Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni gets hero’s reception at La Liga club Mallorca

Lionel Scaloni played at Mallorca for less than one season. Into his final years as a player, Scaloni went to the La Liga club on loan from Lazio for the 2008/09 season at the end of which he went back to the Serie A side. However, 14 years later, the now 44-year-old received a welcome as if he was still part of the club.

Having managed Argentina to their first World Cup win in 36 years, Scaloni was invited back by the club he was loaned to for an official pre-match ceremony at the San Moix ahead of the home team’s La Liga match against Real Valladolid. The Argentina manager was gifted the club jersey of his name and number five imprint as a framed memento.

Mallorca emerged victorious 1-0 after Abdon Prats scored the sole goal of the match in stoppage time of second half.

Having finished his playing career with Atalanta in 2015, Scaloni took the gig of an assistant manager at Sevilla and then the Argentina national team under Jorge Sampaoli before managing the U20s and finally getting the national team gig in 2018.

Under his managerial stint, Argentina have won the 2021 Copa America, the 2022 World Cup as well as the La Finalissima against European champions, Italy.

At Qatar 2022, Scaloni’s Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia in the opener, bringing an end to their 36-game unbeaten streak before they pulled their socks up and won their remaining six games to lift the title.

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