Lionel Sebastián Scaloni (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel eskaˈloni],[2] Rioplatense[ehkaˈloni]; born 16 May 1978) is an Argentine professional football manager and former player who is the manager of the Argentina national team that won the 2022 FIFA World Cup. A versatile player, he operated as a right-back or right midfielder.

Lionel Scaloni
Scaloni with Argentina in 2022
Personal information
Full name Lionel Sebastián Scaloni[1]
Date of birth (1978-05-16) 16 May 1978 (age 46)[1]
Place of birth Pujato, Santa Fe, Argentina
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Position(s) Right-back, right midfielder
Team information
Current team
Argentina (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1996 Newell's Old Boys 12 (0)
1996–1997 Estudiantes 37 (7)
1998–2006 Deportivo La Coruña 200 (14)
2006West Ham United (loan) 13 (0)
2006–2007 Racing Santander 30 (1)
2007–2013 Lazio 52 (1)
2008–2009Mallorca (loan) 28 (0)
2013–2015 Atalanta 15 (0)
Total 387 (23)
International career
1997 Argentina U20 7 (2)
2003–2006 Argentina 7 (0)
Managerial career
2018 Argentina U20
2018– Argentina
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  Argentina (as player)
FIFA World Youth Championship
Winner 1997 Malaysia U-20 Team
Representing  Argentina (as manager)
FIFA World Cup
Winner 2022 Qatar
Copa América
Winner 2021 Brazil
Third place 2019 Brazil
CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions
Winner 2022 England
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Born in Pujato, Santa Fe, Scaloni debuted as a player for Newell's Old Boys in 1995. He spent most of his professional career in Spain, mainly at Deportivo de La Coruña, with whom he won the 1999–2000 Spanish league title and the 2001–02 Copa del Rey; in total, he amassed 258 games and 15 goals over 12 seasons in La Liga with three different teams. He also played for several years in Italy, with Lazio and Atalanta, before retiring in 2015. Internationally, he played for Argentina at under-20 level, and made his debut for the senior team in 2003; he won seven caps for the team between 2003 and 2006, and was part of their 2006 World Cup squad.

Scaloni became a manager in 2016, starting as an assistant at Sevilla and Argentina's under-20 team. In 2018, he was named the outright manager of the under-20 team, and was chosen to lead the Argentina senior team later that year. With the senior team, he guided them to third place at his first international tournament, the 2019 Copa América, in Brazil. He won the 2021 edition, Argentina's first such honour in 28 years, and then beat Italy in the 2022 Finalissima. Thereafter, the Scaloni-led national team won their third World Cup title, the first since 1986, in 2022 in Qatar.

Playing career

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Club

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Early years and Deportivo

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Born in the small town of Pujato in Santa Fe Province,[3] with Italian origins from Ascoli Piceno, Marche,[4][5] Scaloni began his career in the Argentine Primera División with local club Newell's Old Boys and then Estudiantes de La Plata, before joining Spain's Deportivo de La Coruña in December 1997 for 405 million pesetas.[6]

Regularly used with the Galicians over an eight-and-a-half-year stint, he competed with Manuel Pablo and Víctor for both starting spots on the right flank.[7][8] Due to a knee injury, he appeared in only 14 La Liga matches as Depor won the title for the first time.[9]

After falling out with manager Joaquín Caparrós, Scaloni joined Premier League side West Ham United on loan on 31 January 2006, the final day of the transfer window, in an attempt to increase his chance of selection for the upcoming World Cup.[10] He took the number 2 shirt from the departed Tomáš Řepka, and made his league debut for the East Londoners against Sunderland, on 4 February;[11] he also helped the team to reach the FA Cup final, a penalty shootout loss to Liverpool.[12][13]

Racing Santander

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Scaloni as a Deportivo player

Scaloni left West Ham after a permanent move could not be agreed. Deportivo released him on 1 September 2006 alongside Diego Tristán,[14] one day after the close of the summer transfer window.

