Argentina part ways with Jorge Sampaoli

Argentina have confirmed that they have mutually parted ways with Jorge Sampaoli following a disappointing World Cup campaign. The South Americans had to scrape through the group stages of the tournament but they were thereafter eliminated in the round of 16 stage where they lost 4-3 to eventual champions France.

As a result, there had been much pressure from the country’s faithful demanding the resignation of Sampaoli and the Argentine Football Association has now confirmed that the 58-year-old has been released from the head coach position, their statement read: “Today, the Argentine Football Association and the former national team coach, Jorge Sampaoli, have mutually agreed to the termination of their contract.”
The South American nation had genuine concerns with the defensive department over the course of the World Cup and they ended the campaign without keeping a single clean sheet. As such, the next manager has a huge task on his hands to sort out the issue with the Copa America scheduled to start in Brazil in less than a year’s time.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see whether some of the senior players including Gonzalo Higuain, Willy Caballero would be under consideration for the coming games, given they had limited impact during the World Cup. Veteran goalkeeper Caballero was hugely put at fault for Argentina’s shock 3-0 win to Croatia during the group phase and the 36-year-old may have played his final game for his nation barring a surprise.

On the other hand, there were question marks regarding Higuain’s preference ahead of Mauro Icardi, who has been more consistent in terms of league football and the new head coach may consider offering a chance to the Inter Milan captain, who has often been ignored for national team duties. Icardi has earned just one international cap over the past four years despite being a consistent goalscorer in the Serie A.