Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni talks about World Cup team, being coach, players


Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni spoke about the 2022 World Cup, being a coach and the players.

Lionel Scaloni announced his list of 26 players for the 2022 World Cup and he has them all with him in Abu Dhabi. The team play the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday and Scaloni spoke at a press conference, here is what he had to say about the World Cup team:

“We made the list thinking of the best for the team. It’s logical that in a national team like ours, top players are left out. It was going to be difficult to decide who stays out because they are players who are there.

“Football wise, we have no player with the characteristics of Lo Celso. Beyond that, those who had to replace him when he wasn’t there have done well. We’re not going to tactically change the team.

“Tagliafico trained separately because he was tired from the trip. Acuña missed his team’s last games. Cuti, today, will be a little more demanding. We are not going to risk anyone that can represent a problem for us in the future.

“I haven’t spoken too much with Dybala. His club handled his recovery well. We were very calm about his recovery. He deserved this chance.

“I see Messi as always, wanting to enjoy the World Cup.”

About the 2022 World Cup:

“More than saying that the World Cup is won by the team that defends well, I say that it’s won by the team that is cautious and knows how to be intelligent.

“We went to see Saudi Arabia. They’re a very fast team. It’s the first game at the World Cup, therefore, it’s very particular. All the World Cup games will be difficult. Saudi Arabia is a difficult rival.

“The preview to a World Cup is a moment to enjoy. We dream, like every kid playing a World Cup. In Pujato, I have a photo of me with the Argentina shirt when I was 7 years old that I see every once in a while. Today, I am lucky to be in charge of my country’s team.”

Regarding being a coach:

“When I played, I wasn’t as calm, it was the complete opposite of how I am. I learned a lot from the coaches I had. I am one that thinks that the coach has to be the example of the group. I try to transmit that.

“In the same way that when we took in charge, we didn’t think about every first experience. Today, we don’t think that we are going to debut as a coaching staff in a World Cup. I am happy and content to be at the head of this group.”

In regards to the game against the United Arab Emirates:

“It’s an official game, you can’t make more changes than FIFA authorizes. We’re not going to take any risks in the friendly with the United Arab Emirates.”


  1. Ok, I read the following and I really had to interject:

    Quote by Anuparno
    “Correct. We didn’t deserve to win that world cup. That looked like a negative football and Netherlands absolutely dominated us even in belgium game 1 goal thn we parked the bus. But it was super effective”

    Honestly man, what Worldcup were you watching??!!

    The Netherlands game was essentially a midfield battle and neither sides got any foothold on the game, please go back and watch that match again, ATTENTIVELY this time!
    As for the Belguim game, Argentina outplayed Belguim’s “golden generation” out of the park, with Messi (somehow) missing a one on one with Courtois and Pipita hitting the post. Dimaria got injured and Argentina switched to a 4-4-2 and controlled the game completely, to the point that Belguim didn’t have a single shot on goal. Please go back and watch the game, preferably sober.

  2. Anuparno, are you the reincarnation of Kevin aka Kavinder? Like him you have a proclivity to have one foot in alternate reality, the post about Arg vs Nether 2014 is one of many examples of that.

  3. Saudi is one team in our group which will have an advantage of like playing in home condition. Cant afford to take them lightly. Mexico is our eternal rivals so theres always that fire when we play them. Poland is our toughest opponent in group stage. Lets see how we are gonna start.

    The timings of our first match is like afternoon 2pm in middle east region. That too on Tuesday. Thats a working day 🤦.Hope the knockouts are played in night timeings.

  4. I can see lots of members doubt enzo and don’t want him even the first sub. Its idiotic. He is hands down our best midfielder on form and even on talent. He is even better than both locelso and DePaul. Yes because of chemistry he is still a bench player but soon he will surpass every Argentina midfielder currently playing and will eventually become a superstar of the 2026 Argentina national team. If Argentina wants to win scaloni needs to give 3 players chances
    Also have to utilize Dybala properly

    • If you are going to say that Enzo is better than Lo Celso and De Paul, nobody will take you seriously. At 21 years of age he still has time to develop and early signs are very good, but you need to tone it down.

      • Im commenting this considering his potential. He will be eventually be a superstar and in both club and international football where as both depaul and locelso club career is quite under whelming

        • Then consider the grammatical tense you are using. Refer to the future and the potential, not the present moment. He may very well be a super star and elite player one day. As for the club career, to me personally, and likely to many fans as well, club form means nothing if both Lo Celso and De Paul have been immense for the national team, consistently.