However, due to the fact there were no limitations for free agents, two weeks later Scaloni signed a one-year contract at Racing de Santander,[15] The Cantabrians subsequently finished in mid table. He appeared – and started – in both games against his former club, both ending in 0–0 draws.[16][17]

Italy

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On 30 June 2007, Scaloni moved to S.S. Lazio in Italy's Serie A on a five-year deal.[18] In January of the following year he returned to Spain, on loan to RCD Mallorca for 18 months;[19][20][21] subsequently, he returned to Rome, where he was rarely used for the following three seasons.

At age 35, Scaloni joined Atalanta B.C. in January 2013.[22] He was released at the end of the campaign, but re-signed after failing to find a new club.[23]

International

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After making his debut for Argentina on 30 April 2003 in a friendly game with Libya,[24] Scaloni was a surprise selection for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, taking the place of veteran Javier Zanetti who also played as a right wing-back.[25] His only appearance of the tournament was the 2–1 extra time win against Mexico in the round of 16, on 24 June 2006 at the Zentralstadion, which he started and finished.[26]

Coaching career

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Assistant

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On 11 October 2016, Scaloni joined compatriot Jorge Sampaoli's coaching staff at Sevilla.[27] The following June, when the latter was appointed as the new national team boss, he was again named as his assistant.[28]

Argentina

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After Argentina's failure at the World Cup in Russia, Scaloni and Pablo Aimar were named caretaker managers until the end of the year.[29] In November 2018, the former was confirmed in the post until the following June when the 2019 Copa América was due to take place.[30] This decision unleashed a wave of criticism against Scaloni's appointment, including from legendary footballer Diego Maradona, who criticized the move for appointing an "unqualified" and inexperienced person in charge.[31][32][33] Scaloni's appointment, at the time, was also seen as an offence against the national team due to the lack of consultation with other experienced managers at the time and the AFA was blamed for having no strategy regarding the appointment.[34]

In the 2019 Copa América, he led the side to third place in Brazil, but not in the style fans expected as Argentina struggled to advance further in the tournament.[35] The poor performance on Argentina's way to the third place finish ultimately released a new wave of criticism against Scaloni appointment due to Argentina's inability to win the tournament despite expectation, and Scaloni's inadequate and inconsistent tactical performances.[36] Despite calls to sack Scaloni, however, the AFA opted to extend Scaloni's contract until 2022, as AFA saw Scaloni's third place finish acceptable.[37]

Scaloni led Argentina to the 2021 Copa América title after defeating Brazil who were once again the hosts (1–0), helping them to win their first trophy in 28 years.[38] In November that year, he was nominated for The Best FIFA Football Coach Award,[39] but did not make the final three shortlist.[40]

On 1 June 2022, Scaloni's Argentina won the 2022 Finalissima after defeating European champions Italy 3–0 at Wembley Stadium.[41] On 16 November, Argentina beat the United Arab Emirates 5–0 in a friendly World Cup warm-up game ahead of the World Cup extending their unbeaten run to 36 matches, just one shy of Italy's record of 37.[42]

 
Scaloni managing Argentina in 2022

On 22 November, Scaloni's side lost 2–1 to Saudi Arabia in their opening group stage match of the World Cup in Qatar ending their unbeaten run of 36 matches;[43] the result was considered by Gracenote statistically the greatest upset in the history of the tournament.[44] Nevertheless, they made it into the knockout stages after recording wins over Mexico (2–0) and Poland (also 2–0).[45] Argentina then overcame Australia (2–1) in the round of 16, and advanced over the Netherlands in the quarter-finals with a penalty shoot-out victory, following which Scaloni defended his team after controversy surrounding the fights and tension between Argentine and Dutch players during the ill-tempered shoot-out.[46] After beating Croatia 3–0 in the semi-finals, the nation reached the final for the second time in eight years.[47] He then led Argentina to their third FIFA World Cup title in the final against France, with the Argentine team winning via a 4–2 penalty shoot-out after the match had ended in 3–3 after extra time.[48] The triumph meant Lionel Scaloni has become the youngest manager since 1978, and the fourth youngest manager to win the World Cup, which, coincidentally, were both achieved by Argentine compatriot César Luis Menotti.[49] Scaloni was recognised as the best men's national coach in the world in 2022 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).[50] He was also honoured with The Best FIFA Men's Coach for 2022.[51] Scaloni's success in guiding the national team of Argentina to victory was widely seen as a shock, due to the fact that Scaloni suffered from consistent opposition against his appointment when he was first offered the job in 2018.[33][52] Due to this shocking conquest by a manager deemed as too inexperienced for the job, Scaloni was also referred for having "Midas' touch", named after the ancient Greek mythological character Midas.[53]

