The coach of the Argentine National Team, Lionel Scaloni, confirmed that he will travel to witness the draw for the 2024 Copa América in the United States, so his future at the helm of the team seems to be on track, after his continuity was in doubt.
“Now it’s time for an important thing that I want to say… Stop the ball, start thinking, I have many things to think about at this time,” was the phrase that the technical director launched at a press conference after the historic victory over Brazil in the Maracaná stadium and generated commotion among the fans.
The coach, who managed to become world champion at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, dropped that unexpected bomb and with it generated endless rumors. One of them even made reference to the possibility of being absent from the Copa América draw.
However, everything seems to have changed, since on December 7 the Pujato native will be at the James L. Knight Center in Miami representing the current continental champion in the draw.
The coach would travel from Spain to the United States with his family, which in principle appears as a good indication after his statements after the victory in Brazil.
Scaloni himself would have notified the AFA National Team staff that next week he will travel to Florida. And, although for now there is no meeting scheduled with the president of the Argentine Football Association, Claudio “Chiqui” Tapia, all paths seem to lead to a face to face meeting to solve the problems that bother the coach.
For now, there is nothing certain about how the story will end, although this determination by the coach gives a good indication regarding his continuity in command of a team that asked for his presence.
The news was taken with great optimism both by the rest of the coaching staff and in AFA, where they see it as an indication of continuity of one of the most brilliant cycles of the national team.
In recent days it had emerged that he would only accompany the president of AFA, Claudio Tapia, the physical trainer Luis Martín because the coach was going to stay in Spain while he continued thinking about his future.
Now the three will be there and it is assumed that the talk will take place with Chiqui, to try to bring positions closer together and guarantee the father of Scaloneta, at least until the end of the Copa América, although his contract ends only after the World Cup in Mexico. Canada and the United States of 2026.
Scaloni has already slipped into the top five national team coaches in history due to the number of points earned, the percentage of effectiveness and the titles won during his tenure.
Within the three variables, in the title category there are three coronations to the credit of the coach who assumed the position in 2018: the first came in mid-2021, after three years in the position, at the Copa América in Brazil 2021 .
The next two trophies were almost simultaneous: first the Finalissima 2021 – which was played in June 2022 at Wembley Stadium -, when the team captained by Lionel Messi beat Italy 3-0, and the conquest in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in December of last year.
These three championships made Scaloni the third most winning coach of the National Team, below Guillermo Stábile with seven titles – Copa América 1941, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1955 and 1957 and Pan American Championship 1960 – and Alfio Basile with four – Cup América 1991 and 1993, Confederations Cup 1992 and Artemio Franchi Cup 1993-.
Of the 68 matches coached by Scaloni, 47 were victories for the Albiceleste team, while on 15 occasions they achieved a draw and only accumulated six defeats in his cycle as coach of the Argentine National Team.
The Copa América draw will be next Thursday, December 7 in Miami. As for the dates, in recent days it was announced that the opening match will be played on June 20 at the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta (which Argentina could play as defending champions) and the final will be on June 14. July at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
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