“Messi has his own way of leading. As captain, he leads and motivates his teammates. Of course, Messi leads by example. He shows his teammates how to defeat opponents. Messi always helps support the coaching staff and behave well. It’s an honor to coach him,” Scaloni told Laureus Spirit of Sport.
Today, December 18, marks one year since Messi and Argentina defeated France in the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar. The 36-year-old striker scored two goals as Argentina drew 3-3 after 120 minutes. After that, he successfully kicked his turn, helping Argentina win the penalty shootout 4-2. Before that, Messi was the inspiration that brought Argentina to the final match, with five goals and three assists, directly contributing to eight of the 12 goals the home team scored from the group stage to the semi-finals.
The World Cup is the last title Messi is missing in his collection. He helped Argentina reach the 2014 World Cup final but lost to Germany. Messi was then awarded the 2023 Golden Ball – the eighth time he has won this award. Scaloni also contributed greatly to helping Argentina win the championship. However, the 45-year-old coach admitted that Messi is the main factor, because he is both the captain and an assistant coach.
Messi revealed that he will continue to play for Argentina until 2026, meaning that the striker playing for Inter Miami will participate in another World Cup. Argentina also aims to defend the Copa America championship when the tournament takes place in the US in 2024 with Messi as the leader.