Almost a year later from the conquer of the World Cup in Qatar, on 21 November 2023, he led Argentina to a 1-0 win against Brazil at the Maracanã Stadium, in what would be the latter's first home defeat ever in World Cup qualification tournaments.

Personal life

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Scaloni has both Argentine and Italian citizenship.[54]

Scaloni's older brother, Mauro, also played at Deportivo, but never made it beyond its reserve team.[55][6] He and his wife Elisa Montero have two sons, Ian and Noah.[56][57]

In April 2019, Scaloni was run over while cycling in Calvià in Majorca. Some media initially reported him to be in serious condition, but he was discharged a few hours later.[58]

Career statistics

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International

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Appearances and goals by national team and year[59]
National team Year Apps Goals
Argentina 2003 1 0
2004 1 0
2005 3 0
2006 2 0
Total 7 0

Managerial statistics

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As of match played 20 June 2024
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team Nat From To Record Ref
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Argentina U20   17 July 2018 30 November 2018 6 4 1 1 11 3 +8 066.67 [citation needed]
Argentina   3 August 2018 present 72 51 15 6 148 39 +109 070.83 [60]
Career total 78 55 16 7 159 42 +117 070.51

Honours

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Player

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Deportivo La Coruña

West Ham United

Argentina U20

Manager

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Argentina U20

Argentina

Individual

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b c "2006 FIFA World Cup Germany List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  2. ^ cf. Spanish phonology#Epenthesis
  3. ^ Reinke, Mariana (27 July 2021). "Pujato, el pueblo rural del DT Lionel Scaloni con el récord de un camión cada diez personas" [Pujato, HC Lionel Scaloni's small town with the record of a truck for every ten people]. La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 31 January 2022.
  4. ^ De Luca, Francesco (12 December 2022). "Argentina in semifinale mondiale, il riscatto di Scaloni l'italiano" [Argentina in World Cup semi-finals, saved by Scaloni the Italian]. Il Mattino (in Italian). Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  5. ^ Belotti, Marina (18 December 2022). "Lionel Scaloni, l'ex nerazzurro che si gioca la Coppa del Mondo" [Lionel Scaloni, former black-and-blue who plays for World Cup] (in Italian). Calcio Atalanta. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Levinsky, Sergio (8 August 2018). "La historia de Lionel Scaloni: el hombre que le teme a los aviones pero derribaba "gigantes" y llevó al título al Sub 20" [The story of Lionel Scaloni: the man who fears airplanes but brought down "giants" and took Under 20s to title] (in Spanish). Infobae. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  7. ^ Hermida, Xosé (21 April 2003). "El indulto de Víctor" [Víctor's pardon]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  8. ^ Méndez, Carlos (3 February 2004). "Sólo me falta ser central y portero" ["I only have not played as stopper and goalkeeper"]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  9. ^ Grosso, Cristian (7 August 2018). "Lionel Scaloni: el perfil de un obsesivo del juego que nunca pierde el buen humor" [Lionel Scaloni: the profile of a game freak who is always in a good mood]. La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  10. ^ "West Ham capture defender Scaloni". BBC Sport. 1 February 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  11. ^ "West Ham 2–0 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 4 February 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Liverpool 3–3 West Ham (aet)". BBC Sport. 13 May 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  13. ^ Steinberg, Jacob (2010). "Whatever happened to West Ham's FA Cup final team of 2006?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Tristán and Scaloni released by Depor". UEFA. 5 September 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  15. ^ "Racing take a chance on Scaloni". UEFA. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  16. ^ "Deportivo La Coruña 0–0 Racing Santander". ESPN FC. 3 December 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Racing Santander 0–0 Deportivo La Coruña". ESPN FC. 29 April 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Colpo Lazio, preso Scaloni (CorrieredelloSport.it)" [Lazio deal, Scaloni acquired (CorrieredelloSport.it)] (in Italian). Lazio.net. 30 June 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  19. ^ "El Mallorca presenta a Scaloni" [Mallorca present Scaloni]. Marca (in Spanish). Spain. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Scaloni dice que el único culpable de su expulsión en Getafe es él" [Scaloni says he is the only one to blame for his dismissal in Getafe]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 4 March 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Scaloni: "Me gustaría quedarme, pero no depende de mí"" [Scaloni: "I would like to stay, but it's not up to me"]. Marca (in Spanish). Spain. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  22. ^ Losco, Gianluca (29 January 2013). "Ufficiale: Atalanta, preso Scaloni dalla Lazio" [Official: Atalanta, Scaloni signed from Lazio] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  23. ^ Casalino, Lorenzo (17 September 2013). "Atalanta, reintegrato Scaloni in rosa" [Atalanta, Scaloni reinstated in squad] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato Web. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  24. ^ Cristofanelli, Federico (28 July 2018). "Lionel Scaloni, el discípulo de Pekerman que soltó la mano de Sampaoli para dirigir al Sub 20" [Lionel Scaloni, Pekerman's disciple who let go of Sampaoli's hand to coach the Under 20s] (in Spanish). Infobae. Retrieved 16 December 2022.
  25. ^ "Zanetti cree que su marginación del Mundial "no es justa"" [Zanetti thinks his World Cup outcast status "is not fair"]. El Mercurio (in Spanish). 16 May 2006. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  26. ^ "Argentina 2–1 Mexico (aet)". BBC Sport. 24 June 2006. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  27. ^ López, José María (11 October 2016). "Lionel Scaloni, nuevo ayudante de Sampaoli en el Sevilla" [Lionel Scaloni, new Sampaoli assistant at Sevilla]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  28. ^ "Cuál es el cuerpo técnico de Jorge Sampaoli y qué tiene por delante con la selección" [Who is Jorge Sampaoli's coaching staff and what's ahead of them with the national team]. Clarín (in Spanish). 1 June 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Argentina appoint Scaloni, Aimar as caretaker coaches". The Independent. 4 August 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  30. ^ Gómez, Cristian (29 November 2018). "Es oficial: Chiqui Tapia confirmó a Lionel Scaloni como técnico de la Selección" [It's official: Chiqui Tapia confirmed Lionel Scaloni as manager of the National team]. Clarín (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  31. ^ Smyth, Andrew (2 October 2018). "Maradona: Scaloni is no good as Argentina manager - ronaldo.com". ronaldo.com. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  32. ^ "Scaloni happy as Argentina boss looks to future". OneFootball. 19 June 2023. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  33. ^ a b reporters, AP sports (18 December 2022). "'Unqualified' Argentina coach answers critics with run to World Cup final". Stuff. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  34. ^ "La designación de Scaloni es una ofensa a la Selección Nacional". infobae (in European Spanish). Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  35. ^ a b "Argentina 2–1 Chile". BBC Sport. 6 July 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  36. ^ Wilson, Jonathan (22 June 2019). "How has it come to this for Argentina?". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  37. ^ "Scaloni extends his Argentine contract to end of 2022 World Cup qualifiers". Inside World Football. 31 July 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  38. ^ a b Osborne, Chris (11 July 2021). "Lionel Messi wins first Copa America as Argentina beat Brazil in final". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  39. ^ McVitie, Peter (22 November 2021). "Messi, Ronaldo and Lewandowski headline nominees for FIFA's The Best Awards". Goal (website). Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  40. ^ "Finalists for The Best FIFA Women's Coach and The Best FIFA Men's Coach announced". FIFA. 6 January 2022. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  41. ^ a b Dawkes, Phil (1 June 2022). "Italy 0–3 Argentina: Messi and Di Maria shine in impressive Finalissima win". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  42. ^ Cons, Roddy (18 November 2022). "When could Argentina break the world record unbeaten streak at the 2022 World Cup?". Diario AS. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  43. ^ Dawkes, Phil (22 November 2022). "World Cup 2022: Saudi Arabia beat Argentina 2–1 in Group C opener". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  44. ^ Phillips, Mitch (22 November 2022). "Saudi Arabia win is statistically biggest World Cup shock, say Gracenote". Reuters. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  45. ^ "'Another World Cup begins now,' warns Messi after Poland victory". Buenos Aires Times. 30 November 2022. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  46. ^ "Lionel Scaloni defends his Argentina players who goaded Dutch opponents". The Guardian. 12 December 2022. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  47. ^ "Argentina v Croatia | Semi-finals | FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ | Highlights". FIFA. 13 December 2022. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  48. ^ Murray, Scott (18 December 2022). "Argentina beat France on penalties after thrilling World Cup final – live reaction". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  49. ^ Mothoagae, Keba (20 December 2022). "Records tumble in numbers at the amazing Qatar FIFA World Cup". SportsBrief. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  50. ^ a b "IFFHS AWARDS 2022 - MEN'S WORLD BEST NATIONAL COACH". IFFHS. 8 January 2023. Retrieved 8 January 2023.
  51. ^ a b "Scaloni honoured with Best FIFA Men's Coach award". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 27 February 2023. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  52. ^ "World Cup 2022: Lionel Scaloni, a cold-blooded coach for red-hot Argentina". Le Monde.fr. 9 December 2022. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  53. ^ "Argentina coach Scaloni: The other Lionel". The Times of India. 20 December 2022. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  54. ^ Bianciardi, di Maria Teresa (19 December 2022). "Due Lionel (Messi e Scaloni) e gli avi emigrati: quante Marche in questa Coppa del Mondo". www.corriereadriatico.it. Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  55. ^ Cabrera, Martín (17 December 1997). "Los hermanos Scaloni" [The Scaloni brothers] (PDF). Diario Hoy (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  56. ^ "Los hijos de Lionel Scaloni aparecieron por primera vez en TV con un mensaje para su papá" [Lionel Scaloni's sons made first TV appearance with a message for their daddy]. La Nación (in Spanish). 5 November 2022. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  57. ^ "Lionel Scaloni wife Elisa Montero". Fab Wags. 14 November 2022. Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  58. ^ Mateo, Roberto (9 April 2019). "Scaloni, atropellado en Mallorca por un coche mientras iba en bicicleta" [Scaloni, run over in Mallorca by a car while riding a bicycle]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  59. ^ Lionel Scaloni at National-Football-Teams.com
  60. ^ "Argentina: Matches". Soccerway. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  61. ^ "When India Defeated Lionel Scaloni's Argentina at U-20 COTIF Cup 2018 (Watch Video) | ⚽ LatestLY". 19 December 2022.
  62. ^ Murray, Scott (18 December 2022). "Argentina beat France on penalties after thrilling World Cup final – live reaction". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  63. ^ "IFFHS AWARDS 2023 - MEN'S WORLD BEST NATIONAL COACH". IFFHS. 30 December 2023. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  64. ^ "Pedro, do Flamengo, é eleito o Rei da América de 2022; veja o Top-10 e lista completa de premiados". 90min.com (in Brazilian Portuguese). 15 March 2023. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  65. ^ https://football-italia.net/panchina-doro-pioli-wins-best-serie-a-coach-special-award-for-scaloni-all-the-winners/
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