Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni speaks on World Cup, penalty kicks


Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni spoke to the media after the match about the team, the World Cup, Lionel Messi, Alejandro Sabella and the penalty kicks.

Lionel Scaloni has his team in the semi finals of the World Cup after penalty shootout win vs. Netherlands in the quarter finals. Speaking to the media after the match, here is what he had to say:

“It’s an objective. Now that we are at the dance, we have to keep dancing. We would like to continue, with all the respect to Croatia. Let’s hope we live up to it.

“The first objective is to pass the group stages and after that the quarter finals and now we are in the semi finals… We are at one step. With the most respect, we are very close.

“They have the spirit of knowing how to face every moment in the situations. We didn’t deserve to go to penalty kicks. Even at that, the team continued to show its face. A difficult match, complicated. We had it under control but football has this, it’s a beautiful sport. When you think it’s all over, it’s not over.”

Scaloni also spoke about the quarter final match and Lionel Messi:

“There are times you have to defend. Like they played, they force you that you have to defend. They put in three defenders that are 1.90 cm and you have to defend. The last 10 or 12 minutes were of the biggest difficulty.

“The match was for that. It’s a quarter final match. They are things that happen on the pitch. We didn’t play with one less when we had the ball, with 11… Leo showed that he is the best of all time. We are happy to have him.”

In regards to the referee:

“I won’t talk about the referee. I know him, I have a good relationship. He had my shirt from when I played. I still think he is a good referee. It’s not worth it, it’s over.”

When asked about Alejandro Sabella:

“I hope he is proud of what we have done with this group. I’m sure he is.”

About the penalty kicks:

“We knew who the kickers were going to be. There were too many players. That is good, it gives you confidence. It’s still something positive for the team to see that everyone wants to kick. And we knew that Emiliano, like against Colombia, could save. A little of a repeat of that and it gives the players confidence. We only had to decide the order but there were plenty of takers.”


  1. Morocco showed us how to defend a thin scoreline. The grit, the organization, the labour, the concentration – they showed all that is needed to defend being one up against a prolific attacking line. But Scaloni somehow could not get some aspects of his defence right in this world cup. When we are 0-0, the defence looks solid. Then if somehow we are 1-0 up, complacency sets in. Then if by chance we are 2-0 up more complacency sets in. Then we have issues like average height and physique of defenders. Then we have park-strollers like Lautaro who would not run after anyone. Messi is 35, Di Maria is not younger. So they are not after anyone as hard as the Moroccans. So the moment Alvarez is subbed, the defence becomes 3 men and 3 inches shorter. Also Morocco has a solid Achraf Hakimi. His other soldiers are very calm and composed too. Through-out the game. In all sense of the word. Game after game.

    • I think the circumstances were very different, Portugal were a mixture of hopeful/wasteful/unlucky whereas the Dutch were determined and powerful in their attempt to come back. I don’t think we should be too harsh in this instance considering how Scaloni managed the Copa final by defending a lead. Of course there’s room for improvement but right now we are strong!

