BUENOS AIRES - Alejandro Sabella has been
confirmed as coach of Argentina until the 2014 World Cup finals
after Sergio Batista had his contract rescinded following a
disappointing Copa America.
Argentine Football Association (AFA) President Julio Grondona
told Fox Sports on Monday there would be no formal announcement
since it had become common knowledge Sabella was being given the
Sabella, who was assistant to Daniel Passarella at the 1998
World Cup, is expected to speak to the media at Argentina's
Ezeiza training camp on the outskirts of the capital.
"The details are being finalised but Sabella has already
been presented (in the media) and will be coach from here...
until the World Cup in Brazil, contingent on Argentina
qualifying for the tournament," said Grondona.
Sabella, 56, is the fourth coach to take charge of Argentina
in five years since Jose Pekerman quit after the 2006 World Cup
finals in Germany. He has withdrawn from a deal with United Arab
Emirates club Al-Jazira to be free for the Argentina job.
Batista, who took over from Diego Maradona after last year's
World Cup finals in South Africa, was to have taken the team
through the South American qualifiers and on to the finals if
they qualified but Argentina's failure to win the Copa America
on home soil last month ended up costing him his job.
Expectations had been high ahead of the tournament that
Argentina, world champions in 1978 and 1986, would win their
first major trophy since taking the South American title in
Sabella had a successful two years in his first job as a
head coach with Estudiantes, highlighted by victory in the
Libertadores Cup, South America's elite club competition, in
2009 and the Argentine Apertura league championship last
A former River Plate and Estudiantes playmaker who spent
time in England with Sheffield United and Leeds United between
1978 and 1981, Sabella was ex-Argentina captain Passarella's
right-hand man at several clubs including River where they
forged their partnership.
Their young Argentina team including Juan Sebastian Veron,
Gabriel Batistuta and Ariel Ortega reached the quarter-finals of
the 1998 World Cup in France where they were eliminated by the
Argentina have not progressed beyond the last eight at a
World Cup since the side captained by Maradona reached their
second successive final in Italy in 1990.
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