Scaloni: “We are not invincible, but we are aiming for the World Cup. Azzurri, tactical team, Dybala can give more”
Italy champion of Europe must almost start from scratch, but Argentina champion of South America is also looking for something. Of an identity that not even the America’s Cup won at the Maracana over Brazil, twenty-eight years after the last success of 1993, has given her. The same unbeaten streak, 31 matches without defeat, does not include any Europeans, only South Americans and Mexico: therefore it must be taken with judgment. “It will be very different to face a defender like Bonucci or a tactic like Mancini’s,” said Sergio Levinsky, dean of Argentine journalists. But it is also true that Europe is “inside” the Seleccion, from Messi to Lautaro, from De Paul to Di Maria, from Nico Gonzalez to Dybala, not to mention the coach Lionel Scaloni that Italy knows it very well as a “former “of Lazio and Atalanta. Scaloni cannot explain why Italy is out of the World Cup “if not for one of those things in football, when the ball never enters. But this is a top-level team to which Mancini has given an identity that was previously lacking” .
It is never friendly between Italy and Argentina, even if the official matches were only 5. All at the World Cup, consecutively, from 1974 to 1990. The funny, or slightly disturbing, thing is that Italy has never lost in 90 ‘or 120’ minutes, but in reality he “won” only once, in 82 in Spain, with that 2-1 that paved the way for the apotheosis. The rest is very different. Germany 1974: ends 1-1 and, at the end of the group, Argentines second behind Poland and us third and eliminated. Argentina ’78: the most beautiful success, Bettega’s goal after a triangle with Rossi, but it is Kempes who raises the cup with the Netherlands, we are left with the “final”. Mexico 1986: still tied, 1-1, we second in the group and an impossible eighth with France. Italy 1990: again 1-1, Schillaci and Caniggia, them in the final on penalties. Tonight, in case, no additional: immediately penalties.
A year ago, at Wembley, it was another apotheosis. But Argentina is not England. More tactically complex for us. Usually it comes together in a very solid and defensive 4-4-2. She tends to start aggressively, often scores in the first twenty minutes, then gives up possession and hits on the counterattack. The symbol is Messi but, unlike Maradona’s times, the team is not Leo-addicted: it seeks solutions regardless of the inspiration of its phenomenon, returning from an unforgettable season in Paris. Today will be the day of Chiellini’s farewell and of the tribute to Diego. Scaloni: “That’s right, he will never end and he will always be a presence in all stadiums in the world”. Probably Messi will only touch the myth of Diego. He has never faced Italy in 17 years of Argentina The other day he too underlined the paradox of an Italy outside Qatar: “If she had gone to the World Cup she would have been one of the favorites”. Thanks but…
The South American champions won the final at Maracana against Brazil. Those of Europe got the better of England at Wembley. Two memorable feats against the hosts, but Scaloni puts his hands on: “We don’t think we’re invincible. We want to win this Grand Final and continue to play this game until November”. A little more prosaic Emiliano Martinez, giant goalkeeper weighing 1.93 for 90 kg who plays a few kilometers away, in Aston Villa: “We want to be champions. But we know that Italy is very tactical, strong defensively, very fast in attack” . The 4-4-2 seems to be the chosen system, the alternative is a 4-3-1-2 with Lo Celso behind the 2 strikers for a winger, more likely the viola Nico Gonzalez.
Dybala, Lautaro and Di Maria
Inevitable, for Scaloni, to face the theme “Italians”, happy, in difficulty, perhaps arriving in our championship. Lautaro: “He’s been with us since day one, he’s our forward. Fantastic.” Dybala: “A player of the highest level, an extraordinary guy. Up to now he hasn’t given Argentina what he wanted, now I hope he chooses his team well, also in our interest.” Di Maria: “I don’t know what Juve are looking for, but if he is looking for a winger he is the strongest in the world.” Let’s see tonight.
June 1, 2022 (change June 1, 2022 | 07:25)
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