Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni: “We had to win”


Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni spoke to the press following the team’s 4-1 win vs. Bolivia at the Copa America.

Lionel Scaloni saw his team win three and draw on in the group stage as they qualified for the quarter finals as group winners. In regards to the match, here’s what Scaloni had to say:

“The idea was to create a lot of goal scoring opportunities, even if the pitch conditions were not ideal. The players understood the message, we had to win and I liked the team’s attitude.”

Scaloni also spoke about his Argentina team:

“The balance is positive: We played against strong rivals and we faced matches in the best way. We believe that a lot of the players who had played very little minutes deserved this opportunity.

“Everyone showed that they can be in the team but only 11 play at a time. A lot of players are at a good level. The team was always the protagonist. There are times where you could be tired and show something else, you can’t dominate for 90 minutes. It’s logical that there are things to improve but we are satisfied.”

In regards to Ecuador who Argentina will face on Saturday:

“We have the utmost respect for Ecuador, they have shown to be a good team, young and dynamic.”


  1. Even the speculation of including Tagliafico in first XI as LB makes me sad. I think Acuna was superb in offence and defence too. Love how he switch the play too aswell. He can take on defender and he can pass more accurate and also can use his muscles to defend. He deserves to start

    • It will depend on how conservatively Scaloni wants to play against the Ecudorian wingers. The goal conceded was essentially Acuna allowing the bolivian midfielder to overload Lisandro after a cavalier pass and being out of position to recover in time.

      • It wasn’t Acuna fault. First of all very wayward pass from Armani then miscommunication. But his overall performance was solid.

        • a little bit. once a defense is turned around and running backwards its too late and you can only be saved by an individual piece of supreme recovery or skill (or opponent mistake). you can’t really count on such things. we have to look at where exactly in the phase of play the breakdown occurred. I write another comment where I explain where and how the breakdown happened.

          maybe you can say lisandro should have tackled better or should not have come out, but really #25 and #6 have overload on lisandro.

        • it should be covered by acuna and guido. that was not lisandro fault. when mascherano was there he used to help Rojo in that position.

    • yea but i think scaloni prefers to play with one attack minded fullback and one defensive very unlikely to see acuna and molina both start at the same time..i can understand this as there has to be a defensive caution element too..this is knockout football..and also against ecuadors wingers we might opt for taglia

  2. Kevin
    “Why there is so much hate like hating Brazil, Chile or C. Ronaldo. These teams and individual have given football so much they should be at least respected if can not be loved. Football is just a sport not a war. But some members of this site just do not want to understand”.

    did you come to earth yesterday? in case that you came i have to inform you that earth is not planet of angels. football especially because is the most popular sport of planet effect millions of people and it is always used as tool for political reasons. football is not just a is more than that for millions of people around the world. In some parts of world like South america is like religion. Good or bad it is like this. this is how it is. football some times in history was war just without use real weapons. Open a book of history if you interested to learn why Argentines we hate some country or not and why.
    it is not place here to speak for politics that is why i will not say something more.
    Members here understand what they understand and you understand what you can understand.

    • You are hating someone or something without any genuine reason. This is the trait of mediocrity or mediocre people as you are wasting your precious energy on wrong area. Just do your job and do it with perfection.

      • well in my case i hate England and Chile and i have very good reason to do so. actually 649 reasons. i love my country and sure it is not wasting of my energy on wrong area.

      • England is our ally but still i hate english people and media they are cocky they still live in 19th century when they were strong now they are not among top 5 economies in the world even and their media always hype their football leagues and project others as farmers

      • 1982 The Malvinas war (Between Argentina and England), also known as the Falkland Island which is off the coast of Argentina, controlled but Nowhere close to England. The Good neighboring country of “Chile” which at the time was run by the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, allowed British jets to use their runways to land and fly from to attack Argentina when the Brazilians refused to do just that. This is why the 1986 WC when Maradona did what he did to England was so huge and symbolic.
        The funny part is that Pinochet was detained in England in the late 90s when he was there seeking medical attention and accused of war crimes against his people………so you see its not for no reason.
        This goes beyond football.

