The coach of the Argentine soccer team, Lionel Scaloni, highlighted this Wednesday’s game against Italy, which he considered a “very important” rival, and clarified that his role until the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup will be to “alert the players of that they must continue to compete” and that “nobody can relax”.
“I like to talk to the players and tell them that the important thing here is not to feel invincible. It’s good to feel like we’re a good team, that we’re champions of the Copa América and that people enjoy it, but the road goes on, we can’t sleep on it and the players know it.” he told reporters at a conference in London ahead of the Finalissima.
“I have to alert the players, we have to continue competing, nobody relaxes because this is just beginning and we all have to move forward. The most important thing is the objective set between now and November, to continue with the line of play that we are having. That’s the main goal,” he added.
About Italy, Scaloni stated: “They were undeservedly left out of the World Cup, they were winners of the European Championship, they have done things very well. His coach gave him an identity that he didn’t have years ago.”
“It is always important to compete against the best. Tomorrow (Wednesday) I hope we play as we have been doing, but if you lose, nothing happens. We would like to win because it is a trophy, a title, and with this shirt you always have to compete at your best, but the most important thing is the objective of the World Cup“, he added.
Regarding the work these days in the Basque city of Bilbao, Scaloni explained: “We have trained like never before, it has been a long time since we had a long week of training, this has been the moment of more training in the whole process”.
And he explained: “The idea is to improve things that we have been doing well and correct errors, automate movements”.
Regarding the call-up to defender Marcos Senesi (Feyenoord, from the Netherlands), Scaloni said: “He was on many ‘pre-lists’ and if he didn’t come earlier it’s because we thought the team was covered. He’s a left-footed center-back, with a good foot and He’s had a very good season. The idea is for him to have minutes”.
Regarding the physical condition of the star Lionel Messi, he said that “a good preseason will come in handy”; he stressed the importance of the players “arriving at the World Cup with a number of preparation matches”; and admitted that “it is difficult that today”, just after the European season, the players are “one hundred percent”.
And before the movements of the players with the opening of the transfer market, the DT said: “We do not get involved in the decision about which club the footballers play for. I was in that position and it can be risky to give advice or condition. The most important thing is that the player decides and plays, regardless of the league. We value performance and not where they play.”
“Later, of the 26 that are going to go to the World Cup, they will emerge from those that we have been calling permanently. If there are 30 today, surely one will go out per line. And of the four goalkeepers that we have now, three will go”, clarified the Argentine coach.
“For now there is no confirmation that there are 26 and not 23 who are going to go to the World Cup. FIFA is delaying the answer on that point,” he added.
And finally He thanked the president of AFA, Claudio Tapia, for having said on Tuesday that the idea is to renew his contract after the World Cup in Qatar, “but there is no rush for that, since the dialogue is very good and constant”.
“But as an example to follow is what happened with Roberto Mancini and Italy, a country with an enormous history that renewed its coach beyond not having qualified for the World Cup in Qatar. It is seen then that they did things well. And the way to follow is that, with this type of players and this way of playing. Afterwards, it is not so important who is sitting on the bench”, he concluded.