Argentina wanted to hire Pep Guardiola as new manager
After Argentina sacked Jorge Sampaoli post the FIFA World Cup 2018 debacle, the first preference for the role of manager was Pep Guardiola, confirmed by the AFA President.
Argentina sacked Jorge Sampaoli after their round of 16 exit in mega event in Russia.
Argentina wanted to appoint Guardiola, but it was later known that it was not financially possible. Lionel Scaloni and Pablo Aimar are both working for Argentina as interim managers.
With Lionel Messi still to talk about his future, Argentina is still looking for a high profile coach. AFA President, Claudio Tapia revealed that Pep Guardiola had been approached to lead a new long-term project. The Argentine President told TyC Sports,
“You have to have a fat wallet. It was impossible. At the time we made enquiries, but you need to have a big economic backup. It is very difficult. We would have needed to mortgage the whole [of the AFA] to pay for him, and even that might not have been enough.”
He further added,
“We were prepared to make an effort. We analysed it, we knew he was expensive, but we did not think so much. But yeah, we made some research, we tried to talk, but it stayed there.”
When asked about the other potential candidates, Claudio named Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and River Plate’s, Marcelo Gallardo.
“We have to talk to everyone. Pochettino is a great manager, Simeone is a great manager, Gallardo is a great manager. But we do not have to hurry. We have to give them the arguments to seduce them that they want to coach Argentina. It does not have to be an emergency. We have to make a very important decision, and we must take it with the necessary conviction. There are more managers, not only these three names.”
Meanwhile, Before the start of the World Cup, Messi said his future depends on the outcome of the tournament. Argentina had a disappointing run in the World Cup in Russia.
First, they lost 3-0 against Croatia in the group stage and somehow qualified to the next round. Later, the eventual winners of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, France defeated them.
However, the President believes football is a team game, and people should leave Lionel Messi alone.
“Messi is a human being. He is normal and common like any of us. It was mistake saying that it was Messi’s team. Football is a team game, and we have to understand that we have to help him. There is not a single player who wins a World Cup or a football game. We must leave him alone and help him.”