      • Kevin, also know that while many rivalries are political many rivalries are almost solely based on football between the entire populations of these countries. You say hate is not culture, well in many ways it is. That is the passion of South America that you lack. I would get along well with a Brazilian in real life but when it comes to football South Americans are supportive of their own teams and aggressive towards the others.

    • Exactly, completely agree with Cox4 and Dfox1942.
      Sports teams represent nations. And Nations are political identities. So indirectly there are some political overtones involved that is impossible to dismiss completely.

      Also, fierce rivalries are very hard to dismiss.

  3. @ Olive
    “ I do not know much about cricket but I am curious do Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, and Waker Yunis belong to a federation that politically controls their continent’s federation and always gets their way on everything while using referees/umpires plus VAR to give them the advantage and do these individual players play dirty to stop the opponents from winning?”

    You completely misunderstood my point. The example I have could be an analogy why some Argentines hate Brazil or a Chile as a football team. The rivalry between India and Pakistan is unmatched, be it in sports or politics.

  4. I am so happy that Germany get knocked out from Euro. From 2006 WC onwards I just hated that national team (I think I just hate them more than Brazil). We were the better team back then but still got knocked out on pens. They were tearing us apart in 2010 and we all know about 2014. I am not against somebody playing better than us. But it is there body language after winning… Germans are too much to handle with after their victory. Today I am happy atleast for now they can’t make fun on opponents. Hopefully we will get a chance to beat them in next WC. Fingers crossed

    • It looked to me like in that QF ARG and Germany were equal. Although I would say if they took Samuel and Zanetti in the squad and played Messi as a sub or starter yeah it would definitely play much better than the Germans.

    • You need to go back in time to 1990 WC when a half Mexican/Uruguayan REF. in charge of that final giving the Krauts an imaginary PK due to the original ballerina DIVING, Mr. Kinsmann and that’s when the hatred really started.

      • I think it was a poetic justice served to Maradona who scored a goal with his hands in 86. I watched both the finals. Sometimes we get away with our faults, and sometimes fault of others catch up with us. Equality was restored in 1990 finals. In 2006, we lost to Germans because of a bizarre decision by an otherwise superb coach to replace Riquelme and also because our number one goalkeeper had to be replaced. Another reason was Hernan Crespo missing several chances. We had the best team in 2006 when Ayala used to defend like Hercules. We do not have any defender like him now. So no point in hating Germans. They are really good but not unchallenged as England, France and Hungary (they led till the last moment) proved.

  5. This Covid year is mystery: Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Lille, Sporting Lisboa, Colon Santa Fe, in Euro Italy after 1960 or wonder of Denmark again, England first time in their history or Belgium first cup ever, and in Copa America in brazil home soil Argentina…metaphysical (law). I dont just feel it i know it deep in my mind. This is our year.

  6. Scaloni will most probably go back to his faithful starting 11 if all are fit. With the likes of Paredes, Lo Clso, Nico Gonzalez etc will return i hope
    Romero heals well.He is a must for us in defence.

    Dammit, Germany lost, they didnt play well to be fair. England now has an easy route to finals. Now we have to see the attitude of the English people as if they are the best. Cant imagine they winning the Euro. Any other team winning the Euro would be fine. Not England. SMH…

    • dont like them both anyway. Brazil, England, and Germany. Those 3 I always hope for an early exit.

      Germany golden generation is done, they are in transition just like us, they have a little bit better talents than ours but we still have Messi… Prime Messi.

      • I still don’t like england winning anyway because now their media and fans will make themselves favorites and keep inflating their players. Also England fans annoy me because they act like the best fans in the world when they win and when they lose with fans by the end of the game it looks like a pandemic stadium. People criticize Argentina how many trophies does England have exactly?

    • Auf wiedersehen liebe krauts.

      I don’t like England for historic reasons but Germany is a painful rival too. Hopefully England also says goodbye soon 🙂

  7. @olive and EnganChe,

    Check it. Gustavo Alfaro and Tite after Ecuador Brazil match :

      • Use VPN 🙂

        anyway I gave summary of video in a comment below in this thread. Alfaro basically gave Tite a motivational speech to win the Copa.

