Is Lionel Scaloni The Coach Messi and Argentina Have Always Needed?

At just 44 years, Scaloni is the youngest coach to ever lead his team to victory in a World Cup quarter-final. This was against Netherlands and Louis van Gaal, who tied Greece’s Otto Rehhagel as the oldest World Cup ever at 71 years. If you want to know about Can England Stop The Defending Champions, click here.

Perfect match

Is Lionel Scaloni The Coach Messi and Argentina Have Always Needed

Credits: The Telegraph

In their bid to win a third World Cup trophy, Argentina and Messi have failed painfully in the last four editions. On more than one occasion, this streak, which has been unlucky for the South American side, has pushed Leo to the brink of early retirement from the National team.

After their round of 16 elimination in Russia in 2018, Scaloni and Pablo Aimar were named the caretaker managers for Argentina. They were supposed to hold the position for the rest of the year. However, In November 2018, Scaloni was confirmed in the post and led his side to the 2019 Copa America, where they finished in third place.

 Scaloni later led Argentina to the 2021 Copa América title after defeating Brazil 1-0, helping them to win their first trophy in 28 years. In November of that year, he was nominated for The Best FIFA Football Coach Award but came short of the final three shortlist.

Game changer

Apart from when they made the final against Germany in Brazil in 2014, Argentina has struggled at the World Cup in recent years. The 2-time champion suffered losses in the quarter-finals in 2006 and 2010. In Russia 2018, they were eliminated in the round of 16 by the eventual champions, France.

After Jorge Sampaoli separated from the team in 2018, the offer to take on the manager position for Argentina was rejected by established coaches like Diego Simeone, Marcelo Gallardo, and Mauricio Pochettino. However, Scaloni, whose experience does not match these coaches, has been phenomenal with Argentina.

He has put together a solid Argentine side with their eyes set on a third World Cup title. After a 28-year drought, Scaloni led Argentina to two titles, convincing the Argentine Football Association, which has since assured his continuity beyond the 2026 World Cup.

Before the shocking loss to Saudi Arabia, Scaloni’s men were on a historic 36-game unbeaten streak. They, however, bounced back to clear any doubts about their World Cup bid by winning their second game against Mexico,2-0. They went on to defeat both Poland to finish top of Group C before cruising past Australia in the round of 16.

 Their match against Netherlands was a thriller that ended 2-2 but was decided on penalties, with Argentina winning 4-3.

Many great coaches have come before him, but will 44-year-old Scaloni be the one to lead Messi to a World Cup trophy?

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