Alexis Mac Allister celebrates scoring Argentina’s second goal after assisting Ángel Di María (REUTERS/Carl Recine)

He Qatar 2022 World Cup marked a before and after in the life of Alexis MacAllister. Brighton’s England midfielder was a substitute in the first game and since joining the next game he was instrumental in securing the title for the Argentina side. With Enzo Fernandez there Rodrigo DePaul they took control of the midfield and the highlight was the second goal against France, a masterpiece defined by angel of maria with five previous touches making it one of the finest goals in World Cup history.

After training with his team, the 24-year-old from Pampa recalled achieving that goal and confessed why the World Cup made him a better human being. “When Molina gets the ball, I think maybe it will come to me,” Mac Allister said in an interview with Daily mail. ‘At that time I have already scanned and I know I have time. And I know Messi is beyond the edge of the computer screen and I think Álvarez is there. So when the ball arrived, I knew Messi was there. I already have a photo,” he added.

Mac Allister had already been part of Lionel Scaloni’s team since the Qualifiers, but the starting player was Giovani Lo Celso, who due to his injury could not be in Qatar. In the first game, which was a 2-1 defeat against Saudi Arabia, this position was taken by Alejandro “Papu” Gómez, but since the duel with Mexico -definitive- Alexis was in the starting XI and has started to be a figure. He even opened the scoring in the following victory against Poland (2-0), which allowed him to finish first in group C.

Reflecting on the creation of this memorable goal, he said that “at first I just wanted to pass the ball to Messi and at that moment I saw the big space behind Tchouameni and I felt that he didn’t. wasn’t going to follow me. I started and he didn’t follow me.”

Argentina’s big goal against France. It was the second goal for Lionel Scaloni’s side in the memorable final

“At that time I knew Di Maria was on my left because I could see that Koundé was with him and was drawn to the ball. There is an image of me looking to the other side to see Di María,” he added.

“I didn’t think to shoot because I knew Di María was alone and in the perfect position to score,” he said. “The only thing I knew was that I had to play that ball forward because Koundé was close and then Di María produced that incredible shot,” he pointed out.

In the generation of the game, Alexis received a subtle pass from Lionel Messi and underlined the importance of the best player on the planet for the consecration of the Albiceleste. “In Argentina, we were very grateful to him and proud of him because we know that we are World Cup champions thanks to him”.

“If Messi played in the Premier League, he would be the best, without a doubt. Would it be too hard for him? I don’t think so. He showed that in the World Cup, the toughest tournament in the world, he showed how good he was and how important he was for the national team,” he said.

Mac Allister celebrates his goal against Poland in the World Cup (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA / AFP)
Mac Allister celebrates his goal against Poland in the World Cup (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA / AFP)

On the other hand, he revealed that “being part of the Argentina team in Qatar and fighting to get into the team It helped me to be a better player and a better human being. He taught me to help my peers. Before, when I wasn’t playing, it was like ‘I don’t care’. But now I have changed my mind and I know that everything we do as players is for the team. When I say “as a human being”, that’s what I mean.”.

While he confided that “on the field, winning the World Cup It made me a more confident player. Even the opposition sees you differently. It was amazing. You get more recognition when you play and people pay more attention to you. And I know what we did is special. Everyone in Argentina will remember us as world champions”.

“However, if you talk about confidence, one day you can be full of confidence and it can go away. You build it every day. I have a lot of confidence winning the World Cup, but if I don’t play well for five games in a row at Brighton, my confidence will go down even further.”noted.

“When we won the World Cup, that’s the first thing I said: ‘Now the hardest part of football begins.’ We won the World Cup, which is the most difficult for us and now we need something else to motivate us“said the former Boca Juniors midfielder.

Alexis was received with honors at Brighton after winning the World Cup (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
Alexis was received with honors at Brighton after winning the World Cup (REUTERS/Toby Melville)

However, Alexis personally feels the same and his basics haven’t changed. “My life is still the same boring life. I train, I go home, I sit on the couch, I drink mate, I watch football. It’s the same life. But he admitted how his popularity had grown:They don’t recognize me anymore, it’s true. I come from a town called La Pampa and six months before the World Cup I was in the middle of the airport there and only one person recognized me. After the World Cup, I returned to La Pampa and there were 20,000 people waiting for me at the airport. So it was life changing.”

“When I played for Boca Juniors, on loan from Brighton, it was the same. When you go out, everyone recognizes you. But for me it’s not a problem because I prefer to stay at home, not go out too much. I stay at home and watch football. I’m a calm boy,” he said.

Alexis has signed a new long-term contract before leaving for Qatar. His starring role in Argentina has sparked interest from the European giants and he has been linked with Juventus, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea. Although with his modesty he avoided talking about it and praised his teammates at the club: “I know there is a lot of love for me here at Brighton. Sharing my medal and what I achieved with the people who were here, with my teammates, was something special for me because I know that without them it wouldn’t be possible and they know how important they were. I love this club and I think they love me too”.

This Tuesday they will have a tough game against Stoke City in the FA Cup Round of 16. “We know the FA Cup is a special trophy and we will give everything to win it. We are in the race and we will try to win it one hundred percent. In the Premier League last season we wanted to be in the top 10. Every year you dream and always want more. This club is ready to play in Europe. Three years ago, when I arrived here, we were fighting against relegation and now we are fighting to enter Europe and I think it is possible.”.

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