          To be fair, De Paul has not been able to replicate his Udinese form in Atletico, but that might just be down to Simeone. As for Lo Celso, he’s been doing quite well for Villareal, so not sure what your issue with him is.

          It’s not a zero sum game, let’s not minimize some players so that we can can elevate others. It’s a blessing to have many talented players at our disposal. Teams with depth are more likely to win major tournaments, especially when more subs are allowed.

    • It’s not a question of whether he’s our best performing midfielder right now, that does seem to be the case on club form and I won’t dispute it. But the question is if he can slide into the hole Lo Celso left and do exactly what Lo Celso did, as that role is quite fundamental to the “well oiled machine” we’ve created and part of it is built off of overcoming Paredes’s weaknesses. We need to find some ritual to resurrect El Mongol from thin air to answer this question. Anyway, I think it is possible he starts tomorrow so we will have to stay alert about what Scaloni does to fill that hole

  5. “More than saying that the World Cup is won by the team that defends well, I say that it’s won by the team that is cautious and knows how to be intelligent.”

    The problem with Sabella’s approach in 2014 was that his team was ultra defensive and once Dimaria got injured we looked like the old-school Italy team i.e. our attack was blunt and no tooth. It was just defend , defend and defend and yes we didnot concede any goals in the knockouts until the final but our attack look really boring which is why our path to the final was excruciatingly frustrating and whatever chances we created in the final our forwards blew it.

    I like Scaloni’s game strategy. Yes he did start his tenure by strengthening the defense and going full defensive/bus park mode but now he is able to get that balance in the team. He hasn’t compromised his defense to execute his high pressing attacking approach and also he is lucky to have players with proper mixture of both defensive and attacking attributes.

    • Correct. We didn’t deserve to win that world cup. That looked like a negative football and Netherlands absolutely dominated us even in belgium game 1 goal thn we parked the bus. But it was super effective

      • go to fifa archive now that it is free and watch again our games of 2014 because probably you are confused with other world cup or other team.
        you need to refresh your memory.

      • I agree with my friend Cox4 here.
        Anu, you should rewatch the games indeed. Because, as far as i remember, everyone was parking the bus when playing against Argentina, not the other way around. Even the Germans who humiliated the yellow team were extra cautious against us.

      • Netherlands absolutely dominated us? On which planet? You need to rewatch that game asap! It’s was an even game, without any team clearly dominating.

        FYI, Argentina vs Netherlands 2014 WC stats:

        Possession: N 56% A 44 % nearly even
        Total shots: N 7, A 8, we had more shots
        Shots on target: N 1 A 4, we had more shots on target

        Anuparno, you have so many Kevin tendencies, are you the reincarnation of Kevin aka Kavinder? He was also fond of misrepresenting reality…

        • Only in 1974 when we were thrashed 4 0 by the Mechanica Naranja led by Cruyff.

          In 1978 we won. In 1998 it was pretty much even until Bergkamp scored in the final minute. In 2006 it was a useless game as both had qualified. In 2014 we needed Mascherano to prevent a loss and we won on penalties.
          This year we should avoid corners and free kicks in the final third. Their air force with Van Dijk, Weghorst and Luuk de Jong is taller and better than ours. We could lose in case of many standard situations.

    • Still our attack was more active than Germans in 2014 wc final. Old school or not, if we take into account the chances created, barring Higuain miss which came from German defenders’ mistake, we had more hence we deserved to win.
      I don’t remember Germany attacking really.

      • my friend for lose that final it had to happened
        1. two idiotic misses (Higuain, Palacio)
        2. one clear penalty that the Italian ashole referee didn t give
        3.blackmail to AFA from real madrid to keep Di maria out of final and
        4. 450 playing minutes in 4 games in the legs of our players with whatever that can means for stamina.
        but…… the history is written and that can t change.

        • Yes, my friend as fully agreed on every single point u wrote as u pointed out very well as From all those points from 1 to point 4 as most of us can indeed still remember even it is allready more than 8 years ago, though for those who not agree can and should deffenetly re watch the games as also i Fully agree with my friend Waweride that besides that blody late extra time goal from German’s to be able to win, they did not had Any real changes before that as also EnganChe and mamoun elpipita clearly stated that the game against Netherlands was an even game, though they may had a tiny bit of ball posession more, but Arg had more shots and also more shots on target in that game as what mamoun elpipita wrote about Belgium game i also can very easilly remember it like he describe it as the other game’s too are hard to forget for me so i have my reasons to not go rewatch them now as i can still remember as Cox4, Waweride, EnganChe and mamoun elpipita alkready explained and described them so well as i also do remember those games or entire 2014 WC,

          Cox4” the history is written and that can t change.”

