Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni comments on the team, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, tactics


Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni commented ont he team, Lionel Messi at PSG, Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and the tactics.

Lionel Scaloni has won the Copa America and Argentina are well on their way to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. However, with World Cup qualifiers in October, both Exequiel Palacios and Paulo Dybala are injured but have been called up to the squad. Speaking in an interview with TyC Sports, here is what he had to say:

“They have to be at the minimum conditions to come and for me, I like that.”

In addition, Scaloni also commented about possibly playing Italy:

“Everyone knows we would like to play against the best, there’s no doubt. For one reason or another, recently, the last team we played against a European team was Germany, which was a very good test and positive in any aspect.

“Facing top level teams before the World Cup is important. Hopefully it is made official and that it can be played because it interests us.”

About the Premier League players being called up to the national team for the October World Cup qualifiers:

“Yes, they are sure, no doubts. The first time is happened to us, we didn’t know where to look.”

On the image of Lionel Messi behind the PSG wall as they defended a free kick:

“It implies that you want to win. It will be what it will be, if he has to shoot or go to the post. He is a born winner and he will do what it takes for the team to win.

“The reality of it is seeing him like that, all it does is magnify what he is. Beyond being the best of all, he is going to leave a legacy to all of these kids. The most important thing is that he wants to keep winning.”

His hug with Lionel Messi after the Copa America:

“The intention was to stay on the side of the pitch with the staff but the emotion took over and I was facing him. What he generates has so much of an impact, the happiness was doubled.

“To see him happy was to see an entire country happy. We had some particularly ugly situations during the Copa, he knew it but in the end, it happened. There are personal things that happened with the family. It’s a hug with a little joy, a mountain of things. It will remain forever.”

Lionel Messi at PSG:

“A team that has Messi has to have good players next to him. You can’t have 10 players that only want the ball and not one of them be vertical about it. We have them and have decided that is the best option. You can’t always have the initiative for 90 minutes. City owned the game but the team that was more forceful won it.

“With me, Leo will always play and when he doesn’t, it’s because I don’t see him in the best conditions. In that, we have no problem. It’s obvious that there are moments but everything is spoken about. I’m of the idea that he always has to be there, he is untouchable. We respect ourselves and that is the most important.

Mauricio Pochettino substituting Lionel Messi out:

“At some point, I thought I had to go to the bench against Paraguay but I decided to let him play. To risk a player for 35 minutes, I prefer to take him out from the start.”

Messi’s first goal with PSG:

“I saw it well, a good match from PSG, Leo played a good match and scored a great goal. We are happy for that. We are always in contact. The information was that he needed a few days to recover and yesterday he played normally. We didn’t end up talking after the match. He finished well and that’s the most important thing.”

About the number five on the team:

“It’s been a while since we played with a five in front of the back line. We might see it in some games but lately we are not doing it. Even in some matches, neither Leandro Paredes or Guido Rodriguez can play. It’s not that we do not use it but that we do not need it.”

What he told Angel Di Maria after the 2018 World Cup:

“When the 2018 World Cup finished, I had a relation with most of the players and what I told him was that he didn’t have to step down from the Argentina national team. Many decided to publicly announce that they would not be continuing.

“I told him many emotional things because it’s what I felt and because when I speak, I don’t lie. That is something the players know very clearly. He still has something to give the team.

“The important thing is that he feels important and to have that feeling of freedom of being able to go to the pitch, do a nutmeg or a dribble, something that does greatly. That he went back to have and for us it’s important.”

Regarding the match against Brazil:

“Those who acted normally were us. I picked the team, no one told me that they couldn’t play. CONMEBOL endorsed it until the last moment that they could play. It smelled bad from the start.”

Sergio Aguero and the number nine spot with Argentina:

“We had a chat today with the coaching staff. It’s an important moment for him and for all the players. We need him well and to have some form. He’s a player that we like, that has always been there.