    • Mafioso, after the game I did see them talking I just had no idea what it was. Can’t believe he wished Brazil a good tournament like that. While watching I was very curious as to what they were saying

      • Maybe he’s being cordial. Coaches and staff at that level are more friends / coworkers and do not have the same rivalry or hatred as us lowly sports fans. To us its obviously sacrilegious but maybe they view it differently. or maybe he’s just a self loathing douche…i dont know..

        • Good point. I remember when “var”merias beat River their coach congratulated Gallardo and was impressed with the way we played. He seemed miles more impressed than Alfaro. It felt like a great compliment despite being knocked out

          • yeah, on the opposite end after loss to Croatia and tie with Iceland, Sampa stormed off and didn’t even shake hands with the Croatian or Icelandic coach. So embarrassing. especially with small country like Iceland, they absolutely deserved more respect.

            Like your example, i would rather see respect any day.

        • @Choripan,
          I don’t mind someone being cordial and respectful of rivals. The job of a football manager is very tough and stressful. It is not unusual a manager will feel sympathy for another one.

          But there is a fine line between being respectful and fanboying. Alfaro did the later.

          Some football people at South America fanboys Tite. I am not sure why. Was Sabella’s tenure as Argentina manager any less successful? Sabella did not get eliminated in the hand of Belgium.

          I respect our rivals but do not fear or drool over them.

  8. Remember guys from now on it is an elimination stage. Scaloni has to think about a possible PK shootout too when fielding the starting 11.

    These players are reliable PK takers:
    1. Lionel Messi 77.7% 101 PK goals and 29 missed
    2. Sergio Aguero 77.4% 48 PK goals and 14 missed
    3. Lautaro Martinez 75% 6 PK goals and 2 missed
    4. Leandro Paredes 100% 4 PK goals and 0 missed
    5. Nicolas Gonzales 88.9 8 PK goals and 1 missed
    6. Papu Gomez 60% 6 PK goals and 4 missed
    7. Rodrigo De Paul 77% 10 PK goals and 3 missed
    8. Giovani Lo Celso 66.7% 2 PK goals 1 missed

    These are questionable PK takers:
    1. Angel Di Maria 43% 3 PK goals 4 missed
    2. Angel Correa 0% 1 missed
    3. Joaquin Correa 33% 1 PK goal 2 missed
    4. Guido Rodriguez 0% 1 PK missed

    Nico Gonzales and Leandro Paredes are our best PK takers. IF they are to start and the game is still 0-0 or 1-1 after 50 mins or so, do NOT sub them. If they come as a sub in the second half it is not a bad idea especially if it looks like a draw game.

    Di Maria is the opposite. He is our super sub but if u play him in the last 30 minutes or so, he can NOT be our PK taker. So either start him or play him in a game where it won’t likely end up in PK shootout.

    Note: Other than those players listed above, they never take any PK in their career.

    • These are good and relevant stats but surely there are many things a coach has to think about and penalties is only one of the many factors and variables. Garay was such an efficient and confident PK taker. I wonder if any of our current CBs are good? Sometimes defenders are more reliable in that department as they go for power and precision rather than finesse.

      • Agreed Amit he has not missed one yet and people will bring up that he is average or a local player but that does not matter with penalties, you need to have confidence and be unpredictable and smash it in – that is what he does. People should look at a compilation of his penalties

    • Damn we suck at pens!!

      Stats don’t tell the real story though. The problem with Paredes and Nico is that the sample size is so small that it must be taken with a grain of salt. Paredes has 1 pen 100%, do you think he would still have 100% after 50 or 100 pens? I don’t think so. Regardless, i would go with Aguero, Messi, Nico, Paredes, and RDP or GLC or a CB wild card (to enganches point)

      • I agree chori about Paredes, but you should take a look at Nico’s penalties because you can tell he has a great technique for them and I can imagine with double the penalties taken his stats would still be great

        • Montiel should be our Penalty substitute. He will give us Garay like confidence in penalties. (Hope it never gets to penalties,)

  9. Most goal contributions in knock out stages of major international tournaments: 1. Messi 17 (without penalty), 2. Ronaldo Nazario 17, 3. Griezmann 13 (with a lot of penalties), 4. Klose 11, 5. Pelé 9,….CR 6….

