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Delays and Discontent: Messi & Argentina’s World Cup Bonus Saga Unveiled

Argentina’s unforgettable triumph in the FIFA World Cup Final against France was not only a testament to their hard work but also a source of immense pride for the nation. However, the joyous celebration has been overshadowed by an unexpected and protracted delay in receiving the well-deserved bonuses promised to the players and coaching staff, including Captain Lionel Messi.

This delay, extending over several months, has not only created financial strain within the team but also sparked concerns about the potential departure of the national team’s head coach, Lionel Scaloni.

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Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Argentina Press Conference – Main Media Center, Doha, Qatar – November 21, 2022 Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni during the press conference REUTERS/Albert Gea

Read More: Angel Di Maria confirms Argentina retirement plans after Copa America 2024

Waiting for Months: The Bonus Conundrum

Despite the euphoria of clinching the World Cup title, reports have surfaced indicating that the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has yet to disburse the substantial $42 million in prize money, including bonuses, to the victorious players and coaching staff. The delay in fulfilling this financial commitment has left the team, especially Lionel Messi and his colleagues, in a state of anticipation and uncertainty.

Scaloni’s Dilemma: Argentina Football Association (AFA)’s Non-Payment Sparks Coaching Staff Concerns

At the heart of this unfolding saga is Lionel Scaloni, the astute coach who orchestrated Argentina’s successful campaign. The non-payment of bonuses has reportedly pushed Scaloni to contemplate stepping down from his role. This unexpected twist raises questions not only about the financial management of the national team but also about the potential repercussions on the morale and performance of the players.

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Soccer Football – World Cup – South American Qualifiers – Brazil v Argentina – Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – November 21, 2023 Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni reacts REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Rumors and Reality: Unraveling the Speculation

Beyond the delayed bonuses, rumors have circulated, suggesting a more intricate web of challenges. Reports indicate that Scaloni and the AFA are embroiled in political matters, further complicating the scenario. Adding another layer of complexity is the speculation around a tempting offer from Saudi Arabia, potentially influencing Scaloni’s decision. The convergence of financial concerns, political entanglements, and lucrative offers paints a multifaceted picture of the challenges faced by the national team.

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Scaloni’s Future in Question

Lionel Scaloni, having achieved success in both the Copa America 2021 and the FIFA World Cup 2022, recently shared his contemplation on the future. Expressing the need for time to reflect, Scaloni acknowledged the weight of high expectations and the challenges of sustaining success. This introspection has left fans and players alike in suspense, unsure about the continuity of the successful partnership between Scaloni and the national team.

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Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Argentina Press Conference – Main Media Center, Doha, Qatar – November 29, 2022 Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni during the press conference REUTERS/Gareth Bumstead

Player Reactions and Hope for Continuity

As discussions surrounding Scaloni’s potential departure intensify, key players such as Cristian Romero and Nicolás Otamendi have publicly voiced their desire for Scaloni to continue as the Head Coach. Their optimism about Scaloni’s future with the team is evident, with a shared belief that his energy and coaching prowess are crucial for the team’s continued success. The players emphasize the importance of convincing Scaloni to stay, highlighting the positive impact he has had on the team’s dynamics.

Nicolas Otamendi Image via Getty Images Delays and Discontent: Messi & Argentina's World Cup Bonus Saga Unveiled
SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 08: Nicolas Otamendi of SL Benfica looks on before the Group D – UEFA Champions League match between Real Sociedad and SL Benfica at Reale Arena on November 08, 2023 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Otamendi said,“We have to talk about it. Words are now superfluous, I think we have to talk about it personally and obviously communicate with him. We received the information and well, we will try to talk about it and see what happens.

There were a lot of guys who had not entered the locker room. He usually gives a talk when we are all inside but there were some who were doing the doping test. Fideo (Ángel Di María) was doping, Leo (Messi) was undergoing treatment, so we were not all together. But afterwards, we will surely have a conversation.

Lionel Messi Image via Getty Images Delays and Discontent: Messi & Argentina's World Cup Bonus Saga Unveiled
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – OCTOBER 12: Lionel Messi of Argentina waves to fans during the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Argentina and Paraguay at Estadio Más Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on October 12, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Daniel Jayo/Getty Images)

The delay in receiving World Cup bonuses has not only created financial tension within the Argentine national team but has also cast doubt on the future of their successful coach, Lionel Scaloni. As discussions about bonuses, political matters, and coaching offers intertwine, the football community awaits a resolution to this unexpected chapter in Argentina’s post-World Cup journey. The complex tapestry of challenges faced by the team underscores the need for swift resolutions to ensure the continued success and stability of Argentine football.

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