LUSAIL, Qatar ( Associated Press) – Coach Lionel Scaloni, a world champion with Argentina, lamented that his team didn’t win the final in 90 minutes.
“The game was crazy. Being able to turn it off in the 90s saved me from the disappointment of playing a great game and you’re not so lucky”, the 44 on Sunday after beating defending champions France 4-2. The year-old coach accepted. penalty shootout after a 3–3 draw after extra time.
“The important thing was how we did it, we were outright winners,” he said.
Argentina, who won their third World Cup after winning the trophy in 1978 and 1986, went 2–0 up with a Lionel Messi penalty and a goal from Angel Di Maria. But a brilliant comeback from Les Bleus led by star Kylian Mbappe made it 2-2 soon after the end of the game.
Already in extra time, Argentina once again took advantage thanks to Messi, but his teammate at Paris Saint-Germain insisted on spoiling the party and scoring a penalty shootout from 11 metres.
The coach said, “We should have won it in 90 minutes and extra time, but the spirit of the team was not to give up and keep trying like the Netherlands.” Two goals from the lead and level, forcing a penalty shootout.
Scaloni said of France, “It was a very difficult opponent, very complex.” “He was the world champion. Except for the game with England (in the quarter-finals), he was always superior. It was a tight game, in the end we got it out.”
When asked about what he said to the players before the penalty, the coach said that “always with optimism. The team was playing well. Knowing that Emiliano (by Martínez, the goalkeeper) is a guy who spreads positivity, He told his comrades that he was going to save. It is a sign of trust.”
The Argentine goalkeeper, who was also a hero in the penalty shootout against the Netherlands, saved a shot from Aurelien Tchoumeni.
“These players play for the people, there is no ego, no personality, they all go in the same direction. There is no greater pride than playing for your country. These guys have dedicated themselves completely. Gave”, Scaloni praised his managers.
Then he wanted to avoid controversy with Mbappe, who had questioned the competitiveness of South American football in the months before the World Cup.
“South American football is top class, it has players from everywhere,” Scaloni said. He said, ‘The words of some players were misinterpreted. In fact, Mbappe plays alongside fellow South Americans. It is a settled issue.”
Scaloni, who shares the privilege of a world title with Argentina with his compatriots Cesar Luis Menotti and Carlos Bilardo, did not clarify whether he would renew his contract to continue leading the team, although he indicated that He can continue.
“The coach’s job is to improve, to see why we don’t shut down the game. and see what can be improved”, he revealed.