      • Well, i don’t know about circumstances as theese 2 games with 4 different teams, so no comment on that, but for Copa final in Maracana Arg defended their 1 goal lead much better than so far in this tournament when leading by 2 goals as i don’t also belive that even they say that 2 goals lead is the most dangerous one….well, Ok, but if u are up with 2 goals lead and you start digging your own grave by defending so deeply and just letting the opponent to Di what so ever with the ball and ofcourse if they manage to score one the pressure will grow as this is completly normal, but instead of this one should think and look in the mirror why and how come his team lost 2 goal lead with 20 min+ as that is no exuse even if it was 45 min+, though ofcourse in any football game anything can allways happen lime in life in general as sadly that American quite known Person in football world died during Arg vs Netherlands, which is more than tragedy and realky terrible thingbto happen for him and for all of those who ever knew him as i feel for him too, but in life u never know what will happen and this is the very same with football too, though if u are leading by 2 goals at 80th minute, well even foolish things from Paredes or not u must be prepared that there will be extra time given as we seen in this WC allready so many times and u just can’t throw the towel and let your opponent to do what so ever with ball as that will cost u like it did yesterday or at least it will give chance for the opponent as if they score even one the amount of boost is huge and therefore u can’t let your players to defend so deeply as Morocco only did this at very end of the game as they just got too much tired, but most of their game they stick to what they are extremly good at+ scored that winning goal, as they obviously have great players, but so does Arg fairly to say even more greater players exept, maybe Pezzella as i don’t really want to bash any player, but the truth is that he should had never been picked as this is now even worst with Tagliafigo too, as if Scaloni would had tried all his players as Licha, Mc Allister and Enzo for example a bit more earlier than he actually did, well we all know the story from Cuti and Dibu too as also luck was playing on Arg’s side even back then as everyone was at least begging for Dibu to start, but it took so long for Scaloni to do that, though thanx god it hapoened as otherwise Arg could and would had most been alkready out from this Wc and also not won the Copa too as against Colombia Arg allmost lost, because of Pezzella and mainly won, because of Dibu as against Varzil Arg played their second best game after Finallissima, but also this 2 games can’t be really compared as won been played at Maracana with not that many people watching from the stands and another on blody Wembley against Italian team who had just lost against Northern Macedonia and that is the reason why obviously Italy did not make it to WC, but back to my point, which was that if Scaloni would had tried those 3 as Licha Mc Allister and specially Enzo, though at that time he thought that there will be no problem as having GLC on abroad even Palacios injury’s from past and present were quite predictable as GLC also not been obviously the luckiest player with his injuries too as same with ADM etc..,as suddenly just before WC Arg ended up with some many questions raised about so many players injured like Cuti too and lost Nico G. J.Correa even after the team was selected,but those 2 had to be replaced as it was well known too that Acuna also not fully fit and therefore not been on his best with Sevilla as Tagliafigo looked great at some point, maybe with Lyon, but that did not lasted so long and now in WC where injuries do happen to everyteam before or during, well if Scaloni would had tried others more as Medina and who so ever as i’m pretty sure they could had find even one more RB, though don’t know who, but my point is did he really tried after he won the Copa as it was also obvious that most of Copa team will make it to this WC, but as he did not obviously, because we all know how he is even with his subs and strating eleven’s even it is also true that he has won the Copa, Finallisima and managed by the help of his players to reach the semi of WC as offcourse i will give credit for all this, but Still i think there is many things he could had done even better for Arg, but as he did not and brought Pezzella instead of Medina or did not tried, maybe in my oppinion to find alternatives for emergencys as i’m talking about back up’s of back up’s as with football like with life u never know who will be fit to play and how long and who will be on form etc…as it is more than obviously something not right with Tagliafigo also i can’t trust Paredes really even he scored penalty for Arg as i don’t know the situation with Guido as how is he really feeling too as it is obvious that RDP has something more or less as ADM too and most propably Lautaro too as what is DYBALA’s situation, well none of us can’t really know as they will only tell when player can’t play any longer as i’m not even sure that they will let anyone know this at this stage of WC when u have reached an semi so all we can do is that most of Arg’s main players will be fit, but also Arg must have plan B and C too as any player can get injured during any game or practice or get sick with flu or what so ever as nothing is granted in life and the last thing even i know this won’t hapoen is that Scaloni will Open up his eyes as i’m sure he is morecthan capable to do so if he just want’s to, but that is not his style as he rather sticks to the very same by forexample defending the 2 goal lead as he has done twice in a row now with KO’s of this WC and i really do not want to say this at all, but a Person died during the game as being US citizen, well others has died too by building this WC and during the WC as obviously, when they are slave labour no one realky care’s as i don’t want to compare deaths from no one as all citizens of world are equal for me and i so not wish death to no one as i only wish that theese 2 more than tragedig endings from Arg’s last 2 games and how the lead was defended as way too deeply with no really any pressure towards the ball or the opponts player with the ball as i don’t mean that everybody has to run after thevery same ball or press constantly, no just with enough to give the opponent the feeling that u are Still playing even u are leading by 2 goals or what so ever like Morocco did, though in the end the opponent will create some chances, but if u have kept and outplayed your opponent for 80 min+, then why to stop ?

