The Argentine Football Association President Claudio Tapia spoke for the first time since the national team defeated Brazil 1-0 to win the Copa America at the Maracanã.
In an interview with TyC Sports (via Marca), the leader touched on several topics such as a possible Argentina vs. Italy, the ‘boycott’ before the Copa América, the return of the fans, the VAR, Messi, and more.
One of the first questions that Tapia answered is his initial thoughts on ending the international trophy drought that dates back to 1993.
“Happy for obtaining the title, so important for everyone. As the days go by, we are gaining notoriety about what was achieved for Argentine football, everything it represents, the needs that were there, how it happened … trying to enjoy because the during the tournament it was tense, more than anything the day before the final,” Tapia said.
The Argentine media outlet asked what were his thoughts heading into the final against Brazil considering the past decade, the finals at the international level haven’t gone their way.
“The day before the final … let’s see, with Ecuador and Colombia, I lived it in a way, but the night before Brazil, there was a lot of confidence and tranquility, something that gave us peace. We were convinced that we would do well,” Tapia said.
“We felt that we were going to win the game, not reach penalties … when we spoke with Scaloni, and he told me what they had worked. We are not going to shine there, but we are going to win it. He shared the idea of ??the game, who would play, and what he told me was what we ended up seeing.”
Tapia then touched on Messi since the only blemish in his career at this point had been the lack of an international trophy in his cabinet.
“We needed the best in the world to win something with Argentina. We talked about everything with Leo when we got together, and we always touched on the subject of rivals and referees,” Tapia said.
“He is very observant, for something he is number one, and we did not feel anything about that. Something similar to 2019 could happen. It was built to win it and focus on being superior and providing confidence in our place, transmitting it. Everything was given to be champions.”
Finally, one of the last questions to Tapia surrounds a possible match between Argentina and Italy as it would honor the life of Diego Maradona.
“I know that work is being done, we know that the calendar issue must be defined, there are three dates in September and October, so we ask the clubs to give each player three more days,” Tapia said.
“We want and know that Italy too is healthy for the players. too, we come from being champions, and we want to play it, but we will have to see the issue dates.”