner without CDM. A false nine without a genuine CDM is close to suicide. Also could have given Kun a chance from 60th minute. Just my opinion.

  7. Out of curiosity, does anyone have a side by side comparison of Martinez and Armani’s stats across this year? (I would prefer something like a year or maybe Premier league season compared to a combination of libertadores and both local tournaments since the latter two were short and not good overall representations). I don’t know how to get these stats well together so thank you

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