Meet Lionel Scaloni, the Argentine coach working magic with the Albiceleste
A look back at Lionel Scaloni’s impressive years with the Argentina national team.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, who masterminded the South Americans’ penalty shoot-out victory over France in Sunday’s World Cup final, called on his compatriots to enjoy the glory.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it’s a moment especially for people to enjoy,” Scaloni told the official World Cup media channel in Doha.
“We who live with it, we’ve seen the ups and downs, we’ve become used to these things, getting hurt,” he said after a spectacular upset final at Lusail Stadium.
Scaloni responds to critics with Argentina’s World Cup win
Argentina’s bet paid off.
Criticism came early in 2018 over the hiring of Lionel Scaloni as an inept, somewhat casual coach of the Argentina national team.
The naysayers said, can someone without club experience – indeed, no senior coaching experience – be expected to lead a team with the great Lionel Messi?
The critics have now fallen silent. On Sunday, Scaloni led Argentina to the World Cup final against France, backing up victory in last year’s Copa America – a title that ended the country’s 28-year trophy drought.
“Criticism seemed normal to me when I took the job, and it still does today,” Scaloni said on Saturday. “When you are the head coach of the Argentina team, everything adds up.
I did my job, did my best for the national team. Criticism never bothered me.
“That’s what happened today, they (France) reacted and it’s a huge credit to them,” said the 44-year-old Scaloni.
“Above all, it is an incredible pleasure to be at the top, as we are, it is something unique.”
Scaloni paid tribute to his parents by saying: “They gave me a way of never giving up, and never turning against anyone, but always moving forward. Today it paid off!
He concluded: “I was lucky to be here and I am grateful to everyone.”