Interim Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni is to be offered the job on a permanent basis, according to Argentine Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia.
Former coach Jorge Sampaoli paid the price for Argentina’s poor World Cup showing, as they were dumped out in the last 16 by France in one of the matches of the tournament.
Scaloni, who had previously been in charge of Argentina’s Under-20 side, was handed the reins on a temporary basis in August and presided over six friendly games in charge.
Their one defeat came against Brazil in October, while they have beaten Mexico twice, thrashed Iraq, cruised against Guatemala and drawn with Colombia.
The AFA has been suitably impressed with the former Deportivo La Coruna defender’s impact, and Tapia announced the intention to give Scaloni the opportunity to lead Argentina in next year’s Copa America.
Speaking to members of the executive committee on Thursday, Tapia said: “It is important to know what we want for all our national teams.
“We have seen the work of Lionel Scaloni and, consequently, we are going to offer him continuity until [after] the Copa America.”
Notably, Scaloni has had to contend without Lionel Messi, who is in a self-imposed exile following the World Cup and it remains to be seen if he will return to the international fold.
Nevertheless, Scaloni has received praise for discarding many of the older players who filled Argentina’s World Cup squad, while Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala – used sparingly by previous coaches – have enjoyed greater responsibility.
Both scored their first Argentina goals in the most recent 2-0 friendly win over Mexico and have backed Scaloni’s candidacy.
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