Before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, many called the Argentina national team the favorite of the tournament. Among them were bookmakers. Leading sports betting sites offered the lowest or one of the lowest odds for Lionel Messi’s team to win. Time has proved these predictions to be correct. But one circumstance is worth noting: most experts explained their confidence in the success of the Argentines by the highest quality of their team composition, which is absolutely true. The figure of the coach remained in the shadows, so to say, and it was Lionel Scaloni who became the creator of this champion team.
Argentina have always had outstanding players, but still the last time the team won an international title was in 1993. The last victory at the World Cup dates back to 1986. And after Scaloni became the head coach in 2018, the Argentines have already won 3 trophies:
- America’s Cup 2021;
- Finalissima 2022;
- World Cup 2022.
Not without reason FIFA recognized Lionel Scaloni as the best coach according to the results of 2022. This story is not over yet, because the 44-year-old coach will continue to lead the national team until 2026. Of course, the life of a coach is unpredictable, and a few bad matches can lead to an early dismissal, but for now, Lionel has everything to continue a super-successful international career.
Lionel Scaloni: a short biography
The future coach of world champions was born in 1978 in Rosario. He began his playing career at Newell’s Old Boys club as a defender. From 1998 to 2006, he played in Spain for Deportivo La Coruña football club, where he was among the winners of the championship, Cup and Super Cup of the country. Later on, there were West Ham, Racing, Lazio, Mallorca and Atalanta football clubs, but with these teams it was no longer possible to achieve much success. Scaloni played his last match in 2015. In addition to performances at the club level, Lionel has 7 matches for the national team and participation in the 2006 World Cup. In 1997, he became the world champion among teams under the age of 20.
Scaloni began his coaching career in 2016 as an assistant to his compatriot Jorge Sampaoli. After several months at Sevilla club, the latter took charge of the Argentina national team, taking his assistants with him. An unsuccessful performance at the 2018 World Cup led to the dismissal of Sampaoli, and his place, unexpectedly for everyone, was offered to Lionel, who has no experience of independent work. On many popular Argentinian sports betting websites, his candidacy was not even considered as an option.
Nevertheless, the choice of the local football federation turned out to be correct. Despite the fact that the coach was criticized a lot, the team under his leadership gave results. After finishing 3rd at the 2019 AFA, Argentina were able to win the Copa América in 2021. Then there was a victory over Italy in the first-ever Finalissima draw and the long-awaited triumph at the World Cup after a 36-year break. These successes are the merit of the whole team and, first of all, the coach, who managed to find a common language with the players.
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