Argentina set to offer World Cup-winning coach Scaloni new contract

by IANS |

Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dec 27 (IANS) Argentine football chief Claudio Tapia has said that he is confident Lionel Scaloni will continue as national team manager following the Albicelest's World Cup triumph.

Scaloni's contract expires on December 31 but the Argentine Football Association (AFA) wants to secure the 44-year-old on another four-year term after he led the South American country to its third World Cup title in Qatar earlier this month.

"I have no doubt that he will continue to be the head coach of the Argentina team," AFA president Tapia told reporters on Monday, eight days after the Albiceleste's dramatic penalty shootout victory over France in Lusail.

"We are both men of our word, we shook hands, and we said yes to each other. He is currently travelling but as soon as he comes back we are going to finalize it."

Scaloni originally took charge on an interim basis in the wake of Jorge Sampaoli's sacking after the 2018 World Cup. The former Deportivo La Coruna winger is now seen as indispensable, having guided the Albiceleste to the Copa America and World Cup titles in the past 18 months.

On his part, Scaloni has not revealed his plans post the World Cup though did ask talismanic captain Lionel Messi to reconsider his plans to quit playing for Argentina after his fourth World Cup.

After leading Argentina to their third World Cup title in Qatar, the 35-year-old Messi said he wants to enjoy the feeling of playing as a World Champion, indicating that he might reconsider his plans and represent his country at least till the next Copa America in 2024.

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