Scaloni: Argentina Faces Tough Copa America Title Defence

World Cup winners Argentina must put their recent successes behind them as they begin their Copa America title defense, coach Lionel Scaloni emphasized ahead of their opening match against Canada. The tournament features 10 South American teams along with six from North, Central America, and the Caribbean, in its second edition hosted by the United States.

Scaloni highlighted the necessity for his team to elevate their performance to secure the title again, stressing that playing against CONCACAF teams poses challenges comparable to facing European or South American sides. “The past achievements, like winning the World Cup and Copa America, were great, but they’re over now,” Scaloni stated during a news conference. He noted that all football matches present unique difficulties, and teams like France, Brazil, or Canada can offer similar levels of challenge.

Looking forward to their opening match against Canada on Thursday (Friday 5:30 am IST), Scaloni, 46, attributed the team’s success to enjoying the game, a crucial factor after previous disappointments in the 2015 and 2016 Copa finals and a semifinal exit in 2019. “Beyond the titles, we have enjoyed a lot. It’s a pleasure to watch how the players give their all,” he remarked, adding that this enjoyment leads to achieving success. Argentina will also face Peru and Chile in Group A.

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