Lionel Messi of Argentina is the focus of all media attention, as it should be. The “Little Genius” won the World Cup at the fifth attempt, proving that the last dance, if that is what it was, was the greatest. For top sports betting casinos check out CasinoDaddy!
But without the other Lionel, it would not have occurred. The golden rule of football is that the stars shine brightest when the side as a whole is balanced, and rookie coach Lionel Scaloni is in charge of providing Messi with the greatest, most cohesive team of his lengthy international career.
The 44-year-old Argentina manager, who has no prior experience in senior coaching, performed admirably on the crucial day of the World Cup final in Qatar.
The Argentine media had previously been fairly accurate in predicting the team, but this time Scaloni threw them a curveball. The general consensus was that Scaloni would start the match with winger Angel Di Maria on the bench and Lisandro Martinez as one of three center backs. In contrast, Scaloni acted. 18bet is just one of the great options we offer!
He had little fear but a great deal of respect for France. Scaloni’s duty as a member of the Argentina coaching staff for Russia 2018 was to keep an eye on potential rivals. He was particularly affected by France there, who eliminated Argentina in the round of 16. And, briefly, France served as an example when he took over as head coach of Argentina following the 2018 World Cup.
Scaloni was cautious because of their swift transition, ability to win the ball, and ability to set up a shot in three to four seconds. It appeared reasonable to assume that he would choose three centre-backs to increase his level of protection, but Scaloni plainly reached a different decision.
Fearing France would be admitting that the competition was more significant than his squad going into the World Cup final. But how could he devise a strategy for his team to dominate the game if he started from the premise that Argentina were more significant? The solution was to start with a back four and reintroduce a healthy Di Maria to the starting lineup.
After the starting lineup was revealed, it was assumed that Di Maria would play wide on the right in a 4-4-2 formation, partnering with Messi and testing the France defense’s vulnerability on the left flank, where full-back Theo Hernandez has occasionally had trouble. Scaloni surprised everyone by deploying Di Maria wide on the left instead. With Messi on the right and Julian Alvarez hustling through the middle, he now had a front three.
France found it more difficult to play out from the back since the front line was guarded, and their opening minutes were rife with passing mistakes. Additionally, it made things difficult for Antoine Griezmann by forcing France’s midfield duo of Aurelien Tchouameni and Adrien Rabiot to cover more ground. Griezmann’s use as the offensive member of the midfield three had been a solution for France throughout this tournament, but Argentina turned it into a problem, and while they were doing so, Di Maria was contributing to the victory.
Di Maria was the standout player on the field for the opening hour of Sunday’s final, amply justifying Scaloni’s choice to deploy him from the start and go for victory rather than choosing to hold on and hope. He is so frequently the unsung hero—so often the man who shows up on the big occasion. Argentina is not at their best when forced to cling on, as we saw for the third (and, in extra time, fourth) time in the tournament.
Following Di Maria’s withdrawal, the match began to shift, and once France had finally gained a foothold, it began to pull away from Argentina, just as it did against the Netherlands and had threatened to do against Australia. In a breath-taking last 45+ minutes, they needed to tap into their team spirit and determination after Scaloni’s tactical tweaking had almost brought them across the finish line. Again, some of the credit belongs to the coach.
When a tournament football game begins, it feels as though time accelerates; qualifiers and exhibition games are forgotten. When issues develop and secrets are disclosed, coaches must act quickly to find solutions. Scaloni has excelled in this area.
He responded to the shocking opening-day loss to Saudi Arabia without excessive fear, making a series of decisions that have mainly been intelligent and effective. The choice to start Alvarez up forward in lieu of Lautaro Martinez was a crucial one. The additional mobility of Alvarez was required since Messi would play a more sporadic role than Scaloni had anticipated. Enzo Fernandez, a 21-year-old midfielder, was a brilliant choice to join the team.
All of Scaloni’s tactical choices, including going to a back-three against the Netherlands and cramming the midfield against Croatia, paid dividends. Though on one side competitions are like time sped up, they are also the result of a process that takes place over lengthy periods of time, thus the team spirit goes deeper. And the formation of this Argentina team began almost three and a half years ago, at the Copa America 2019 in Brazil.
After Argentina lost to Brazil in the quarterfinals, Scaloni had to face reality and soon gave up his plan to play more like France by adopting a possession-based style of play. After the competition, Argentina’s current core group began to take shape. Messi was finally incorporated into a group of younger players who had grown up idolizing him and were willing to sacrifice everything to help him and achieve as a team.
Their lone other loss since their Copa semifinal loss occurred in this World Cup’s first match against Saudi Arabia. The team went on to win the Copa America in 2021, again in Brazil, which was a crucial step toward winning the World Cup. Their Copa victory, which was Argentina’s first senior championship in 28 years, gave them more confidence, lessened the pressure, and made them feel happier.
Scaloni oversaw a protracted period of team building, and long before the Argentina team arrived in Qatar, he set the stage for this World Cup victory. His understanding of the dynamics in the locker room and his adaptability on the field were both crucial to Argentina’s victory. The two Lionels’ World Cup is taking place right now.