          Yes, correcto nothing to do about that now as Arg was clearly better team, though German’s had better roster, but besides that one blody Late goal+all those points from Cox4 from 1-4 everyone who understands football and WC too, clearly knows that SABELLA(RIP) did extraordinary more than good job with Arg’s heavily or at least quite injured roster indeed ! There was absolutly nothing more he Could had done with that roster as he found out that the greatest attack of tournament was not fit as in WCQ’s as known FAB 4, so i also heavily doubt every others nation’s NT team’s coach who was taking part at 2014 Could had turned the best and most attacked side of the tournament( which was not men to be as FAB 4 was not fit according to they standar’s as all, as everyone was super scared before the tournament started about Args attack and THE FAB 4) to the most best deffense in the whole tournament as also SABELLA had barely any time to do this as that was not pian A, but he was forced to plan B etc…and also did that with his quite injured roster more than good as no one could had done that as, because he was such a SUPER WISE Person and coach and like Cox4 said a real ” good football architect! ”

    • Sabella was doing exactly what Scaloni said and that is why he was so successful.
      Sabella was very inteligent coach and human (may God rest him in peace).
      he take the maximum from his roster and he play according to the qualities they had.
      he knew the weaknesses and the advantages of our players and cover them like good football architect. he take the team in the world cup final and we lose in details there the time when others with better roster failed loudly.
      our attack was boring and you didn t like it because we was slow. but we didn t park any bus please. what you expect in same time? in knock out phase of world cup to score 3 or 4 goals? how easy you believe it is ? which other teams did something like this and you expect this from Argentina? Germany in 1 game ok. our players played 3 times 120 minutes !!!! in one of them with penalty shootout.
      totally 450 minutes in 4 games !!!! you expect our team be fresh ,fast and no boring?
      anyway. i don t agree with you about 2014 at all.

  6. > I learned a lot from the coaches I had. I am one that thinks that the coach has to be the example of the group. I try to transmit that.

    yes, he learned to be the opposite of the moron sampaoli. That idiot train wreck looked like head was going to explode with anxiety. pacing non stop up and down the sidelines, not shaking hands with opposition coach.publicly throwing players under the bus. Hands down the shittiest coach imaginable.

      • From 26 players 3 are gk. Romero.acuna.parades.dimaria. nico. Taglafico are not 100% or just comeout of injured… That means 6+3+1messi… 10 playes from 26 are not going to participate.. Then lautaro will play who played almost all mints. Otamendi and licha played almost all the matches….

  7. I love this: “More than saying that the World Cup is won by the team that defends well, I say that it’s won by the team that is cautious and knows how to be intelligent. ”

    Italy was an intelligent team at Euro 2020, and they won the trophy.

    Look at other teams, France is arrogant, Brazil/Spain is stubborn, Germany/England is immature..

    With a smarter player like Enzo replacing Lo Celso, we will play even more intellegiant and tactical.

    • I doubt Enzo will replace Lo Celso directly. Will Scaloni try that kind of a sudden change in the starting group?
      Enzo is an interesting prospect, I love to see him replace Lo Celso and be one of our main man in the Midfield..

      But I think realistically Pappu or Mc Allister or even Palacios will be ahead of Enzo in the picking.

      • Yes, germany indeed again with special 7 starters most propably from Bayern look somehow funny and once again the one of the team’s to Beat, is it just a coincencende or rather continiueation from their previous WC history, well i will pick the latter, though the last 2 major tournament’s which were Low’s final once did went for them way a low the Bar, but as many had alkready discussed this subject in Germany specially after 2018 it was quite a surrprise that he still was at charge in latest Euro’s, though their new coach Flick Has been Low’s assistant alkready at least sinne 2018 and now their head Coach+ had quite amazing and perfect Career at Bayern so far when he was their coach as won with them everything there was to win at the highest level of Club football, so i will not TaKe lightly his team at all, instead even Werner out their team looks more than dangerous for me as i do not know so much about Van Gaal’s new dutch team, but still i think they may be another team to beat from europe as also Denmark for me looks like a real team with collective togetherness as obviously amongst their team may not be such a high pfofile individual name’s, but they have instaed many who can Score and they are playin collective as one team together and their coach too can and is able to change things quickly enough during inside the game etc….also i will add that this time again Germany has chance to win it’s 5th WC and that will forsure motivate them as also what happened at 2018 an in latest Euro’s etc…

    • Favorites often find it difficult to win the tournament…. As per the draw, ENG/GER (2nd in their group) have the easier route; Even POR have good talent at their disposal and favourable draw….

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