“But it’s obvious that we need him to be playing and he has some problems. Now he is training, hopefully he plays and oputs me in a tight spot. Now Dybala is injured and it hurts us because we want them to be well.”

Emiliano Martinez and the Argentina national team:

“We didn’t know everything that he was going to do during the penalties. It was something new but beyond what he did, he stopped all the penalties. It’s part of his personality, we look purely at the sporting aspect. Today, he is at a good level. If he continues like this, there are no problems and if not, there are his team mates that are contributing.

“He plays psychologically, it shouldn’t be easy, I never found myself in that situation. The nerves play and he was very calm.”

About the national team:

“Today, no national team in the world would dare say that they are favorites for something, not even France. Today, we can compete as equals. Great teams in the World Cup fell and after would go on and win, like Italy in 2006 and 2018 with France.”

Why he always changes the team:

“It interests me that everyone trains hard and thinking that anyone can play. I think that not every match is the same. In some, you may need a different type of a winger or a different midfield.

“You cannot always play the same way and with the same players. They understand that the team did not lose its essence. The level is very even, it would be very unfair to say that I have a starting eleven. I respect those who don’t understand it but it has to be. Today, only Messi is for sure.”


  1. Barca’s sorry state proves how great of a player Messi is. He had been carrying that pathetic , washed-up team alone on his shoulder’s for the last 4 seasons! He is the reason Barca was competing for the league title until the end last season. Now with Messi gone, not only they lost someone who scores 50 goals/assist per season , they lost someone who draws half the opposition players towards him , providing acre of space for other players. Yesterday, Benfica showed no respect to Catalans whatsoever and to add insult to injury their fans started chanting Messi Messi around the end of the match. LOL.

    Barca are doomed!! It will take them minimum 4 yrs to get out of this financial situation and for this season la-Liga has allocated their spending cap to 90 million which is 1/5th of Real Madrid. The only player that I can think of that could rescue their toothless attack is Aguero. They desperately need Kun back from injury, he is the only one there who can draw opponent defenders and score goals! They just need to find a way to keep him fit!!

  2. Is it only me or you noticed that Gabriel Jesus intentionally tried to hurt Messi at the end of the match, but failed to succeed it? I hate Casemiro and Jesus a lot. They are very rude!

    • I believe those Brazucas are probably the reasons why Kun get pushed aside from the team despite being the club biggest legend. Its not coincidence at all.

      Ronaldinho, Neymar and Alves friendship with Messi are real but the rest are mostly fake.

  3. Juan Foyth is playing good, he should be Argentina RB he will make Argentina defence more solid. Last 7or 8 games he did not look like mistake prone.

  4. The truth is Scaloni is growing as a coach. When it comes to taking the risk, he is very balanced. That is a sign of a good coach. It was very risky to start Emi over the Argentina local favorite, Armani. It was very risky to start Cuti in the final. It was very risky to keep calling up Di Maria when most public (and our Mundo) did not want him back. But he made all correct decisions when it comes to making the decision. And he saved his best line up only in the final against Brazil.

    He is not someone who lived in the past by trying to play the players he already knows only. He will make changes only if they brings improvements to the team.

    Now I only hope for good draws in the World Cup. I believe we can go really far.

    • Agree. Maybe this is the reason why Scaloni is so cautious integrating a new player to the system. You could have a player like Buendia or Licha, for example, paying excellent for their club but not necessarily will add extra strength to your existing team/starting eleven. Seriously, with DeMaria, Angel in the team, you may not need a Buendia. Similarly, with Cuti and Otamendi in the first eleven, I don’t see Licha is a significant improvement. Good thing is that Licha is keeping his spot in the 28 and has the prospect to step in. But, what i don’t understand is forcing Pazella and LMQ in front of the packing order to Licha. Similarly, putting Parades automatically ahead of Guidao, Dominguez, or Palacios – but we may see this later scenario changing in coming days.

