from temporary solution to coach confirmed for two World Cups

Lionel Scaloni continues as DT of the national team for another four years – Credits: @Archivo La Nación

The coach of the Argentina team for the Qatar World Cup It was Jorge Sampaoli. Casilda’s DT was signed by the AFA for: 5 years in 2017and had even made an installment plan to return the exit clause he had paid for himself Seville, from Spain, his previous club. But the premature elimination in Russia 2018, added to the team’s poor football performance led to Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia, president of the AFA, to terminate the contract. had to find one replacement and a name appeared. That it was first a solution “of the moment”. Then, thanks to the results and a good climate in the team, he became a permanent coach until Qatar 2022. Now, with the extension of his contract agreed, he will stay until the 2026 World Cup. Lionel Scaloni has renewed the case of a DT for two World Cups in a row.

I want to continue after the World Cup. Today (yesterday) a big step was taken towards my extension. Who wouldn’t want to continue in a national team like Argentina? I have the best relationship with Tapia,” said Pujato’s coach in the bowels of Red Bull Stadium, in New Jersey, after the game that Argentina defeated Jamaica 3-0. It was the final test for Qatar 2022. It was also the result of four years of work in which Scaloni himself was first looked at from the corner of his eye, then with respect and now with admiration for the results, the game and the group that integrates the Argentina national team. . The place where it all started: the United States. A circular path in which the coach went from a patch to a final solution.

Tapia, Scaloni and César Luis Menotti on the Ezeiza site: the current Selections project runs until 2026

Tapia, Scaloni and César Luis Menotti at the Ezeiza site: the current Selections project runs until 2026 – Credits: @FABIAN MARELLI

The people around Tapia always claimed the same thing: his coach was Mauricio Pochettino, but was unable to leave Tottenham at first. And from PSG, later. In this context, and despite discussions with several coaches, it was the historical leader of Central barracks who played it for Scaloni, a member of Sampaoli’s coaching staff. surrounded him with Walter Samuel, Robert Ayala, Paul Aymara Y Diego Placente. In the mind of the president of the AFA, the legacy of Jose Nestor Pekerman I had to somehow be present in the national team. Tapia, I must confess “Number one fan of the Argentina team”, always knew that the road to Qatar would mark his stay at the head of the AFA. The success of the albiceleste team would be his, especially due to the affection and closeness to the most experienced football players of the national team.

Scaloni torn. First in L’Alcudia, in Spain, where he lived and trained a team of cadets in Mallorca. His inexperience was questioned; it was said that on the first misstep it would fly through the air like a fuse. However, chained results. He collected references. He found partners and interlocutors for Lionel Messi, which he has not bound or set. The captain smiled again. bet on Emiliano “Dibu” Martinez Y Cristian “Cuti” Romero, who made his national team debut with no friendlies. To the field and for the points. There were two plenary sessions and both are fixed in Argentina’s base formation for the World Cup.

The case of the Pujato-born DT is so strange that… has no record in the recent history of the national team. You must go to the times of Marcelo Bielsa Y Julio Humberto Grondona. Sarandí’s leader wanted to extend his contract for the World Cup in Korea and Japan, in 2002. He tried on horseback the performances in the South American qualifiers, which were the most difficult in the world according to the former FIFA vice president. El Loco, on the other hand, asked to wait for the World Cup. What followed is known: Argentina turned around in the first round, but Grondona got away with it. He extended the contract with Rosario’s coach, who left “due to lack of energy” in September 2004, after winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games of that year, played in Athens.

Scaloni and Tapia have a flowing relationship and the AFA’s intent has always been to maintain what it understands as “a comprehensive project for national teams.” That’s why he rented Javier Mascherano as DT of the Sub 20, for example. It was only necessary to agree on the numbers and duration of a new agreement to make it. Minutes after Scaloni’s conference, the AFA president himself announced the handshake with the coach through his social networks and its continuity until the 2026 World Cup. This is how Pujato’s DT was confirmed by two World Cups in a row, something unprecedented. In a detail: the agreement exceeds Tapia’s mandate at the head of the House of Argentine football, which expires in 2025. The 35 games without defeats, the title in the Copa América in Brazil 2021 and the victory over Italy in this year’s Finalissima are some of the credits Scaloni made to earn continuity. The AFA is committed to the stability of a project.

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