Carlos McAllister: “Messi is the best player in the world” | sports | Jobs Vox


Carlos McAllister is one of 40,000 Argentines who have traveled to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. The 54-year-old former defender of Boca Juniors football club once played with the legendary Diego Maradona (1960-2020). He continued to serve as Minister of Sports during the presidency of Mauricio Macri.

These days, Irish-born Mac Allister is campaigning for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to host the 2030 World Cup. He is also the biggest fan of his three sons – Francis, Kevin and Alexis – who, like their father, are all professional footballers. Alexis, his youngest, is in Argentina’s national team and will play for the 2022 title against France on December 18.

Mc Allister – who is in Doha to cheer on his son – sat down with EL PAÍS to talk about life in the world of football.

Read it. Is there another family in the world whose father played with Maradona and whose son played with Messi?

answer Yes, there is one more! Giovanni Simeone. He plays with Lionel (Messi) and his father played with Diego (Maradona). But his father and I never made it to the World Cup.

St. Alexis told us that he and you sometimes argue about whether Messi is better than Maradona…

A. No, we’re not arguing. Undoubtedly, Messi is the best player in history. I am a rational person – I believe what I see. Messi’s numbers are amazing. But you also have to look at the context. Maradona had a lot of personal problems unlike Messi, who today, at 35, has a better body than he did at 24.

St. How did you first meet Maradona?

A. I played with his brother, El Turco, in the football club Argentinos Juniors. I was one of the players he pampered. He (Maradona) once gave me a gold Rolex.

Maradona with Carlos McAllister
Maradona with Carlos McAllister

St. What happened to Rolex?

A. I was robbed – one night when I was leaving the stadium, thieves broke my car window and pointed a gun at me… I surrendered. I think it cost more than 5000 dollars.

St. Maradona didn’t score as much as he could have because he spent a lot of energy organizing his teammates. Do you think Messi has abandoned this mindset?

A. No. But leaders must take responsibility. They must know they need to score because their teammates will give them the ball. When the team is in trouble, they give the ball to the person who can save the game. Maradona was chosen – now Messi.

Messi never forgets his responsibility to score goals. Against Australia (at the 2022 World Cup), he passed the ball to Alexis but ran forward. Alexis gave it to Otamendi, Otamendi threw it and Messi took it again and scored. Messi is always looking for depth… he has the ability to anticipate what is going to happen.

St. It’s rare for a professional soccer player to have children who also go on to become professionals. How did you raise them to be so successful?

A. Well, first of all, I didn’t raise them alone. We were two parents – their mother and me. We need to appreciate the hard work of mothers all over the world.

Alexis McAllister during Argentina's semi-final match against Croatia on Tuesday 13 December.
Alexis McAllister during Argentina’s semi-final match against Croatia on Tuesday 13 December.AFP7 Europe via Press (AFP7 Europe via Press)

St. Are today’s players better than the previous generation?

A. That’s what we say when we get old!

Listen, science has busted a lot of lies – today we’re analyzing more data. When I left, I started reporting to Ángel Martín González – Sporting Director of Osasuna Football Club (Pamplona, ​​Spain). Because I had to be with my kids on weekends, we’d watch the tapes together and count the different variables: good passes, turnovers, lapses in defense… My kids were only six, eight and nine years old and already. Learn how to interpret data. Today – at least when it comes to European football – I only know 10% of what they know.

St. How do you feel about the latest addition to the Argentina national team?

A. This is a good generation of midfielders: Alexis, Enzo Fernandez, Thiago Almada, Alejandro Dominguez, Ezequiel Palacios… and this coach (Lionel Scalono) gave them a chance! He set them on the field. This allowed Argentina to stay alive, especially because we had the misfortune of coming to Qatar when many of our players were injured.

St. Was it clear to you that Alexis was making the list?

A. I made sure. When I saw the level he reached at Brighton (in the English Premier League), it was clear to me. Alexis’ best position is inside. Last year, Brighton put him behind the striker, because he knows how to pass, he is aggressive. He knows how to find spaces, how to sacrifice his body. He has the statistics of the best: Kovacic, Hojbjerg, Henderson, Brozovic… I send him all the comparative reports.

St. Is it true that you were not allowed to play in the 1994 World Cup because you hit your compatriot “El Burrito” Ortega during the game?

A. It does not correspond to the truth! I didn’t hit it… but I had to bury it! Valdano, the great Argentinian coach who is also a football philosopher, once said: “Every player must keep a criminal.” I didn’t have that day…

St. There are at least 40,000 Argentine fans in Doha at the moment. As a father, do you worry that your son has so much pressure on him?

A. Alexis is not the type of guy to let the pressure on him. This is his best quality.

St. Is it difficult for the national team players to resist Messi always passing the ball?

A. If Messi is marked and the opposing player has a large advantage, you should give the ball to a player on your team who is vulnerable. Now, as they say, if Messi is well protected, but so are you… you have to hand it to Messi! You need to know how to use the best player in the world. But you also can’t take it for granted, you need enough intelligence to find others on the field that are open.

St. It is said that many Argentine players are afraid of Messi. But is there more love than fear?

A. It depends on the personality of each teenager. They must have good self-esteem because Messi is a monster: he has been the best player in the world for 15 years. No one had such a long reign. Maradona was already retired at the age of 35. My son was six years old when Messi started his professional career… now he is his teammate.

St. What has changed in Messi’s relationship with his fans?

A. Messi showed the Argentine people that he loves the country and the shirt as much as Maradona loved them. And he proved himself. Football fans know that he is the best in the last 15 years.

St. What is the craziest thing that happened to you with Maradona?

A. One night, during a very brutal domestic match in Brazil, we almost died. Maradona flirted with death every day.


Source link

Implement tags. Simulate a mobile device using Chrome Dev Tools Device Mode. Scroll page to activate.