Is Lionel Scaloni leaving Argentina? World Cup winning coach reportedly to depart job after Copa America

Lionel Messi is the heart and soul of the Argentina international team, but another Lionel sits right behind him in terms of importance to the side’s most recent successes.

Head coach Lionel Scaloni has been hailed as an Argentine legend for leading the team to new heights as the world’s most dominant national side.

Since his appointment to the Argentina head coach position in 2018 following the dismissal of Jorge Sampaoli, Scaloni has led the team to continental glory, international glory, and a spot at the top of the FIFA world rankings.

Now, the Argentine federation may be forced to consider life after Scaloni, as the 45-year-old has made it clear he is thinking about moving on from the role. Following his own public speculation about his future during the November 2023 international break, reports have surfaced suggesting Scaloni’s time in charge of Argentina could be coming to a close.

The Sporting News details all the known information and circulating reports regarding Scaloni’s future.

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Is Lionel Scaloni leaving Argentina? Coach could depart before Copa America 2024

According to Argentina journalist Leo Paradizo speaking to ESPN Argentina, Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni will remain in charge of the national team through the 2024 Copa America, at which point he would depart his position.

The loss of Scaloni would be a huge blow to Argentina, who have enjoyed continental and global dominance under the former West Ham defender.

Scaloni has triumphed in both major international tournaments in charge of Argentina, leading the nation to victory in the 2021 Copa America and the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Those were the country’s first major international trophies in 18 years — they had previously most recently won the Copa America in 1993 and the World Cup in 1986. He has lost just six of 67 overall games in charge, winning 46 and drawing 15.

Scaloni was in attendance for the 2024 Copa America draw on December 7, but would not confirm or deny how long he will stay in charge. He wouldn’t even say if he would be in charge at the start of the Copa America next summer, where Argentina will hope to defend their 2021 title.

“I need to think, I need to think a lot about what I’m going to do,” Scaloni said at his press conference. “It’s not a goodbye, nor anything else. But I need to think, because the bar is very high and it’s difficult to continue winning. These guys make it difficult. It’s time to think about this time. I will tell the president and I will tell the players later, because this National Team needs a coach who has all the possible energy and who is well.”

Where would Lionel Scaloni go after leaving Argentina?

There is significant speculation that Lionel Scaloni would be a top target for Real Madrid, who expect to see Carlo Ancelotti depart for the Brazil job in summer 2024 following the conclusion of the club season.

However, it remains to be seen whether Scaloni even wishes to continue coaching in the immediate aftermath of his departure from Argentina. The 45-year-old hinted that he is dealing with fatigue and may wish to take some time off from the enormous pressures of football management.

“The national team needs a coach who has all the energy,” Scaloni explained after the hard-fought 1-0 victory over Brazil in the November international window. “The bar is high. I’m going to think about what I am going to do.”

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