The star of the podium set up at the Lusail Stadium was obviously Argentina’s number 10. Lionel Messi (35, Paris Saint-Germain), who won numerous championships as a soccer player, finally enjoyed the joy of winning the World Cup after five challenges. Every time he took a step, cheers erupted from the crowd.
However, the first person Messi found was another Lionel. Coach Lionel Scaloni (44), the youngest among the 32 head coaches participating in the World Cup in Qatar, is the protagonist. Under the guidance of coach Scaloni, Messi won the Copa America (2021) and the World Cup, the South American Intercontinental Cup, in order.
Coach Scaloni brought Argentina, which had been faltering, to the top. He was originally to fill the vacant position of coach Jorge Sampaoli, who resigned due to poor performance in the 2018 Russian tournament. He, who was criticized for being a ‘parachute’ due to his lack of leadership experience, also experienced an opening match defeat in 40 years in the 2019 Copa America, his first official competition.
However, coach Scaloni brought the team together with his leadership that grew as the game progressed and his older brother’s leadership. Until just before the Qatar World Cup, they had gone undefeated (27 wins, 9 draws) in 36 A-matches in a row. 안전놀이터
Scaloni’s secret to success can be explained in two ways. First of all, he succeeded in reviving Messi, which was a concern of past Argentine coaches. He is a leader who values hard pressing and quick counter-attacks, but Messi was an exception. His skills are still the best in the world, but considering Messi, who is over his mid-thirties, it is typical to use Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), who is active, instead of Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), who was the main striker. Thanks to this, Messi was able to fly in the last World Cup, recording 7 goals and 3 assists.
The mercenary skill of responding flexibly according to the situation is also essential. It was the start of Angel Di Maria (Juventus) that shook the final. Coach Scaloni rarely used Di Maria in the tournament after performing poorly in the group stage. From the round of 16 to the round of 4, the competition time is only 8 minutes. However, in the finals, I believed that Di Maria was strong on the big stage, and I sent him out as a starter, and this exploded properly. Di Maria scored a penalty kick in the 22nd minute of the first half with a bold breakthrough, leading to Messi’s opening goal, and scored an additional goal himself in the 36th minute of the first half. In the second half, he was swayed by France’s fierce pursuit and left regret, but smiled and took a splendid end in the penalty shootout following extra time.
Coach Scaloni, who shed tears of joy the moment the championship was decided, said, “I can’t believe that we won so hard in a really perfect game.” I want to tell people to enjoy this moment.”