Argentina national team manager Lionel Scaloni has hinted that he may step down after five years at the helm. The World Cup-winning coach made the bizarre claims after a contentious 1-0 victory against rivals Brazil on Tuesday night. Brazilian police officers were seen attacking Argentine fans before the start of the match.

Argentina needs a coach who has all the energy possible and who is well,” stated Scaloni following the win. “I need to stop the ball and start thinking. I have a lot of things to think about during this time.”

“These players have given a lot to the coaching staff, and I need to think a lot about what I’m going to do. It’s not goodbye or anything, but I need to think because the bar is very high and it’s complicated to keep going and it’s complicated to keep winning.”

“These guys are making it difficult, so I need to think about it for a while,” the coach continued while not taking any questions from the media. “I will talk to the FA president and the players afterwards.”

Lionel Scaloni led Argentina to two major trophies

Scaloni has been highly successful since he took over the role in 2018. He initially picked up his first major title with La Albiceleste three years later. Argentina collected the 2021 Copa America trophy in Brazil. It was their first South American championship since 1993.

Argentina, led by Scaloni, then followed up the success by winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Despite shockingly losing their opening match of the tournament against Saudi Arabia, Argentina fought back to win the competition by not losing another game the rest of the way to the final.

Following Scaloni’s comments on Tuesday, Argentine defender Cristian Romero revealed that his coach did not make a speech in the dressing room. “We are sure and hope that Scaloni will continue,” proclaimed Romero. “Let’s see now he will have time to think. He didn’t say anything in the dressing room about it. We will try to convince him.”

Coach makes admission while team is atop CONMEBOL table

Argentina is currently atop the table of the CONMEBOL 2026 World Cup qualifying. South America is widely considered as one of the toughest confederations to qualify for major tournaments. After all, other top teams such as Brazil, Uruguay, and Colombia are all fighting for spots in the upcoming World Cup as well.

While Scaloni’s group is in a solid position to advance to the World Cup in the United States, there are plenty of fixtures remaining on the schedule. Each South American team has played just six matches in the qualification phase so far. This means that these teams still have 12 more qualifiers to play before the final table is complete. The final round of qualifiers will not play out until September 2025.

Scaloni will also have ample time to think about his future with the team until Argentina’s next match. The South American giants do not have another game scheduled until March. They will play two friendlies in the spring, but their opponents have not yet been announced.