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Argentina again close to glory: How much has the ‘albiceleste’ changed since the final of Brazil 2014?

Argentina It already met expectations. She has already come as far as many imagined. They made it through the group stage with more than one mishap, but then didn’t stop until they reached the final. On the horizon, now a new definition of the title awaits him and all Argentines are excited about world glory as it happened eight years ago.

The ‘albiceleste’ did not have many problems to win against Croatia (3-0). Lionel Scaloni’s team responded perfectly against an opponent who was the executioner of Brazil in the previous key. Things, then, turned out better than expected and now Argentina is just one step away from consecrating itself.

The last time this team played a final in this tournament was precisely in Brazil 2014. That time, a goal by Mario Götze in extra time against Germany ended the hopes of all Argentines, who dreamed of celebrating their third world feat.

However, Argentina has managed to manufacture its long-awaited revenge, meeting again in the final of the tournament (against the winner of France vs. Morocco) after eight years in which several things have passed and changed.

How much has Argentina changed?

After the 2014 final, there are now several coincidences in Argentina’s good football moment, but with several new faces. The renewal of the campus has been inevitable, but the illusion to consecrate remains the same.

To begin with, it must be taken into account that the ‘albiceleste’ qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as the first in South America and two dates in advance. In the absence of the presence of ‘Scratch’ in the qualifying round, the Argentine squad dominated this part of the world, being the highest scoring team and the second least thrashed behind Colombia. In addition, they only lost twice in 16 games. Awesome.

To get to Qatar 2022, the story has not been very different. Argentina arrived at this World Cup as the second best in Conmebol -only behind Brazil-, and classified four dates before the closing of the Qualifiers, after maintaining an impressive undefeated record (11 wins and six draws). It was the second team with the most goals scored and with the fewest goals conceded, surpassed only by the ‘Canarinha’. The level, then, is as high as eight years ago.

Argentina managed to remain undefeated in the Qatar 2022 Qualifiers Photo: Gustavo Ortiz / @photo.gec

On the contrary, a resounding change: the 2014 team faced the World Cup challenge with the enormous weight of not being able to succeed since the 1993 Copa América. Four finals lost since that championship (two in the FIFA Confederations Cup and two in the Copa América) overwhelmed him. much.

However, currently in Qatar 2022, Scaloni’s team can play with the peace of mind of having won two invaluable trophies on the way here. The consecrations of the Copa América 2021 and the Finalissima 2022 serve as a lot of support for him.

Alignment of Argentina in Brazil 2014

In terms of the squad itself, Argentina suffered many variations. The only survivors of the Argentine squad for Brazil 2014 are Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María. Nobody else. It has been completely renovated.

So, sacred cows of the ‘Albiceleste’ such as Higuaín, ‘Kun’ Agüero, Demichelis and Mascherano stopped playing to be able to give the baton to emerging figures such as Enzo Fernández, Julián Álvarez, Rodrigo de Paul, ‘Cuti’ Romero and ‘Dibu’ Martínez. Renovated. Of course, the average age between both teams is almost the same: 28 years and 336 days in Brazil 2014; 27.9 years in Qatar 2022. Be that as it may, the generational change is a reality.

“Now there are players like Tagliafico, Cuti Romero, Acuña, De Paul, Paredes, Julián Álvarez… these new names of this generation have displaced the Higuaín, the Agüero, the Mascherano, the Biglia… who were members of that final (Brazil 2014). It is a team that has fewer proper names, or fewer marketing names, but I think that these new names make the path easier for Messi. They allow you to be a spare wheel at any time”says Emiliano Nunia, an Argentine journalist for Súper Deportivo Radio.

Messi -the star-, in addition, in 2014 he was 27 years old and was at a high level. But now at 35, he hasn’t slowed down. The ’10 ′ Argentine continues to delight the world with his talent and, in addition, he has added the experience and maturity acquired all this time to today be more leader than ever of a quite promising group.

“Messi is in a moment where he coordinates absolutely everything: his state of mind, his mentality, his desire to play football… I think there is a difference that is decisive with respect to Brazil 2014. Messi today chooses the moments to do damage, a question who used to act desperate and anxious. I think there is a huge virtue in that. Messi chooses the moments to harm his rivals even with the pressure that comes with winning a World Cup for the first time.”Nunia points out.

Lineup of Argentina in Qatar 2022 |  Photo: REUTERS

In the same way, the great Alejandro Sabella, so loved in his country, led the Argentine team eight years ago; Today everything is in the hands of Lionel Scaloni, whom few trusted at the beginning, but who has precisely allowed the gaucho affliction to reach the World Cup final again and that expectations are once again at the top for this team.

“Argentina changed a lot. In principle, he challenged all the fundamentalists, who speak of the experience of a coach, who has to have many stripes on him to grab a hot iron like Argentina. I think that since how he raises and rethinks the matches and how he reaches the player, Scaloni has thrown all those preconceptions overboard ”points out Mauricio Loret de Mola, a journalist for ‘A Presión’.

“The most important thing is how versatile, how ingenious and how important the coach is, because he doesn’t marry any system or any name. That makes all the players alert, biding their time and when it’s their turn, they respond. There are plenty of cases that this has happened in this World Cup. When it has had to change, it changed names or system. That makes Scaloni a credible coach despite his short experience ”complements

The changes are there. In evidence. Now, the biggest change that Argentina really wants to achieve is to no longer fall in the final, but to win it after 36 years. That is, today, his biggest challenge.

Source: Elcomercio

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