        Well, next game is Croatia, which i think will be more difficult than LVG’s Netherlands as they have very good middfield and also they are solid at the back as one of their CB’s might be the best amongst those who are same age with his young age also their wingbacks or fullbacks are good too from both sides and then u add Perisic and Kramaric and Pasalic with others from the bench too, so even they have played more longer WC until so far i think it is also fair to say that their opponents allready from group stage’s until now with 2 game of KO’s has been better than those Arg have yet to played as i’m not saying that Croatia will win Arg as Arg can easily win if with all players that are not suspended able to play exept Pezzella, sorry again for this, but he can’t be fielded no longer only if there is simply no one else left etc..,also Scaloni must pay attention that even going to penalties won’t guarantee Arg anything as Croatia’s goalkeeper is obviously very good with penalties too as in general also so in fact as Acuna suspended Arg may come this match as a bit vulnerable as with Tagliafigo it will be very risky, indeed so Scaloni must find a way how replace Acuna with not using Tagliafigo as some suggestions saying that, naybe Licha should be played as LB, well i don’t know how good he will be as LB, but as he can play DM, maybe he could play as LB or Scaloni should use again 3 at the back, but some one else in Tagliafigos position as i would use either Molina, but as Montiel also suspended i can’t see that happening so i will sacrifice Julian with his running abbility and start with if ADM is fit to play him and Messi up front or with Lautaro up front or bring A.Correa or Dybala seriously to the table now, well there is Still lot of options, but as A.Correa and Dybala has not played so far as Scaloni simply did not have to as he should had allraedy given them sone minutes even Almada too as also i don’t know what is the situation with Palacios, but somehow i just lost my trust for Paredes even he scored an important penalty i see him even more risky than Ota who is far more experienced etc…well, anyhow i’m more than happy how the semi’s look like aa Arg obviously may have harder opponent than France, but as we are talking about semi’s of WC i’m wishing for 2 more things and the rest i will leave for the final as my wishes are that Arg will obviously win their last 2 matches and Morocco will pull one more surprise even most of their players most propably unable to play as Saiss and Ziyach etc..,well, i just hope they will showel it up to the cocky Froggy’s assess, pardon my language and pardon for been so critical about Scaloni’s decission’s as obviously he is morecthan good coach, but every coach as it does not matter how good u are and how good u will be with your team can allways improve, even the best of best as they also try to improve all the time as the game is just getting more trickier as time flies by etc…so i’m sorry for my hard word’s about Scaloni’s strategy’s as this mis due mainly because i know he can or could had done things better as bringing Medina for example, but now it is way too Late for that and i must apoligize for everyone here on Mundo for being so critical as this is due to very long story and how long i have supported Arg and all what has hapoened in the past, but all that is in the past now and i so give credit for everything Scaloni and Co have done so far as i hope they can realky pull this one out as Arg is so close again, though at least 2 very difficult games Still to be played, but with so many teams dropping out so early or maybe more early than expected i think Arg has a fantastic opportunity to finallly win the WC after 36 year’s as it is also not really surprising to see the French again in semi’s, but Croatia and Morocco for sure surprised me, but in morecthan good way as i’m not done yet, but so far as RDP said it has been succesfull to end up in semi’s, which i have to give credit for Scaloni and CO, though i don’t even dare to think if Arg would had ended up on the otherside of the bracket, which luckily did not hapoen as i’m not saying that it would had been impossible for Arg å, but i think it would had been more difficult, specially now as Varzil kicked out by Croatia and also Portugal by Morocco also they beat Spain too and won their group where Belgium and unlucky Canada had to go home allraedy from group stages as i did not Belgium to win WC, but it was surprising see them dropping out with likes of Germany and Uruguay too, well WC is WC whether itäisellä played on different time than ever before and also somehow even no GLC and now also no Acuna for semi i could see all this WC as the one finalky for Arg, which honestly should had hapoened allraedy twice after Mexico 86, so i think better i stop whining about Scaloni and his tactics towards end of the games specially while comfortably leading and just focus for the next game as i hope LA SELKECCION AND OUR BELOVED ALBICELESTE WILL ALSO DO SO AND BRING THE WC TROPHY BACK TO ARG AFTER 36 YEARS ! COME ON ARG ONLY 2 GAMES TO BEAT AND THE WC IS ALL YOURS !

