Argentina have announced the arrival of Jorge Sampaoli as their head coach following his decision to end his year-long stint with Spanish club Sevilla.
The 57-year-old had a good national record with the Chilean national team prior to opting for the job with Sevilla last summer.
Sampaoli made a bright start to his La Liga stint with Sevilla but the club’s form disintegrated in the second half of the campaign as they managed to hold the final Champions League spot. Sampaoli had been approached by the Argentina FA late last month, and it is now official that he will take charge of The Cowboys in training ahead of their friendly against Brazil on June 9.
The South American nation have already dismissed two managers in their World Cup campaign with Gerardo Martino and Edgardo Bauza losing their jobs but Sampaoli was thrilled to receive his long-lived dream of managing his nation, he said: “It is a dream that I cherished for ages. This is a position I always admired — It generates a lot of dreams and passion.”
The experienced manager also aims to ‘to build a team that respects the history of Argentinian football’ as he aims to guide the nation to the World Cup finals in Russia next year. Argentina are currently fifth in the CONMEBOL standings, and they will need to win the final four games of the qualifiers in order to avoid an inter-confederation playoff with potentially New Zealand.
Argentina and Lionel Messi have often fallen short in their quest to achieve World Cup success, and there is a feeling that next year could be their time with the country bolstered by a whole host of attacking talents including the likes of Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain. Sampaoli’s team will have their first test in a neutral ground in Australia against Brazil this week.