  10. Last night and the previous games success in this Copa has nothing to do with scaloni or formations or starting lineups.
    It has to do with pressure. Especially last night when there was no pressure.
    Unfortunately our team is always under pressure. If you ever lived in Argentina then you will know that the press and fans hold alot of expectations and pressure on the national team. The only other place in the world I have seen this type of pressure on the football team is England. And as you can see, they aren’t too good in serious tournaments either.
    Whenever we play relaxed no pressure football, our team connects, more accurate deliveries, less fouls, less mistakes etc.
    When Croatia arrived home after their loss yesterday they were greeted by a marathon of fans. When we lose we are greeted by the opposite.
    2002 we were expected to win the world cup. We went out in groups.
    2006 there was no expectations, but after the group stage the whole world especially Argentina press was eyeing us and expecting glory.
    2010 maradona as coach said that the team should not train much and should go shopping in south Africa because there was too much pressure on them. He was right, but he also didn’t bring zanneti and cambiasso with him, big mistake, rip.
    2014 came and we had pressure but not expected to win, our team gracefully made it to the finals and then fell to the pressure of who should play and who should touch the ball.
    Etc etc etc etc etc.
    If our team goes out on the field and has fun, smiles, stays relaxed, then I am sure not even the all star fifa team can stop us.

    • Preasure will always be there. The 1978 final, our opponent equalized with few minutes remaining but we prevailed in ET. In 1986 final , opponent equalized again, this time coming from 2 goals behind, but we prevailed. In 1993 Copa final, Mexico equalized but we prevailed.

      You just need to have that mental toughness. Brazil have that (except in certain periods where they’re simply crap), but they usually bounce back quicker than Argentina. Germany always have strong mentallity, no matter where they play. Then again, Germany only won Euro once in last 40 years, in 1996. In many occassions, luck is all that matters. Argentina lost on penalties in 1995, 2004 (final), 2006 , 2011, 2015 (final), 2016 (final), meanwhile teams like Italy , Brazil & Chile has won WC and Copa through penalties.

      • I agree Snake.
        There is alit of luck involved, alot of factors of course.
        But if they can stay focused, cool, calm and collect then it can open up the field for better okay and opportunity

  11. Papu Gomez and Guido earned their places, they can’t be dropped in next knockout match. Lautaro scoring goal made him 1st choice striker again, Paredes is scaloni favorite so he’ll be back in starting 11, Pazella seems to be the 2nd choice CB ahead of Otamendi. So according to me line up for the next match
    Emi Martinez – Molina Romero Pazella Tagliafico/Acuna – Paredes Guido Papu – Messi Lautaro Di Maria/Gonzalez/A Correa

  12. Emi;
    Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna;
    Guido, De Paul;
    A Correa, Messi, Papu

    I would love to see this set up at this point in the tournament,
    4-2-3-1 against Ecuador.
    Imo, Depaul is indispensable to this team & Guido is a better partner to Depaul.

  13. Please don’t talk about France. I never thought that France would be the champion of Euro Cup. We may not be able to show attractive football but I think day by day we are improving, and to emerge as the champion we need luck by our side. Yes Italy, Brazil and Belgium may be stronger than us but not by big margin. Now a days no team is weak. France vs Switzerland match is the prime example of it. Our only problem is our coaching staffs are inexperienced. But all of them were great players for Argentina and unlike other countries our so called great coaches at europian club level are not eager to coach Argentina. So with the limited resources we have our coaching staffs are doing their best. We may or may not be impressed with Scaloni but he is learning his coaching lessons with Argentina. Some times I think who would take the batton from messi for Argentina. Just think of the 1st goal against Bolivia , this time his presence of mind took part as well as his talent. After getting the ball from ANGEL CORREA he lobbed the ball for PAPPU GOMEZ over the Bolivian players. It’s great to watch, but I get frustrated when I think he is on the verge of his retirement. And that day would be a huge blow for Argentina. I don’t think any other player can do the same. Some of our mundo friends claim that LUKA ROMERO can void this place, but I think it is too early to make any comment on that.

