Argentinian national team coach Lionel Scaloni has pointed out one thing about winning.
Scaloni and his squad are prepping up for this year’s Copa America, having endured two hard-fought draws in the World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia.
While all eyes are on Argentine icon Lionel Messi, who has proven that he has what it takes to win, Scaloni stressed that it takes a team effort to win the most important games.
According to Scaloni, he never doubted the individual abilities of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and the likes.
However, he is certain even “the best player in the world” couldn’t win a championship game without his teammates.
“Leo [Messi] has shown that he is well, he’s comfortable, with a new generation that he probably doesn’t know,” Scaloni told Mundo Albiceleste ahead of the World Cup qualifiers. “And now he’s just another one [of the boys] and he gets along well with everyone.”
“He also is very aware that football is not just one player alone, but that he needs his teammates,” he added. “Him, Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Kylian] Mbappe…the best in the world need their teams. A great player can score you a goal, can win you a match, but to win a championship, you need much more than just the best player in the world.”
A World Cup title seems to be the only glitter missing on Messi’s glorified career.
For Scaloni, a lot could be said about his captain, but he is thrilled to see how the six-time Ballon d’Or winner digests it.
“Lots of things can be said but honestly, we talk with the coaching staff and at times it’s impressive how naturally he takes it all,” Scaloni said of Messi’s character.
“You have to tip your hat off,” he continued. “Everything that he generated and generates, what he is and what he does, it’s not just because he’s a good player but because of how he is as a person. How many years has he been at the highest level and how many accomplishments does he have? I don’t know. It’s impressive how he handles things well.”
The Copa America will be played in Ezeiza, a city in Argentina. Ahead of the competition, Scaloni admitted that it’s good to play at home, but he is still isn’t too confident about winning.
“The group is aware of that and nothing more,” the coach said. “There’s not much to add.”
“Having a base in Ezeiza during the Copa America will be important, it brings us tranquility,” he explained. “We’re much calmer in the decision of being at home, but the worrying aspect is still there.”
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