#FIFA World Cup

Lionel Scaloni on lessons learned from Qatar 2022

FIFA, 06 Jun 2023


In this interview Argentina Head Coach Lionel Scaloni reflects on his team’s recent World Cup victory, shares the lessons all coaches should learn from Qatar 2022 and discusses the pressures of his role.

A unique experience
Scaloni reflects on what he believes to be a unique World Cup experience, the kind that his nation will never get to enjoy again, having won the tournament in such dramatic circumstances.

The moment when Argentina were crowned world champions
The Argentina Head Coach shares his memories of the aftermath of Gonzalo Montiel’s winning penalty in the World Cup final.

The defeat by Saudi Arabia
The former Deportivo La Coruña star looks back on Argentina’s defeat by Saudi Arabia in their opening game of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and how his side approached the rest of the tournament following this shock result.

A general preference for a mid-block over a high press
Scaloni explains the need to adapt when facing the very best, either remaining patient and sitting behind the ball or pressing your opponents to win it back. It is about approaching every game differently and defending as a team where necessary.

Striking a balance with a player like Messi in your ranks
The Argentina Head Coach emphasises the importance of playing in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable, not just star players like Messi.

Hunger is just as important as physical output, tactics and technical ability
The Argentine believes that hunger is a vital characteristic of any successful team at the World Cup, giving you the will to win, the desire to help out your team-mates and the passion you need to play for your country.

The importance of meaningful possession
Scaloni refers to statistics from last year’s World Cup, emphasising the need to make better use of the ball. He discusses a growing trend with regard to possession: many teams being more dangerous despite having less of the ball and shorter build-up play.

Playing to their strengths
The former Deportivo La Coruña star explains that he sets up his team to play to their strengths, as should all coaches, in his opinion. For example, as Argentina do not have any one-on-one specialists, per se, La Albiceleste try to keep the ball by stringing sequences of passes together. They also work hard to occupy spaces and to get in their opponent’s faces to win the ball back. 

The need to constantly improve
The Argentine shares his opinion that trying to constantly improve the team is the most important aspect of a coach’s job.

Meeting expectations from back home
Scaloni explains just how much the game means in the proud footballing nation of Argentina and the subsequent pressure that comes with being head coach of the national team, whether world champions or not.

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