  2. I don’t understand why people bashing our team. We controlled a game for 80 mins plus the entire xtra time.. we have short players and the Dutch took advantage.. that’s basically it. By the end of the day we won.

  3. You can shove your wise words up somewhere but not on our ears.
    I just watched the morocco match and another wonderful match. All 3 quarters have lived up to it.
    I wrote earlier today that world cup is a different bitch and that heroes are made and egos are shattered at this level. Heroes like Amrabat at the twilight of his career playing the games of his life, Goal keeper Bono’s life will never be the same again. on the other side Bernardo Silva, was he even playing, and other Portuguese stars will go home feeling small. Can you imagine Morocco bringing a change player, who is playing in Serie C in Italy and he will be at world cup semi final, while many star footballers will never have this opportunity. Again a lesson that club superstars don’t necessarily perform well at the NT. You select players on merit and on form not based on where u play? Argentina is always guilty on that aspect.

  4. Some notes from Scaloni’s interview :- We didn’t deserve to go to penalty kicks=?
    what is he expecting as he is or was at least sevond time on the row in this WC’s KO’s starfting to only defend from deep and all that lead’s to is just giving your opponent the ball and everytime your opponent has a ball, well the also have chance to score as Scaloni should order his players to give pressure towards the ball or the opponent’s player who is having the ball !

    the second comment really shows how he is thinking about the sevuring the lead or i would rather say that finishing off comfortably with lead, which is obviously his biggest weakness as a coach, sorry as i so not want to bash him all the time, but this comment is an absolute bizarre one…

    -We had it under control but football has this, it’s a beautiful sport. When you think it’s all over, it’s not over.”

    Well, Mr. Scaloni with all respect one can not simply think thatbis over before it’a over !
    Wake up seriously now as Arg can’t just apploy this kind of tactics to defend their lead as there are much better ways to defend your lead and finish off your lead’s !

    -“There are times you have to defend. Like they played, they force you that you have to defend. They put in three defenders that are 1.90 cm and you have to defend. The last 10 or 12 minutes were of the biggest difficulty.

    Well, if u make your team to drop so down everytime and just try defend from deep , well this horrible way of defending from so deep will automatically give opportunity for your opponent to bring their all tallest players in to box and just keep on sending free crosses which your tactics as defending from so deep allows your opponent to do so as u are just giving them another opportunity after another to score from their freely allowed crosses !

    In regards to the referee:

    “I won’t talk about the referee. I know him, I have a good relationship. He had my shirt from when I played. I still think he is a good referee. It’s not worth it, it’s over.”

    Ok, iget he has your shirt and u have goid relationship so u don’t dare to comment on the referee in the game itself or after the game as being an coward u instead will risk your own players and the very best of them to so that job, which supposed be your job totake the pressure away from the players during the game as Samuel did and after the game Still when u are given an opportunity to correct your misstakes to protect your players, Still u just keep on being a coward and won’t help your team, while the rest of the world is talking about this topic as one the main topic’s at the moment at least in sports, lol !

    -“We knew who the kickers were going to be. There were too many players. That is good, it gives you confidence. It’s still something positive for the team to see that everyone wants to kick. And we knew that Emiliano, like against Colombia, could save. A little of a repeat of that and it gives the players confidence. We only had to decide the order but there were plenty of takers.”

    Ok, if this was your plan all the say to give a real confidence boost for your team as u knew Dibu will save at least 2 and that every player was ready to shoot as only order had to be find out…

    Ok, fair enough, but Still i would rather concentrate more and only as that is your clearest weakness in the game, which obviously is like u said yourself : -We had it under control but football has this, it’s a beautiful sport. When you think it’s all over, it’s not over.”

    Well, anyone who has watched football as even kids will know this and there for u mustfind away to to not think lime that as ” u have to play until it is over” !

    • Easy man!!! We all felt the pressure.

      Hopefully they have learnt this and lets be optimistic no repetition of same mistakes onwards.. considering the shock defeats in this wc 2022 keep existing

      Unity & heart is what needed
      We all know Messi has left 2 big games of his life.
      I dont feel shame as Arg fan when players confess that they play for messi and arg

      Let stay behind the team as one and one love & united fans

  5. Morocco! What a team!
    Topped the group containing Croatia and Belgium, in the process knocking Belgium out. Then eliminated Spain. Now eliminated Portugal!
    And Bono, what a GoalKeeper!