      We were once impatient with Sabella in his early tenure because of the likes of Barna, Guinazu, Sosa being called up consistently ahead of some bigger names. No disrespect to the local players – actually they did a great service to the team during the qualifiers but at the end, none represented Argentina in the World Cup 2014.

      Scaloni may not be as mediocre as I thought.

  5. Rulli really missed his chance to impress today. He just doesn’t reach for the ball for some reason. First goal by Telles was shot from miles away.

    Ronaldo’s goal was good but he still had a perfectly good chance to save it. Looks like he is still not a stable keeper.

    I just get sad remembering this guy had like 88 potential on FIFA a few years ago.

  6. I was one of many who did NOT want Scaloni to coach this team because I simply thought he was not experienced or skilled enough to run a machine of this magnitude but all that changed after I saw how the team played together in 2019 COPA, I saw something that I hadn’t seen since 2014, I saw A TEAM that played well together, they looked happy and fought for every inch.
    This team has come a long way and lets not forget about his staff, all future great coaches have to start somewhere and THIS ONE has been on the right path thus far.

    • Yes, 100%. It took me maybe before the Colombia game of this recent Copa to realize.
      Even recently I see the team has a swag about them. Previous teams have played well, then stagnant in WC.

      I have a feeling this team will bring back the tango in the WC when needed.

    • Honestly I only *just* recently started warming up to Scaloni, namely after the copa win. I’ve been very critical of him ever since his 5th and 6th game in charge (both against Mexico) all the way back in 2019 because, at the time, he seemed clueless. The team started disastrously in 2019 copa thanks to his never ending chopping and changing (used 11 different formations in 11 games) of the team. But to his credit he added Lautaro and De Paul to the team and things started change and continued to improve from then on. Now -21 games unbeaten and a copa america win – later, the team is united and stable in way it hasn’t been since 2016 and Argentina, right now, is looking like a world cup semi-finalist team and if Scaloni starts improving the team’s counter-attack, especially when they’re on the back foot, then this team could go all the way.

      • Also he needs to throw few undeserved players. Pezzella, LMQ and Armani. Scaloni should open his eyes and replace them with great players soon otherwise it will come back and haunt us. Hope pezzella and LMQ gets exposed by the pacy team in the qualifiers.

        • Don’t agree about LMQ, the kid’s got talent, not the best defender in the world but is very good at reading the game, superb with the ball at his feet and strong in the air. He just needs to improve his man marking and while I think that the likes of Senesi, Medina and Balerdi have a higher ceiling, I still believe that Quarta has something to offer, especially now, where he’s doing really well with a much improved Fiorentina.

  7. He said we don’t play with a 5.
    Isn’t paredes a 5?
    Is it a double pivot??
    Cause it seems paredes always sitting in front of the backline maybe I’m wrong.
    Still wondering why he ia not making the 11 in PSG

    • No we don’t play with a classical #5 like Mascherano. I have mentioned earlier, that we don’t have a top #5 now. Scaloni have done very well in creating a team of midfielders, who do #5, #8, #6. They take turns – Paredes, De Paul, Lo Celso, Palacios etc. The sum of collective.

  8. Meanwhile Tata played 2 Copa finals and approached the game in the same exact way. No wonder he gets same exact result. Scaloni tweaked his strategy according to how our opponents play.

      • He was. Always started with Higuain and subbed in Aguero who’d suck a bit less but the tactic stayed the same so he gets the same outcome. Tata’s team always started the attack by passing the ball to Messi even when he’s crowded by 5 Chile defenders.

        Scaloni started with Papu, Nico , Lautaro, Correa in certain games but not in some other games. He did the same with Di Maria, even though he’s always available. He’s not one trick pony like Tata.

  9. The main point is Scaloni have an open mind, don’t close the door for the fit and in form players; it is his brilliance and excellent thinking to bring and make them as one unit team. Gel and chemistry is for sure the priority

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