Lionel Scaloni speaks on future of the Argentina team, Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María


Lionel Scaloni spoke about the future of the Argentina national team, Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María.

Argentina national team coach Lionel Scaloni gave an interview with Marca where he spoke about becoming a coach. Scaloni also spoke about the future of the team and the players. When asked about the debate of Lionel Messi being named the Best player in the world, here is what he had to say:

“I think the debate goes beyond football, I don’t think that between the football player or the coach there is a debate as to why he won it. If it had been won by Haaland or Mbappé it would have been fine too. It’s media stuff. Debating why Messi won it when football people vote is strange.”

On how Javier Mascherano said that if Argentina were to qualify for the Olympics, he would want Lionel Scaloni to coach the team and for Messi and Di María to play:

“First: the coach is going to be him. I hope they go through, but first they have to qualify in the Pre-Olympic, and if they do, I want Javi to be the coach, because he deserves it for the work he’s doing. Regarding Ángel and Leo, they are decisions that have to be taken at the time, especially physically, because it is not easy to play the Olympics while playing in the Copa America. When the time comes, they will be evaluated. But the coach will be Javi, that’s for sure.”

On what the expectations are for Argentina at the Copa America and if there is more pressure or not after how well they handled it in Qatar:

“Argentina has always had pressure. Since we arrived we know that we are in a big national team and that everyone expects the best from us. I always say the same thing: we are going to compete, I have never promised anything, nothing is promised here, neither before nor now. We promise to compete to the maximum with all our rivals and try to win, and leave an image that Argentine football likes, as we are doing.”

If winning the World Cup and beating Brazil in the Copa America at the Maracana is setting the bar too high and if he keeps it up, he will run the risk of running out of challenges:

“True, the bar is very high, I don’t know if there will be anything higher. But what do I do? Do I go home now, sit on the couch and that’s it for me at 45? Nooo! The nice thing is that there will be a moment of difficulty, for sure, everyone has had it and we will have it. And in that difficulty we will have to get back on top, as we have done before. It also happened to me in my career as a footballer: good moments and bad moments. And that’s where we’ll really see if we’re ready or not. But that doesn’t scare me, not at all.”

On what the current state if of his relationship with the AFA after his meeting with Claudio Tapia:

“When I said that we had to reflect, it was an important moment. Good things are coming, the Copa América, and two years from now with the World Cup is a moment where we have to think, above all we have to be clear about what we want with the national team, give opportunities to other guys who are pushing from behind. It was a summary of what was coming and I think it was the right time. There were four months until the next match and it was important, as I said, to stop the ball. I think it was positive because it made us reflect on what is coming.”

He has a contract with Argentina until 2026 and how he sees the Argentina national team the day that Lionel Messi, Ángel Di María and Nicolás Otamendi are no longer with the team:

“At the end there came a time when Maradona left the Argentine national team, Ruggeri left, great players left and Argentina continued. It will hurt a lot because they are great players who have given so much, but we have the obligation, because the Argentine national team, beyond Leo or Maradona, has always been a powerful team, and we will have the challenge of continuing to be so without them. That is what we have to aim for, because at some point they will not be there: to build a team that is just as competitive with other players. We have to imagine it and set goals for when they are gone.”

On the rumors of Lionel Messi playing in his sixth World Cup in 2026 and if it is feasible:

“Today I tell you that there are players who have played at that age, and in his case I wouldn’t be surprised. But so much is missing, and today in football time passes very quickly and when you realize… I think so. On a physical level I have no doubts, only on a mental level and that depends on how he is.”