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Messi and Scaloni: a WhatsApp message that reinforced a friendship that today has Argentina in the World Cup final

He didn’t go looking for it, but he expected it. She was waiting for him as a father proudly waits for his son who has just graduated. Or like the child who waits for his idol. And when he arrived and they hugged, he couldn’t hold back his tears. lionel scaloni Y Lionel Messi met at the end of Argentina 3-0 Croatia and, beyond some other gesture, they celebrated the pass to the World Cup Qatar 2022 final with a hug… the hug of the soul.

For Leo it will be his second World Cup final. Without the intention of reliving ghosts of Brazil 2014, in Qatar, at 35 years old, the best Messi can be seen. Soccer leader (five goals and three assists) and locker room. A true warlord. , Claudio Gugnali told uswho was a field assistant to Alejandro Sabella, the last World Cup finalist coach before Scaloni.

For the other Lionel, 44, it will be the first. He is the youngest coach in the tournament and the only surviving South American. Despite the calm that he professes in victory -pole opposite to the intensity with which he lives the matches-, scaloni he can’t help but overflow with emotion. It is his first World Cup, but on his shoulders is the mission to align the planets so that his namesake, the genius who wears the 10, conquers the third star and brings the cup to South America after twenty long years. Since Korea-Japan 2002, which was won by Brazil, no team from this region has been able to win.

, was the WhatsApp message that Scaloni sent to Messi back in 2018. After the World Cup in Russia, La Pulga did not want to know anything about the Argentine team. He did not resign, but those closest to him were debating whether he should return after an exhausting process such as Jorge Sampaoli’s. It was the first contact between coach Scaloni and player Messi, which led to a video call for the coach to convince the footballer to be the axis of his new project despite being, at that time, interim.

That was the first contact in a relationship that led Argentina to win the Americas -at the Maracana and against Brazil!- after 28 years and now to be in a World Cup final. The inexperienced coach, criticized by his own compatriots, knew how to build a team around his greatest star. But not just any team, but one with the majority of young people who grew up idolizing the one who is now his teammate. From the Dibu Martinezgoing by Rodrigo DePauluntil Julian Alvarez. All.

“Lionel Messi is the best player in history. There is no doubt. I have been saying it for a long time”

Lionel Scaloni, coach of the Argentine national team.

Scaloni-Messi: the story of the first meeting

, Lionel Messi He had his long-awaited debut with the Argentine national team in a friendly against Hungary. 18 minutes into the second half, Jose Pekerman He gave him entry instead of Lisandro López, but he only lasted 45 seconds on the field: on the first ball he touched, he prepared to face and the full-back Vilmos Vanczák took him by the shirt. An 18-year-old Lionel, still with long hair and without the beard that he now sports, tried to get him off of him with a slap that grazed his face. The foul, after exaggeration by the rival, convinced Markus Merk -referee of that match- to show the red card.

“I thought ‘I went in and they kicked me out, they’re never going to call me again.’ It was terrible”, told the Flea a couple of years ago in an interview. Leo came from being the figure in the Under 20 World Cup in the Netherlands that won the Albiceleste under the leadership of Francisco Ferraro. That tournament started him on the bench, but he ended up being the top scorer (six) and the best player in the tournament.

The infraction of Messi that generated the expulsion in his debut with Argentina.  (Photo: Agencies)

recounted lionel scaloni about that match. Yes, the coach who embraces him with love today was present at his debut. Not from a bench and with a diver, but in the field and dressed in a short. He wore the ‘4 ′ on his back and was one of the first to complain to the referee for the exaggerated sanction against a debutant in a friendly match.

Obviously Scaloni could not make the judge think again, but the photo in which Messi looks in amazement at Merk and the red card will be framed, Juan Pablo Sorín could not believe it either and Lionel was the one who came out in his defense. Like now, but from the substitute bench.

Messi defending Lionel Messi after receiving the red card.  (Photo: Agencies)


Source: Elcomercio

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