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Doha, November 21 (EFE).- Lionel Scaloni, coach of the Argentina team, assured, on the eve of his debut in Qatar 2022 against Saudi Arabia, that they are not “obliged under any circumstances to win the World Cup” and that if they thought so they would be “wrong” .

Scaloni pointed out at a press conference that they are going to “compete, play a World Cup” and play the football they like, and so do the people; and he advanced that he has defined the team, he already told the players and that it will be the eleven that has been talked about, in which the last place will be for Alexis Mac Allister, from Brighton, or the Sevilla player Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gómez, as well as that it will not change its tactical approach.

What Scaloni is clear about is that he faces the World Cup debut “in a quite natural way”, because they arrive to “play football” and tries to get “a bit of drama”.

«Debuting in a World Cup is the most beautiful thing that can happen to you. We try to remove as much iron as possible. Then there will be moments in which things will be difficult, but the players know it and they will face it, because they have enough quality to be able to go out, “he said.

Although a good part of the forecasts places Brazil and Argentina as the two main contenders for the title, Scaloni stated that “the big favorites don’t normally win the World Cups.” “From there, there are great teams, no less than eight or ten, that can win the World Cup, and the majority are European,” he added.

“It is true that for non-football reasons the South Americans have not had the opportunity to reach the final lately, well in 2014 Argentina was there, although unfortunately they did not win it. But this has not happened because of playing well or badly, without details, “he argued.

“This World Cup will be no different. The details will make a team world champion and it does not have to be the one that plays the best, and many teams can achieve it,” said the Argentine coach, who, regarding the intensity that the national team is experiencing in the country, pointed out that the football “is a game, a sport”, and “then life goes on”, but that “from there people must know that this is a team, a group, that is going to leave everything”.

Scaloni managed to put an end to the 28-year streak without titles for the Albiceleste with the victory in the Copa América and in the Finalissima against the European champion, Italy, which motivates the team to face this World Cup in a different way.

«The reality is that now the team knows how to play much more calmly, because what external pressure is, not having won is not there. Before he won he told the players: tomorrow the sun rises again. It was the only way to develop our football. Now it was achieved and we went out onto the field calmer than ever. This is key to playing a World Cup. It makes you leave liberated, beyond the nuances that can happen in a match like tomorrow’s, which is an opening match, with a different emotional charge,” he declared.

Scaloni, who pointed out that they have “managed to get to the game in the way” they wanted, pointed out that after the footballers had an October “very loaded with many games”, he thanked the praise sent to Leo Messi by other coaches, such as the Spanish Luis Enrique Martinez.

“Luis Enrique speaks because he trained him, he knows him, he knows what it means and his words are logically welcome, and I, who can train him, when I can in the national team, we enjoy it,” he said.

“It’s wonderful to see him and that he can play in a World Cup. All the praise falls short and they will not end because he will continue and you have to enjoy it,” Scaloni said of Messi.


Questioned about whether teams like Qatar or Iran, after losing to Ecuador and England in the first two matches of the World Cup, are at a much lower level, Scaloni said that favoritism must be demonstrated.

“Ecuador won very well. It is a selection of a very high level. I said it in South America and when we played two qualifying games with them and another in the Cup, it is a team that will have a hard time facing the rest of the teams. And it does not mean that Qatar is not a good team, but that Ecuador is in a good moment of form », he justified.

«England is one of the most powerful teams, but I dare not say that the Arab teams are below. Being favorite or superior must be demonstrated, “she added.

Likewise, the coach argued that the changes produced in the prelude to the World Cup that ended in the entry into the group of Ángel Correa and Thiago Almada, instead of Joaquín Correa and Nicolás González were “difficult decisions”, but that these “did not give guarantees of being able to be well for the rest of the competition.

«At first a player left who was Joaquín who could play inside and outside and as a midfielder, and Ángel gives us that, and Nico González with us plays wide open on the left, as a false winger, and Thiago can help us. give that too with its different characteristics. There were also other options, but time did not allow us to take two more days and at that moment we believed that it was the best for the team and we are convinced, “he specified.

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