    • We’ve been spoiled by Messi for many many years but everything in life has to come to an end and Messi being at the twilight of his career is just that and this is WHY we are ARGENTINA fans and Messi happens to be an Argentine and not the other way around.
      We all want ARG to win this COPA and Next year’s WC for Messi’s sake but for ARG’s MORE than anything else.

    • France is still a strongest side in the world if Griezamen and Benzema had played extra time then result could have been different. Mbappe was not in form after UCL match vs Man City that caused France early exit.

  14. It’s good everyone is happy, and the team looks brighter, all is smiling; although it is Bolivia but Messi Cs looks good and more confidence; upfront is very much alive with the Papu Gomez and Angel Correa inclusion; they should be the starter against Ecuador. And most important, bring back Emi Martinez as GK with Romero at the back. All is fine and enjoy being top at the group

    Vamos Albiceleste

    • He has a very small injury but Scaloni assures it is nothing to worry about (it is not related to his previous injury when the tournament just started). He should play in 4 days from now.

  15. 17 games without a loss is impressive to say the least from any coach, nm from one that looks he just walked off the street.
    Aside from very few things, last night game needed to end the way it did and could have easily been a 6-1 or 6-0 if it wasn’t for their GK, AKA Wolverine from X-Men.
    Stick to what has worked and make it better and avoid making mistakes and learn from the ones committed in the previous games.

    Media sucking up to Brazil as usual but anything is possible and don’t be fooled by this team or that, look at France giving up 2 goals in 10 mins…….what happened to their MIGHTY defense?? ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

  16. And nobody seemed to mention, Messi has scored from open play for Argentina after a long time. He was selfish in last two matches due to this very reason. It will give him the peace of mind.

    Lautaro must be relieved too. It’s all good news for us.

    After Brazil-Ecuador match, Gustavo Alfaro was seen talking to Tite. Alfaro told him how much Tite deserves to win this Copa and next World cup. Finally he literally begged Tite to believe he can do it and try win this Copa. It is hard to believe an Argentine would say this…when both the team he manages and the team that bears his nation’s flag still in competition. A born looser and traitor.

    Let’s throw rotten eggs to Gustavo Alfaro’s face next match.

  17. I know it’s only Bolivia but I genuinely think this Argentina team could have beaten that France 2018 team prove me wrong

    • If trainwreck Sampa stopped experimenting every effin game, played 433, stared off the the tournament with Armani instead of Caballero, and put in Aguero to start, I would like to imagine we would have won. What a wasted opportunity, EFF that guy.

  18. I believe that Scaloni will stick with 4-2-3-1. It gave him defensive stability. This is the best formation to neutralize a team that rely on wing play i.e Ecuador/Brazil.

    Our 4-2-3-1 reminds me of Bayern’s 7-0 winning team’s tactics. In that team, Ribery and Robben did a lot up and down movement which made that team a defensive and offensive success. Same role is played by Gomez and Correa/Di Maria…of course not as brilliant but still satisfactory.

    Gomez should start ahead of Lo Celso or Nico Gonzalez. He is our second best performer of group stage. Both Lo Celso and Nico is fitness concern.

    For right wing, Correa should get nod ahead of Di Maria because he is right footed. If you want to play defensive who is better than a Simeone’s disciple. Correa will be handy with his agility and close control in tight spaces. Di Maria can come when opponent is tired.

    Guido ahead of Paredes. De Paul’s inclusion is fixed.

    • As much as I like paredes and de Paul I must admit that I impressed guide and Palacios especially guide so I won’t mind if guide and Palacios start again vs ecuador . I liked Angel Correa his turn, speed connections between midfielder to attack was terrific.

      • Angel Correa reminded me of young Javier saviola..Same stature.. Maybe Correa little tall.. But they are direct.. Dribbling by using body movements looks good for Correa.. He connected Midfield to forward beautifully.. He should be used at least as a sub.. Because he can play in Midfield.. And he will work harder as well due to the simeone effect in atletico.. Substitute is very vital in these long tournaments.. Argentina progressing well in the tournament.. Papu is also providing that sting in left side especially with his goal scoring ability. Vamos Argentina

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