Argentina will fight for their first World Cup title since 1986 in Qatar.
The 2022 tournament will be of particular importance for the South American team as star player Lionel Messi will be at his last World Cup.
Argentina finished runners-up in 2014 before reaching the round of 16 four years ago.
The pressure will be on their coach Lionel Scaloni to deliver silver for the nation and their star.
MORE: Argentina’s World Cup squad | Full World Cup schedule
Lionel Scaloni records as manager
Scaloni has been in charge of the Argentina national team since 2018 and will be in charge of his 50th game just before the start of the 2022 World Cup.
The Argentine was appointed manager ahead of the 2019 Copa America, where he led the team to third place after a dramatic 2-1 win over Chile.
Two years later, Scaloni led Argentina to the Copa America title when they defeated Brazil 1-0 in the final.
Scaloni’s side have not lost since a 2-0 defeat by Brazil in July 2019 – a streak of 36 games.
Argentina could break Italy’s record of 37 games unbeaten at the 2022 World Cup, with Mexico emerging as opponents they must avoid defeat against to set a new record.
Scaloni’s Argentina record*
*Stats correct before UAE win on 16th November and sourced via Transfermarkt.
How old is Lionel Scaloni?
Scaloni is currently only 44 years old with his birthday on May 16, 1978.
The Argentine will be the youngest coach at the 2022 World Cup, with Cameroon’s Rigobert Song the second youngest at 46.
Juan José Tramutola is considered the youngest coach in World Cup history when he led Argentina to the tournament in 1930 at the age of 27.
What does La Scaloneta mean? Why they call Argentina La Scaloneta
In recent years, the Argentine team has come up with a new nickname – “La Scaloneta”.
The nickname combines Scaloni’s name with “camioneta”, which translates to “van” or “bus”.
Scaloni’s side have earned a reputation for defending deeply after progressing in games, or in other words, parking the bus. They have conceded just three goals in their first eight games in 2022.
Argentina’s defensive discipline improved significantly under Scaloni, which is why some now call them La Scaloneta, which roughly translates into English as “The Scaloni Bus”.
Argentina’s coaching staff under Lionel Scaloni
Scaloni will travel to Qatar with three assistant coaches at his side in the form of Pablo Aimar, Roberto Aimar and Walter Samuel.
All three previously played alongside Scaloni for Argentina and enjoyed successful playing careers with Samuel, who won the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League with Inter Milan.
Scaloni himself was a former assistant coach for Argentina in 2017/18 before securing his current position.
Lionel Scaloni contract: will he move on after the World Cup?
Argentina have opted to tie Scaloni to a new contract ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Scaloni signed a new contract in September this year that will see him in charge of the national team until after the 2026 World Cup in North America.
According to Finance Football, Scaloni will be the seventh highest-paid manager in Qatar, earning an annual salary of 2.6 million euros ($2.5 million).
Lionel Scaloni: Messi’s teammate at Argentina
While now coaching Messi, Scaloni briefly played with the superstar at the 2006 World Cup.
Scaloni was a surprise starter against Mexico in the round of 16, when Argentina came on in the 84th minute with a young Messi and won the game 2-1 in extra time.
More than 15 years later, Scaloni is now hoping he can help Messi end his playing career with a hint of a World Cup crown.
“I have the opportunity to coach him, but I would be a fan, I would pay a ticket to see him and I would buy his shirt, no matter the country,” Scaloni said of Messi in September.
“Well the only thing left is to enjoy it because I don’t know if it will ever happen again. So, you have to enjoy it and nothing else.”
Andres Kudacki/AFP/Getty Images
Lionel Scaloni Club managed
Scaloni started his coaching career as an assistant at Sevilla in 2016 after retiring as a player.
The Argentine spent most of his playing career in Spain, winning a La Liga title with Deportivo in 1999/2000.
Scaloni worked under compatriot Jorge Sampaoli at Sevilla and became his assistant with Argentina national team in 2017.
Sampaoli would be sacked after the 2018 World Cup, with Scaloni being appointed caretaker alongside Pablo Aimar before taking on the job permanently.