Monday, January 30, 2023

Scaloni justifies his players’ reaction against the Netherlands

DOHA ( Associated Press) — Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni defended his players from criticism for boisterous celebrations after a penalty shootout win over the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

“We must banish that we do not know how to win or lose. This is completely far from reality,” the coach said at a press conference on Monday ahead of the semi-final match against Croatia.

The behavior of the Argentine footballers was in the limelight for provocative gestures towards the Dutch after the execution of the final penalty in the series which passed them through to the next stage in Qatar.

Captain Lionel Messi and goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez also abused players and members of the Dutch coaching staff.

Scaloni said energetically, “The game on the second day was played as it had to be played, both on the Dutch side and the Argentine side.” “Football is what it is, there are times when you have to attack and others have to defend. There are moments where the game can get tough with the buzz. And there is an arbiter to judge.”

To put an end to this view, the Argentina coach highlighted that after the 2–1 defeat against Saudi Arabia “we quietly went to the hotel to continue preparing for what is to come.” He also recalled that after defeating classic rivals Brazil in the 2021 Copa America final, “the most beautiful image of sport could be seen, with Neymar, Messi, (Leandro) Paredes and other players sitting on the steps of the (stadium)”. Were. Maracanã”.

“This issue must be resolved. We deeply respect the Netherlands, as we do Croatia and all our rivals now. It is an impression we have from day one”, assured Scaloni.

Along the same lines, Argentinian winger Nicolás Tagliafico reflected that “These are situations, this is football. We are not machines, emotions … these are things that happen, it has happened in many sports and certainly Will continue to happen.

The Lyon defender, who is emerging as a starter against Croatia, explained that “the truth is that we are already trying to put it aside, we are already looking forward to tomorrow’s game (on Tuesday)”. We are focused because this is something very important to us and we want to continue to meet the goals.”

When asked whether he was worried about Argentina’s behavior in the next game, Croatian coach Zlacto Dalić indicated that “I really hope that is not the case.”

“You look at the Argentina-Holland match, it was very confrontational, very difficult, many duels and many situations and attitudes not related to football,” lamented the coach.

However, Dalik has bigger concerns.

“We analyzed that match and saw what Argentina do best. Messi is back in great shape, he links up well with his teammates”, he analysed. “I hope they are better against us (than the Netherlands), that they are more compact, that they have more power. We will play the semi-finals against one of the best football teams in the world and history.”

Nation World News Desk
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