Deschamps and Scaloni: Forged in Italy

As they prepare to face off in the World Cup Final tomorrow, it’s worth noting that both France coach Didier Deschamps and Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni learned so much from working in Italy.

They will meet on Sunday at 15.00 GMT in the concluding game of the tournament in Qatar.

Deschamps is vying to become only the second coach to win back-to-back World Cup trophies, following in the footsteps of Italy’s Vittorio Pozzo in 1934 and 1938.

The 54-year-old was also victorious in 2018 and has now been on the Bleus bench for a decade.

Deschamps had the peak years of his playing career in Italy for Juventus, wearing their jersey from 1994 to 1999, then going on to experiences at Chelsea and Valencia before retirement in 2001.

He made 178 competitive appearances for the Old Lady, winning the Champions League, Intercontinental Cup, three Serie A titles, the European Super Cup, Coppa Italia and two Italian Super Cups, largely under Marcello Lippi.

He immediately went into management at AS Monaco, but here too had a steep learning curve by accepting the Juventus job for the 2006-07 season.

This was when Juve were demoted to Serie B amid the Calciopoli scandal and forced to start with a big points penalty, but still secured promotion in first place with several rounds to spare.

Scaloni has Italian heritage, as do many in Argentina, and the 44-year-old spent the last few years of his career playing in Serie A.

The right-back first joined Lazio in 2007 and after a loan spell at Mallorca he stayed on until the transfer to Atalanta in January 2013.

He amassed 67 appearances in the Lazio jersey, including a rare goal, but only 17 for Atalanta due mainly to the fitness issues that prompted his retirement in 2015.

Still, he worked with experienced Italian tacticians like Delio Rossi, Davide Ballardini, Edy Reja and Stefano Colantuono.

Scaloni’s coaching career was more gradual, starting as a talent scout for Atalanta, then Jorge Sampaoli’s assistant at Sevilla and the Argentina national team, before branching out on his own in 2018.

Initially promoted from the youth team as an interim appointment, strong performances saw him keep the job, until winning the Copa America for the first time in 28 years.

Now he is on the verge of taking the World Cup home to Argentina after a 36-year wait.

2 Comments on “Deschamps and Scaloni: Forged in Italy”

Leave a Reply