Argentinean soccer as a whole has been declining over the past 10 years. It’s become much more competitive, not because the game has been improving, but rather because the teams that once played attractive soccer have been going down the slope and are now struggling to develop and perform at a high level. Why?
One of the reasons is because the young soccer stars, are being sold to the best teams in Europe at a very young age. These players develop and show their skill when they are in the youth categories and once scouts become aware of their talent, they just take them. I mean, which soccer player wouldn’t want to move to a successful club, where he might get the chance to play with and against the best players in the world, where they will get paid, where they will get a reward for working as hard as they do? Erik Lamela, a former starter for River Plate and Argentina’s U20 National team, was bought by Roma from River Plate when he was 19 years old. Javier Saviola, a former starter for River Plate from 1998-2001 was bought by F.C. Barcelona when he was 20 years old. Nicolas Gaitan, a former Boca Juniors starter was bought by Benfica also when he was 20 years old. Sergio Aguero, a former starter for Independiente and Argentina’s U20 National team, was bought by Atletico Madrid when he was 18 years old. These are just a few of the many players that have been transferred to mostly European teams. If these players and the current ones that get sold stayed one or two more years, the competitiveness in Argentina’s soccer would be greater. As a fan, it’s very upsetting to see these transfers happen. In a way it makes sense because the clubs are in desperate need to make money. Soccer is very corrupt in Argentina and if you don’t have money, you’ll probably fail. It all starts at the top, with Julio Grondona, who has been the president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) since 1979. There aren’t any proofs that he’s done anything against the law. However, some people know, and some people talk, and Argentina as country knows that many of the problems that this sport has gone and is going through is due to this man’s lack of dignity. There has to be a change, a big one, for soccer to be what it once was in Argentina.
The main issue is that players that become coaches right after retiring need to step away from the game for a while after they hang up their boots and learn how to coach. These coaches that jump from playing to coaching may have a great start to their coaching career, but they will be that much better prepared if they watch, learn, and gain experience from older, more experienced coaches.
There’s no doubt that there’s massive amounts of talented soccer players in Argentina. The problem is there are not enough coaches that know how to put those players together and turn them into a successful team.