  6. Morocco havent conceded a goal in this WC instead they even scored for Canada (OG), this is despite facing European heavy weights ( Belgium/Spain/Portugal)
    Surprisingly they dont have Licha,Romero,varane, Marquinho, Waker,Rodri etc but No single concedes!!! Not at all , Not all

    May be someone can explain success behind this !??

    • Well, they have the players clearly to do so as their coach has worked so little time with this team too, so credit for every player aa playing for their coach and country, also they are not technically bad at all as they do have quality clearly to score too !
      But, Yes defence has been their key, but they are defending as team andgiving the right pressure allways towards the ball, though it is obviously that will may cost u in the end as u get tired and injuries will happen, but just keep compact and defend upwards alkways towards the ball as this is what Arg should do specially when they are leading with 2 goals and not just drop deep and give the ball and all the keys to their hands as that will lead u only in so much trouble ! Hopefully Acaloni will finally learn ! But his interview speaks quite the opposite, sorry to say as i’m only relying now on Arg’s great players and their great team as if their coach does not understand such an easy thing, well at least i trust Arg players to be more intelligent and clever to so so !

    • They are tactically smart and they have excellent players to suit their tactics just like us. No showboaters in their team and everyone fights like they are prepared to die in all situations just like us.

      In many ways they are very similar to us minus the overall squad quality and Messi.

      Also, look at some of their players:

      Achraf Hakimi: Probably the best attacking RB in the world.
      Mazraoui: Another excellent attacking RB who plays LB for Morocco.
      Ounahi: One of the breakout midfield stars in this tournament. Excellent prospect.
      Bono: One of the best GK in La Liga.
      El Nesyiri: Above average number 9, who is pretty good.
      Ziyech: Eccentric, but a very good technical player. He was near world class when he was playing for Ajax under Ten Hag.
      Arambat: This dude is for Morocco what RDP is for us. Heart and soul of their team.

      They are not a team with average players just progressing in this tournament by parking the bus. They are a real team.

    • >> Maybe someone can explain the reason behind this?

      — simple Morocco does not have the style and stars like other heavyweights so they compensate with Workrate and calmness on the ball.
      Their play at 88′ is the same as their play at 8′

      Always defending, always attacking – it is not easy to play this way but they have trained for it and executing it to near perfection…

      For me their only flaw is is the soft center inside the hard-shell of workrate + ball-movement

  7. Croatia is even more resilient than Netherland. Their crossings are very dangerous and they are more experienced than us. We also don’t want to play PK shootout with them as they are so comfortable and confident now.

    We need to build our possession and defense in the midfield. This is a real test for Enzo, DePaul, MacAllister and potentially Paredes/Guido.

  8. What an awesome human being he is and what a wonderful boss to work for! If there are any perfect way to speak about ambition to win and respect for the opponent, this is it.

    Absolute mad respect for this perfect MAN. Hopefully he will coach Argentina for at least 1 more world cup.

  9. Congratulations again guys! We should be happy. This is the most unpredictable cup ever.
    I’m thinking of changing my profile pic to a personal pic if everyone of the main participants agrees to do it too. 😂
    I have to dig up some pic of me in an Argentina jersey.

  10. I am glad Argentina got the scare in last game……..they needed to learn a lesson……you cannot take 1 or 2 goals lead and sit back and relax and let the opposition come back into the game………Scaloni IDK how he has not learned it yet. That is exactly what happened against Colombia in the semi……..and I am terrified that it will happen again in the game against Croatia

  11. One match at a time..we the fans and the players only think about Croatia.. nothing more than that.. please we must avoid the mistake Brazil commited..our only focus should be playing calmly against Croatia.. really feel Croatia match we will play with tranquility.. Nederlands and Saudi Arabia are our toughest more distractions.. the only fear is our players nerves..Paredes almost kicked us out.. anytime Otamendi can turn to a kickboxer..we must control our emotions.. just enjoy the pitch Messi.. enjoy playing football.. forget the rest..vamos..

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