Argentina is not obliged to become world champion, says Scaloni

AL RAYYAN, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Argentina is not committed to winning the World Cup, coach Lionel Scaloni said ahead of Tuesday’s opener against Saudi Arabia, adding that only details would decide who becomes world champion.

Argentina won the 2021 Copa America, but despite always being one of the favorites at the World Cup, they have not won football’s most valuable trophy in the last 36 years.

“In a national team like Argentina, you always put pressure on as a coach. And if the results don’t suit you, I know how it works,” Scaloni said at a press conference on Monday.

“But I’m also clear about the path I’m taking. Let’s be clear, under no circumstances are we obliged to win a World Cup. Absolutely not. We’re wrong if we think that.”

“We’re going to compete against other very good teams. We’re going to enjoy this World Cup. And we hope that both the Argentines and the rest of the fans will be happy to see a team playing the kind of football that we like .” “

Argentina won two World Cups, in 1978 and 1986, and have since lost twice in the final, in 1990 and 2014 – both times to Germany.

Their current style of attacking football and the presence of talisman Lionel Messi make them popular with neutrals around the world, but Scaloni knows that doesn’t always count when it comes to the World Cup.

“The big favorites don’t usually win world championships,” said the coach.

“There are no less than eight or ten big teams that can win the World Cup, most of them from Europe. For reasons that I don’t think have anything to do with football, the South Americans haven’t had a chance lately to reach the final to reach.” .

“I think it’s not because we’re playing well or badly, it’s the details and I think this World Cup will be no different.

“It’s the details that make a team world champions and it doesn’t have to be the ones that play best, nor the ones that are favourites.”

However, Argentina possess a weapon that could help them win over their captain Messi, who is close to his fifth and likely final World Cup.

“Whenever I can coach him, we enjoy it. We hope everyone enjoys him, Argentines and the rest of the world, because it’s wonderful to see him and that he can play in a World Cup,” said Scaloni.

“All the praise for Leo is an understatement and will not end because he will keep going and we have to enjoy him – nothing else.”

Reporting by Anita Kobylinska; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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