Newly appointed Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said that he interacted with captain Lionel Messi and said that both were “excited” with the project. Sampaoli has taken charge of the team at a time when their qualification for the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russia is in jeopardy.
“I spoke with Leo yesterday and we are both excited about this project. It’s a boost for us to see how excited he is with this new stage (for Argentina),” Sampaoli told reporters. Sampaoli also said that he has signed a contract with the Argentine Football Association that extends till the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. “The liaison will go through to the 2022 World Cup. Let’s hope we can generate something important for Argentine football,” said Sampaoli. He leaves with his squad for Australia where Argentina will go on a two match friendly tour.
The Argentine football team, that boasts of some of the biggest superstars of the game such as Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and so on, have been embroiled in instability. Former Barcelona manager Tata Martino resigned from the post in July 2016 over the poor organisation of the AFA while Edgardo Bauza was only a stop-gap boss.
Sampaoli has had success with the Chilean national team, leading them to the 2015 Copa America title. He then led La Liga side Sevilla to their highest league finish in La Liga since 2010 in his first and only season as manager.