Before leaving for China, where he is already waiting and preparing for next Thursday's match against Australia, Lionel Scaloni received at the Ezeiza venue the award for the best coach of the year in America delivered by the newspaper El País de Uruguaand. He has known about this for a long time, but what he now has in his hands is the trophy. And, apparently, he was very surprised by the XL size of the statuette. "It's very big, it doesn't fit me into the space I have in Mallorca for the awards," he joked to the journalists of the traditional Montevideo newspaper.
Respectful as always, the Pujato native was very grateful for the recognition. "Thank you very much, it is a very recognized award, it fills me with pride. It is the result of the work of many people, the coaching staff, the players. It is good that they recognize you, it will not change my way of being but it is nice the recognition of the people of football, especially the coaching staff, we are people who all think in the same way and that is why it pays off, "he emphasized.
And he closed with a long monologue: "Not only for titles should you value the coaches, the players. There are times when you can do things right and not win. Unfortunately in this world we live only the winner is rewarded, but there are times that not winning things are done well, as happened with us in the Copa America of 2019, that not winning a job was recognized and that is good. In the end, what we do is try to make our players perform as well as possible, have a good time and get the most. All that is achieved with the desire to work, with the talk we have had with coaches. The recognition is nice because South American football has its roots, their way of understanding it and that they recognize the work we have done fills me with pride."
Scaloni and what Qatar left 2022
The talk about the award was the kick off of a long interview that will be fully known in the coming hours. However, El País advanced some fragments with the best reflections of Scaloni, who went through some of the good memories of the Qatar World Cup.And also the bad ones, such as the defeat in the debut against Saudi Arabia.
"I can say that losing that game was a positive thing because I think it also gave the team a new perspective. We risked everything and maybe that forced us to change our approach... The team and the squad as a whole showed that they were prepared for anything," he was proud.
He also reviewedhow his first moments as world champion were after Gonzalo Montiel hit the final penalty of the shootout against France, after that frantic 3-3 that will remain in history as the best final of all time.
"I felt that I had to sit on the substitutes' bench, look at everything that was happening there and for me it was a moment of enjoyment. I stood there for 30 seconds and saw the players and all my people celebrating. I still get excited, I think it's a unique moment. It's priceless... Seeing them all there celebrating it for me was one of the most beautiful moments since I started playing football, and since I've been a coach, without a doubt. It was 30 seconds that I will remember all my life with appreciation," he said.
Likewise, the Santa Fe coach cannot forget the moment when the squad returned to Argentina and tried to arrive, without luck or margin to advance, to the Obelisk. "Everything that was here with the collective, seeing people almost at a very slow man's pace, and seeing people crying and saying things to you. That happened every 10 seconds, there were millions of people in the streets and there we really realized the magnitude that had to have gained. It was an incredible two or three hours," he recalled.
The secrets of Messi and the Scaloneta
"We are convinced that you have to recover the ball in the first three, four or five seconds after losing it. If we are not able to do it, we retreat to wait in midfield. We never suffered many counterattacks thanks to the work of the team and keeping the opposing wingers at bay. So we, when we prepare the attack that we are going to launch, we also prepare for the counterattacks with which the opponent will try to respond, and we do not suffer many, "said Scaloni about one of the keys of the game that allowed the Argentine National Team to lift the World Cup after 36 years.
In that sense the coach added: "Do you know how difficult it is to win a World Cup? It's crazy. It's very difficult, very emotional, very nice and above all... Hopefully it will happen again, but many things have to be aligned. Being the champion team everyone will want to beat it and that's a challenge."
The last two questions were about Messi. The first had to do with the click they had to make so that the next Inter Miami player fits better to the idea of the National Team. "I think it's important to realise what a player like him needs. In the first months with the National Team we tried to play a little faster and in a somewhat more direct way, and we realized that he was not comfortable, nor were his teammates," he revealed.
And the last one, that of the million: Messi or Maradona? "For me Messi is the best, but if I can choose, both," Solomonic closed