In the first days of March, the coach will return to Argentina and close his new contract with the AFA. The details and the differences.
Nothing signed yet. Therefore, nothing can be taken for granted. But all roads lead to you Lionel Scaloni and its coaching staff will renew their contract with the Argentine Football Association in the coming days and will extend their highly successful cycle until the 2026 World Cup to be played in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Yes, if there are no surprises, there will be Scaloneta for another three and a half years.
“We are used to giving good news… We always give good news. so wait for good news”said Claudio Tapiathe president of the AFA, a week ago after the event for the joint application of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to organize the 2030 World Cup. And it seems that it will be so. Chiqui also knows that from Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María on down, all the players want the cycle to continue.
When will the new bond be signed? The idea is that Scaloni will meet again with Tapia in Argentina in the first days of March. It will be after the coach attends The Best Awards gala, which will be delivered on February 27 in Zurich, Switzerland. The DT is one of the members of the world champion team who will go for the highest award, like Lionel Messi, as the best player, and Emiliano Back Martínez, as the best goalkeeper. The one from Pujato, obviously, competes in the category of best coach with Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) and Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid).
Only then, after that stopover at the FIFA house, will Scaloni return to Argentina, where he spent a few days with his parents in Santa Fe during the New Year’s Eve festivities before returning to Mallorca, where he lives with his wife and his children and has his life and routine armed.
There, already on the Spanish island, DT made clear his intention to continue at the head of La Scaloneta. “These days I am traveling to Buenos Aires. I hope to sit down with the president (for Tapia), meet with him and then see if we reach the agreement we want. That’s the idea. I don’t know what day I’m going to travel because I’m fine with the family here and enjoying these days”he expressed in an interview with El Partidazo de Cope from Mallorca on January 24.
That trip was eventually scheduled for March. It is known, as he told Clarion days ago, what The Selection is the ideal job for Scaloni and that he is very comfortable in the position. In that same report, where he looked very calm, he released: “I’m fine where I am. I will continue training. Being in the National Team allows me to be at home, with my family, to see my children grow. The time will come to lead a club”.
Beyond the rumors of some differences with Tapia that would have arisen in one of the last tours before the World Cup in Qatar -in one of them, in the United States, the president of the AFA hurried to announce a renewal that never materialized-, the relationship with the strong man of Argentine soccer continues to be one of mutual respect. “I have the best relationship with him and I thank him for the opportunity he gave me to have been in charge of the National Team. We will announce what has to be”he pointed out that night in COPE.
What were the differences that had arisen? At first, there were some economic distances that not only had to do with the new contract -the previous one was that of a confirmed interim and the current one is that of the world champion DT-, but also with the method of payment of the prizes that they earned by taking the National Team to the top of the soccer planet. That is almost all agreed. It only remains to see the tax item, but in the Ezeiza property they believe that this will end up being resolved over the days.
The formation of the coaching staff was also discussed. It is that after the tale of the Thousand and One Nights in the Middle East, Scaloni was left without Rodrigo Barrios, an alternate physical trainer who went to Johor in Malaysia; and Damián Albil, second goalkeeper coach who joined Independiente de Avellaneda. The DT’s idea would be to add new members to fill the vacancies, while in AFA they believe that it can be arranged with other specialists who already work with other teams, since calendars rarely overlap.
The other point of contention, although it would not be a determining factor in the renewal, it depends on knowing who will manage the Sub 20 Selection. Some time ago it had transpired that Scaloni wanted the position to remain in the hands of Lucas Bernardi. However, Tapia chose Javier Mascherano.
Now, after the premature elimination of the Youth Team in the South American from the Colombian category -with elimination in the group stage and without qualifying for the World Cup in Indonesia or the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile-, the Jefecito presented his indeclinable resignation . But the president does not want to know anything and he ratified him in office. We will have to see how that mini soap opera ends and find out if Chiqui gives in to Scaloni’s recommendation in the event that the former National Team midfielder remains in his position of moving away from the AFA structures. However, the Sub 20 theme is not part of the core issue of a renewal, that of the creator of the Scaleneta, which is already fully underway.
The selection schedule
Once the renewal of Scaloni’s contract is made official, the AFA will announce the agenda that awaits the National Team in 2023. The first will be the two friendlies that will be played in the FIFA date window at the end of March . In principle, Argentina will play its first match after Qatar 2022 on March 23 or 25 against Panama in a Monumental that will not be enough and three or four days later in Córdoba or Santiago del Estero against Surinam. Likewise, the second opponent can still change.
Then another window will come FIFA in June and the idea of the AFA is to play two friendlies in Asia. One probability is that the Selection will travel to Bangladesh, the country that brings together millions of fans in light blue and white, to play a friendly with the local representative. The other adversary has not yet been defined, although a new passage for Argentina through Abu Dhabi is not ruled out.
Meanwhile, next September the South American Qualifiers will begin heading to Canada-United States-Mexico. Only then will the first official commitments be made with an eye on the 2024 Copa América in the United States as the first major objective.