Besides saying goodbye to Di María with all the glory, what are the other objectives?

Misadventures and troubles are part of a recent past, but today it seems completely overlooked. Since winning the 2021 Copa América in Brazil and breaking the 28-year streak without titles at a senior level, the Argentine team has not stopped celebrating. In June 2022, they won the Finalíssima against Italy by a resounding 3-0 in London, and at the end of that year they won the World Cup again, in this case in Qatar, after 36 years.

The Albiceleste team then arrives as the top favorite to win the Copa América that will begin this Thursday in the United States. The premiere will feature the world champions, who will debut against Canada in the city of Atlanta starting at 9 p.m. Argentina.

The national team will have three outstanding objectives in the Copa América. In the privacy of the campus, The footballers proposed that Ángel Di María’s farewell be with a new Olympic return. “Fideo” has already announced that the Copa América will mark his farewell to the Argentine team and the group wants to give him another great joy so that his last dance is with all honors. The team’s top scorer in the Maracaná, Wembley and Lusail Stadium finals, Di María is one of the team’s three all-timers along with Lionel Messi and Nicolás Otamendi, with whom he already has a long friendship.

Di María won five titles dressed in light blue and white: three with the Major (Copa América 2021, Finalíssima 2022 and Qatar World Cup 2022), one with the U-20 team (at the 2007 World Cup in Canada) and a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In the final of those Olympic Games, Di María also scored the winning goal for Argentina, 1-0 against Nigeria, after an assist from Messi. So “Fideo” – a man of transcendental matches if there ever was one – scored goals in four of the five finals that he played for the different Argentine teams.

Another search for the team in the United States will be to become the top winner of the Copa América in history. Today, Argentina and Uruguay are the ones that celebrated the most with fifteen titles each, while Brazil is third for having won this competition nine times. Paraguay, Chile and Peru were champions twice, while Colombia and Bolivia won a Copa América each.

The third objective is the one set by the coaching staff led by Lionel Scaloni, a hyper-demanding coach who does not want his players to relax after winning the World Cup.. Far from that, when the coach questioned his continuity after the victory on November 21 of last year against Brazil, 1-0 at the Maracaná with a header from Otamendi, he did so because – among other things – he wanted to take into account Of course, the team’s competitive spirit remained as high as ever.

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Scaloni intends for the team to continue with the winning mentality that characterizes it, with Messi as the flag and a squad full of hierarchy and strong internal competition. Beyond the discomfort that this always represents for coaches, Scaloni really likes it when the players make it difficult for him to choose the starting players. And even though the initial base is clear (“Dibu” Martínez, Cristian Romero, Otamendi, Rodrigo De Paul, Alexis Mac Allister, Messi and Di María seem to be a fixture in the ideal eleven), everyone knows that if they let their guard down they have behind players of identical quality waiting for an entry place.

In his search for the team to continue to have a smooth and reliable operation, Scaloni does not want there to be spaces for carelessness or imbalances like those that the team showed in the first quarter of an hour of the friendly that they won on Friday by a resounding 4 to 1 to Guatemala, in Washington, at the close of preparation for the Copa América. He knows that these are issues that can occur in the middle of a match, but he aspires to reduce the margins of error as much as possible during the development of the matches.

Argentina will play this Thursday, against Canada in Atlanta, the opening match of the Copa América. After that match, the world champions will face Chile on Tuesday the 25th at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, for the second date of Group A. The closing of the group stage will be against Peru, on Saturday the 29th at the Hard Rock Stadium of Miami. The final, the one that Argentina is aiming for to say goodbye to Di María with another Olympic return, to feed the greatness of the football of the world champions and to fulfill Scaloni’s search, will also be played in Miami, on Sunday, the 14th. July.

Conference

Lionel Scaloni gave a press conference prior to Thursday’s debut in the Copa América. From Atlanta, the city where the Argentine team will present against its Canadian counterpart, the Pujato coach did not confirm the team, but gave some clues.

See alsoScaloni did not confirm the team for Argentina’s debut in the Copa América but cleared up doubts

“I’m going to give the team this afternoon to the players, who still don’t know it, but I already have it and I have no doubts,” said the world champion coach when asked about the starting 11 that will take to the field in the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Although he remained firm in not announcing names before the last practice, Scaloni anticipated that Leandro Paredes, who was by his side in the press room, will be in the starting lineup: “The one I have sitting next to me came out in the first game, because we thought other guys were better. Then he came in and left. We can make mistakes, but we always think about putting the best one in.

“The conclusions of the last two games are that those who have played are doing well. We have resolved some doubts that we had with some of them. Let whoever plays show that they do not want to lose their position. The base we have always respects those who are not playing “We made some tweaks and we want to improve,” the coach said.

Furthermore, the coach expressed that both Lionel Messi and Ángel Di María are in perfect physical condition and available to play from the start, as is Enzo Fernández, who recovered from surgery after an inguinal hernia. Regarding the captain, Scaloni stressed that he is not worried about his future in the National Team and that he wants to enjoy it.

Regarding the choice in the last games of Julián Álvarez as a companion to Messi and Di María in the usual starting lineup, Scaloni sent a strong message: “Those who we believe have to play play. Beyond the teammate. The other has played day (against Guatemala) Lautaro (Martínez) with Valentín (Carboni)… What we do see is that based on the rival we put the best team which has nothing to do with the midfield that plays with the forward, we always match pieces according to function. of the party”.

Regarding the first rival, Scaloni analyzed: “Canada is a very good team, they have important players and a new coach who has brought them new ideas. They are a complicated opponent, but we are prepared to play our game.” And he completed on the playing field of the imposing stadium where the match will be played: “I didn’t step on it, I saw it from outside, but the coaching staff came this morning and we are going to wait because they say it will improve. They changed it yesterday because they know that it is synthetic and I hope it is okay for the good of football.

Argentina is in Group A of the Copa América 2024 along with Canada, Peru and Chile. On Thursday the 20th they will have the opening match against the North American team at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. On Tuesday the 25th they will clash against Ricardo Gareca’s team at the MetLife Stadium, in New Jersey, and will close the phase on Saturday the 29th against the Peruvians at the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami.

 
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