“In a national team like Argentina, you always have the pressure of being the coach” – Lionel Scaloni
Argentina has no obligation to win Globalism Cup coach Lionel Scaloni said before the opening match against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, adding that mere details will decide who will become the champion.
Argentina won the 2021 Copa America, but despite always being one of the World Cup favorites, they haven’t lifted football’s most expensive trophy in the last 36 years.
“In a national team like Argentina, you always bear the pressure as the coach. If the results don’t go your way, I know how it works,” Scaloni told a news conference on Monday.
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“But I’m also clear about the path I’m choosing. Let’s be clear that we are under no circumstances obligated to win the World Cup. Not at all. We’re wrong if we think that.
“We will compete with other very good teams. We will enjoy this World Cup. We hope that the Argentines and the rest of the fans will be happy to see a team that plays the football we love.”
Argentina had two World Cup victories in 1978 and 1986 and have lost in the final twice since then in 1990 and 2014 – both times to Germany.
Their current brand of attacking football and the presence of talisman Lionel Messi make them popular with neutrals the world over, but Scaloni knows that doesn’t always matter when it comes to the World Cup.
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“The big favorites don’t usually win the World Cup,” said the coach.
“There are at least eight or 10 great teams that can win the World Cup, most of them European. For reasons I don’t think are related to football, South Americans haven’t had a chance to reach the final recently.
“I think it’s not because of good or bad play, but because of the details, and I think this World Cup will be no different.
“It’s the details that will make a team a world champion, and it doesn’t have to be the best team – nor the favourite.”
However, Argentina has one weapon that can help them win over their captain, Messi, who is about to play for the fifth and possibly last time in the World Cup.
“Whenever you can train him, we enjoy him. What we hope is that everyone will enjoy him, Argentinians and the rest of the world, because it’s great to see him and he can play in the World Cup,” said Scaloni.
“All praise for Leo is an understatement and it will not end because it will continue and we have to enjoy it – nothing else.”
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