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Alvarez’s second goal against Poland is Argentina record for most number of passes (27) in a world cup game. What is ‘La Scaloneta’?

La Scaloneta", in all its splendor: the record for passes before Julián Álvarez's great goal.

Argentina's Julian Alvarez, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group C match between Poland and Argentina at the Stadium 974 in Doha. (AP)

Early Thursday morning, the Argentine radio station Cadena3 screamed “La Scaloneta”, as an extension of the team coach Lionel Scaloni. Thursday’s rave in particular is about Argentina’s second goal, finished marvellously by Julian Alvarez.

The goal had 27 consecutive passes from Argentina before ending up in the net: An Argentine record in the world cup. In 2006 World Cup, Esteban Cambiasso scored for them against Serbia after 26 passes, it’s been reported. Some say 25, some 26 but no one is disputing the touches in the goal against Poland.

But what is La Scaloneta?

Argentine team has traditionally been called the “Albiceleste [White (alba) and Blue] for their jerseys.

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After a 3-0 quarter-final win over Ecuador at Copa America in 2021, a meme went viral on social media. It had Scaloni driving a van, with Messi at his side, and the rest of the team behind them. The van was decorated in the colours of Argentina’s kit, and on top of the bus was written, “La Scaloneta”.

A journalist Rodolfo ‘Gringo’ Cingolani has claimed to be the originator of the nickname and on a TyC Sports show last November, he brought it up with the coach himself. Scaloni would reply: “Thank you if it was you who came up with the nickname. The only thing is that it makes me swell up so much that at times it even makes me nervous!”

Has Scaloni said anything else about it publicly?

This March, he had his say again on that name. “It makes me uncomfortable when they talk about the Scaloneta. I’m very grateful for the love and affection they have for the national team. And if people are amused by the term, that’s fine. I can’t stop them. But the concept makes me uncomfortable,” he told reporters.

What was the reaction when Scaloni took over as a coach and Did Maradona take a jibe?

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Since he was young, and didn’t have much coaching experience, there were indeed some questions. Maradona questioned the call: “Are they mad?”.

How did Scaloni handle Messi?

He first told Messi to join the team after a while as he wanted to build the team’s strengths in the absence of Messi.

“He joined after six games. We did a video call with him and Aimar when we took over , explaining our plans, telling him the doors were open. We said: ‘We know maybe it’s better for you not to come yet.’ He was happy, especially because of Pablo, who’s his idol. He said: ‘When you want me, I’ll be there.’ We needed the group to be strong first. It’s not the same for a young lad to come and suddenly be sent to train with Leo. It’s difficult to explain what he generates in a group, just being there,” Scaloni told The Guardian.

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“I’ve played against the best, but like that, no. What he generates in teammates and opponents is beyond the normal. And kids are more open now. At 18, I got called up .. Now kids approach more easily. Leo approaches them too. There’s a legacy: his words stay with them. He’s the most down to earth of all… It was natural. Form the group, then he came. It worked.”

First published on: 01-12-2022 at 12:01 IST
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