Scaloni: ‘As a fan I tell you that these players are not going to leave us’

The selector of Argentina, Lionel
Scaloni, said this Monday that the team has a “barbaric illusion” to reach the final of the Cup
America of Brazil, although first they will have to impose a Colombia of “high level” and “hierarchy”.

“We want to reach the final, to win this game and the hunger of these players is evident. They have been focused for two months and it is more than evident that we are all with a barbaric illusion,” said Scaloni, on the eve of the semifinals against Colombia at the Mané Garrincha stadium in Brasilia.

The coach anticipated that the starting eleven that he will play against the coffee team will not “differ much” from the one that beat Ecuador 3-0 in the quarterfinals.

“Today we did the last practice for tomorrow’s game and there are some tired players, with some discomfort. We will wait until tomorrow, but it will not differ much from the last game,” he said.

However, he almost ruled out the presence of central defender Cristian Romero, who continues to “evolve” from his physical problems, but “it will be difficult for him to play” the semifinals.

“Surely Germán (Pezzella) plays, we are very happy with him and, in that sense, we do not want to risk and we remove players who are one hundred percent. As long as we have no guarantee, we are going to risk it,” he said.

He avoided confirming whether he will opt in midfield for Leandro Paredes or Guido Rodríguez, and even left open the possibility that the two start from the beginning, as they did against Paraguay. “I’m happy with both of them, with their performance and anyone who plays can do well,” he added.

Regarding Colombia, he stressed that it is a selection of “high level”, “hierarchy”, with most of its offensive players and directed by a coach, Reinaldo Rueda, who gives “that stamp” to the team.

“It is a very difficult team” and that it is “in a good moment”, so it will be a “complicated” game, because “in 90 minutes a lot is decided,” he said.

The final, longed for by the players and necessary for the fans

In case of qualifying for the Maracana final on the 10th, Scaloni said that it would be a “huge joy” for everyone, both for the players and for the people, who “need it”. “If I speak as a fan and an Argentine, I am totally convinced that these guys are not going to leave us, that they are going to do their best to reach the final. They leave the flag, the shirt well and that for us is the best, and the people in the end value that, “he explained. “Do not give up a ball for lost, do not give a game over and that is basic and from that point on we build what we are doing so far,” he added.

In addition, he pointed out that they arrive “in the same conditions” of good play and fitness with respect to the semifinals of the 2019 Copa América, in which they lost to the hosts, Brazil, “undeservedly”, as he recalled. “Every time we are consolidating an idea. We come with the idea of ​​playing every possible game, we are in the semifinal and that leaves us satisfied, but we are going to give everything to try. The balance is still positive, but we always want more” he declared.