Lionel Scaloni: Getting to know the Argentina manager who made World Cup history in Qatar 2022

“I was lucky to be here and I’m thankful to everyone,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said.

Published : Dec 19, 2022 20:33 IST

Meet Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, the man making magic with the Albiceleste
A look back at Lionel Scaloni’s impressive years with the Argentinian 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 yet sunk in but this is a moment to enjoy, especially the people,” Scaloni told the official World Cup media channel in Doha.

“We who live by this have had ups and downs, we’re used to these things happening to us, taking blows,” he added after the remarkable topsy turvy final in the Lusail stadium.

Scaloni answers critics with Argentina’s World Cup triumph
Argentina’s gamble paid off.
Criticism came quickly when Lionel Scaloni was hired as the unqualified, somewhat accidental coach of Argentina’s national team in 2018.
How, the nay-sayers said, could someone with no club experience — in fact, no senior coaching experience at all — be expected to lead a squad containing the great Lionel Messi?
The critics have gone quiet now. On Sunday, Scaloni led Argentina into the World Cup final against France, backing up the triumph at last year’s Copa America — a title that ended the country’s 28-year trophy drought.
“The criticism seemed normal to me when I took the job and it still seems that way today,” Scaloni said Saturday. “Everything is magnified when you are the head coach of the Argentina team.
“I did my job, doing the best for the national team. The criticism never bothered me.”

“This is what happened today, they (France) reacted and that’s huge credit to them,” said Scaloni, 44, who also guided Argentina to Copa America victory last year, thus ending a 28-year wait for a major trophy.

“Above all, it is an incredible enjoyment to be at the top, as we are, it’s something unique.”

Scaloni paid tribute to his parents saying: “They gave me a way of understanding, of never giving up, and of never going against anyone else, but to always go forwards. Today it paid off!”

He concluded: “I was lucky to be here and I’m thankful to everyone.”

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