Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has had his say in the Messi vs Maradona debate. Fresh off of collecting the 2022 World Cup trophy, the country’s third, Scaloni has chosen Lionel Messi over Diego Maradona.
“If I have to choose one I choose Leo, I have something special with him. He is the best of all time, although Maradona was also great,” Scaloni told Spanish radio station Cope.
Like Messi, Maradona also brought home a World Cup title to Argentina. Similarities between Maradona’s triumph in 1986 and Messi’s 2022 tournament are fairly interesting. Both players guided Argentina to the title, won the Golden Ball trophy for best player at the competition, and finished with the second-most goals at the tournament.
Scaloni first called Messi when hired as Argentina boss
During the radio interview, Scaloni also spoke about wanting to get on the same page with Messi when he was appointed head coach in 2018. The coach arrived to the Argentina national team at a contentious time. After all, they just suffered a disappointing 2018 World Cup in Russia and Messi was taking time away from the team.
“The first thing we did was have a video call with Messi. He said he was honored and the first thing we said to him was ‘Come back. We’ll wait for you’. That’s what we did and eight months later he came and found an incredible group,” Scaloni stated.
Scaloni collects 2 major trophies with Messi in 17 months
Scaloni has now collected a World Cup and Copa America titles with the South American nation. He won the Copa America trophy in 2021 as they beat their biter rivals Brazil in the final.
The 44-year-old coach is now in contract negotiations with Argentina to remain as head coach. Despite recent reports claiming that he is set to re-sign with the team, Scaloni also opened the door to coach Spain in the near future. The coach replied with “why not?” when asked about the possibility to switch to the European country.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Xinhua
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