The coach of the Argentine national football team, Lionel Scaloni, said today in Doha ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup semi-final match against Croatia that “Croats have a specific game, they neither constantly defend nor constantly attack”.
In Argentina, they believed that Brazil, led by Neymar, would stand in their way to the final. But the “Vatreni” shocked Brazil and made the “Gauchos” happy. Although they also warn that Croatia is a dangerous opponent, they are convinced that they will still have an easier time over “Vatreni” to their sixth final.
In the announcement of the meeting, coach Lionel Scaloni and defender Nicolas Tagliafico appeared in front of numerous journalists at the “Virtual Stadium”, a huge press hall.
Scaloni took over Argentina as a temporary solution after Jorge Sampaoli was sacked. Under his leadership, Argentina won the Copa America last year, the first major trophy since 1993, when they also celebrated in that competition.
At the last World Cup in Russia, Scaloni was one of Sampaoli’s assistants and watched Croatia’s victory over Argentina in the group stage of the competition live at the stadium in Nizhny Novgorod.
- We are expecting a difficult game, Croatia is an excellent team, you can see their unity, but we should not compare the game from four years ago – said Lionel.
- All Argentinians hope to win, we play for our people, for our families. We are happy for our fans, we know what is expected of us. As for Croatia, they have a specific game, they neither constantly defend nor constantly attack. They have an excellent team, a long football tradition – he added.
Scaloni did not want to reveal the bad sides of “Vatreni”.
- First, we analyze the previous games as best as we can and how to use the opponent’s weaker sides. I will not talk about Croatia’s strengths and weaknesses at the press conference, but we also analyzed their weaknesses – said the Argentina coach.
Scaloni was full of praise for Croatian captain Luka Modrić.
- It is a pleasure to watch his game, he is an idol for many of us, not only because of his game, but also because of his behavior. If you like football, you can’t help but like such players.
Scalloni commented on the behavior of the Argentine players during and after the match with the Netherlands.
- It’s football, sometimes you defend, sometimes you attack, sometimes you can come into conflict and argue, but you have a referee. We need to put an end to that game. I’m not sure our behavior is unsportsmanlike. We show our pride, and the referee is there to make decisions. After the game there is respect, we respect both the Netherlands and Croatia.
Scaloni said that the team is in good physical condition.
- Victory is the best recovery, we entered the semi-finals. We are fine, I believe we will be ready. The team feels very good. We have our own style of play, but sometimes you have to respond to the demands on the field – stressed Scaloni.
Scaloni admitted that he was only thinking about the match against Croatia.
- I feel the same as before Holland, Australia and Poland. We lost to Saudi Arabia. There is only one more game ahead of us, in which we will have to give our best. Tomorrow is what we prepare for and that’s all we think about, I don’t want to waste my energy on other things.
This is the last WC for Messi, and Scaloni said that we must enjoy his game.