Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni advised Massimiliano Allegri how to use Angel Di Maria at Juventus, spoke highly about Napoli and the qualities of Lautaro Martinez.

The 35-year-old Di Maria has found a new lease on life in Turin following the World Cup victory in Qatar, scoring three goals and providing two assists across his seven league appearances in 2023.

Inter’s Lautaro has experienced a similar rise in form, netting six in eight Serie A games after the World Cup, showing the effect of that success.

Speaking at the Panchina d’Oro event, Scaloni first discussed how it felt to win the World Cup.

“Until now I have not yet realised the World Cup I won. It has been a month where it is not easy to lead a normal life.

“I have been in Spain, when I return to Argentina, we will see what happens and I will start thinking about what we have done.”

He offered Allegri some advice on getting the best out of Di Maria.

“Allegri knows very well what player he has at his disposal. He has to manage him very well because he is a player who needs esteem and who must be preserved at his best.

“So he can express himself at his best, he’s a world-class player. I haven’t spoken to him again after the final against France.”

The Argentina coach commented on Lautaro’s emerging captaincy at Inter.

“I’ve seen that he’s also captain now. I’m happy for him, he’s at a great club and I’m happy for a very good player.”

He explained why Giovanni Simeone is not part of his Albiceleste squad.

“He has always been in our orbit. Unfortunately, in the Argentina national team there are many players who can be called up, we have faith in him.”

Scaloni gave his thoughts on Serie A leaders Napoli.

“I like them, they have a great coach who is making a difference. I hope they manage to win. They play every game differently, there is never a problem on the pitch.

“I like the way they approach matches and that’s why they are first.”

He commented on Di Maria’s desire to play in the next Copa America.

“Angel is a star player, we all know what he can do. He will play as long as he wants, I hope he plays for a long time to come.”

The Argentina coach reflected on Lautaro’s issues at the World Cup and his performances in 2023.

“For me he has always been fundamental, I love him, and he has always been my favourite striker. At the World Cup he had some problems and we had to think the best for the team.

“He knows that very well. When we needed him, he was there, the penalty against the Netherlands gave us something extra. We love him and we’re happy that he’s taken over Inter as well.”

He gave his thoughts on Lazio and Atalanta’s fight for Champions League qualification.

“I hope they both get into the Champions League, even if it will be tough. Lazio with Sarri and Atalanta with Gasperini are playing well, the Italian league is very difficult, and the race will last until the end.”

Finally, Scaloni spoke highly about Milan coach Stefano Pioli.

“He deserved the Panchina d’Oro. I know him because Walter Samuel spoke to me about him, he spoke very highly of him. I’m happy for him, he’s a very good person.”

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