Why Messi is a better player than before, the anecdote of his first conversation with Bielsa and Pekerman’s ‘golden’ rule in youth: 11 quotes from Lionel Scaloni

The Argentina national team coach spoke ahead of the Finalissima game against Italy at Wembley

The technical director of the Argentine national team, Lionel ScalloniI consider that Leo Messi he’s a better player “now than before” because “He understood the game with maturity.”

“Before he was impressive, he would pass anyone and do whatever he wanted with the ball. Now he understands the game much better. Obviously he has a birthday like everyone else, but maturity is important and for him too,” Scaloni told Conmebol ahead of Wednesday’s Finalissima against Italy.

The American champion’s coach also maintained that this generation of footballers “should have been recognized before”.

“Today the footballer plays more calmly because he is no stranger to what is generated outside. Now things are simplified. It’s the key to everything. Unfortunately, for that to happen, you have to win, but this generation He should have been recognized earlier and the road would have been easier”assured the santafesino about the reach that was finalist of the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa América.

The DT evoked the coronation in Brazil which allowed him to cut the Albiceleste with 27 years without titles

The Albiceleste DT targeted Italynext Wednesday’s rival at Wembley, and pointed out that It will be a “beautiful test” for the team. “Italy if he was in the world cup he would be a candidate for the title, one of the best teams in the world, which was left out because of these things in football. It’s a great test for us, let’s hope it goes well,” he said.

The national team went 31 games unbeaten but Scaloni stressed that what is important is the ‘path’ that was taken to ‘get the results’.

“Being Argentinian doesn’t mean you always have to win. I’m not happy when we win or depressed when we lose. You have to analyze and be ready to face the scenarios. Earn only one and not for this reason the rest has no value. You have to know how to value how you lose and how you win and the means to achieve the results,” he explained.

Finally, he told anecdote of his first conversation with Marcelo Bielsa when he called him up to the Argentina national team and revealed José Pekerman’s golden rule in youth. “One is to get things from all the coaches. During my first interview with Bielsa, in Japan, he called me into the room and made me watch a video of La Coruña (for Deportivo, his former team)-Racing de Ferrol, for the Copa del Rey. We had played a half-hearted game and Bielsa said to me: ‘It’s not the attitude of the national team. He was right, it marked me.”

The memory of the DT of the coaches he had when he played in Argentina

Yes About Pekermanadded: “In youth, we we knew we had to come with high socks, pants under the shirt and clean shaves. It was impossible to come with a hair, because you already knew that even your own colleagues would look at you badly. These are things you learn. There are ways of understanding and playing with the national team that are non-negotiable”.

Other striking phrases from Lionel Scaloni:

“The generation of footballers who played three finals and could not win them… Today we can say that playing three finals in so few years is practically unique. It is a very serious mistake that “they weren’t recognized as such. Instead of amplifying it and making it positive, it ended up being something negative for a national team to play three finals in such a short time and be among the best. I wish that at that time people had appreciated how far they had come. People have to understand that the player is suffering as much or worse than the supporter. Now, when he has won, he has understood.”

“I remember that moment very well (his debut as a national team player in 2006). I was waiting for the end of the anthem because I had heavy legs. I wanted the game to start now . It was an emotional moment. I was in a very ugly situation, to the point of not being able to get up because of so much emotion. To see my family, who was there. To the people, who tasted the anthem. You can play 70 games in the national team, but the moment of the anthem is unique because a lot of things come to mind. It’s a difficult thing to overcome.”

Lionel Messi and Lionel Scaloni in training at the Julio Humberto Grondona stadium in Ezeiza (REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian)

“The defeat against Germany in 2006 was very hard. But we had the positive feeling of leaving the World Cup without losing. The frustration was terrible because we knew we could have made it to the final. Losses are hard, but you learn. And the one who doesn’t learn from that is that he didn’t understand much about it. In the end, one of them wins, and that’s not why the others are all failures.”

“I haven’t lost my anonymity. When I’m in Argentina, I go to my city, I’m good there. I’m one more and I keep it. I never liked to be very visible “I’m just a football manager, no more than that. That he thinks I can fix something else because I’m a football manager, that’s where we can get confused.

“When the games start, I have to keep a cool head and analyze. Even if I can’t gesticulate or shout, in the end it’s the same… You have these four five minutes at halftime to say and certain specific things in the game with a player close to you. Afterwards, there are times when you can get angry, but I try to keep a calm that can also help the player. It’s important, from inside the field, to see how the coach behaves, how he reacts to certain things. When I played, I preferred to see a calm coach, who told you the things he needed at the right time.


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