Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni spoke at a press conference on Saturday where he commented on Lionel Messi, the team, Brazil and the undefeated streak.
Lionel Scaloni’s team started off their first of three matches with a 3-1 win against Venezuela on Thursday. Argentina play Brazil on Sunday and he spoke about the starting eleven for that match. Here is what he had to say:
“I have an idea on how the team will line-up but we still have not been able to do a training session with those who played against Venezuela. We will probably make a few changes thinking about the upcoming matches.
The changes are not because of how they have performed. They all did. It’s important to be able to enjoy them all without the team feeling it. It’s not for the performance, it’s a question of rest.”
Scaloni also commented on Lionel Messi:
“Leo (Messi) is fine. It was a scare but luckily he is fine. We will confirm his condition 100% this afternoon when we do some work on the pitch.”
In regards to winning the Copa America and the friendships in the team:
“We won the Copa and I we had to go to Venezuela and be protagonists. It’s not over. It’s not that we won and that’s it. We don’t relax. These guys are used to competing at a high demand. Them winning the Copa did not change them. It’s a huge satisfaction.
“When you are enclosed together for so long, an affinity develops. These guys have known each other for a long time and they even went together on vacation. All of that adds up.”
About the match against Brazil on Sunday:
“Brazil are the most winning-est team of all time. Whoever plays, plays. Brazil is always an important opponent. They come off an incredible positive streak and show that they are up to the task with their high quality players. We know that they are playing at home and that we are playing against a team that has won all seven matches. We take every match the same way, we face the match with the highest demand.”
Regarding Emiliano Martinez and if he will remain as the goalkeeper:
“He is in a good moment but by no means do we consider him to be immovable. This is in every position. We have made changes and the team doesn’t feel it. As long as you perform well, you’ll surely keep going. We think that they should perform for their clubs first and after that with the Argentina national team.”
About the World Cup qualifiers:
“A World Cup qualifier has nothing to do with a World Cup. We are lucky that most of our players are used to playing in Europe. The difference is in the speed of the ball. I do not think the position in the standings is important but how you get there.”
He was also asked about the leagues being against the idea of the players being released:
“After this fixture, FIFA should hold a meeting to see what will be done for the next one. I imagine action will be taken, this can’t go on like this. This date was played with everything fair in terms of the decisions. You cannot compete like this. I understand the other national teams and they have the maximum support.”
The undefeated streak:
“I didn’t even remember the streak because I know it’s going to end. It doesn’t worry me. We aren’t invincible. Hopefully it will arrive later but if it happens soon, it has to happen in a good way. That the team feels good even in defeat.
“We are prepared for different circumstances. At any time during the match, Argentina is dominating and we know what can happen. There we have to know how to defend. But it’s also clear what we have to do when we have the ball. There are opponents of great quality and their offensive power can complicate things. If you are not prepared for that, you will suffer.”