Buenos Aires: A number of high-profile coaches, including Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, have been named by fans and the local media here as the best candidates to take the helm of the Argentine national football team, who bowed out of the recently-concluded World Cup after losing in the pre-quarterfinals.
The other names doing the rounds are Peru coach Ricardo Gareca; Marcelo Gallardo of River Plate; Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham; Colombia head manager Jose Pekerman and Jorge Almiron of Atletico Nacional, the Argentina media reported, Monday.
The sports daily ‘Ole’ conducted a poll to identify the public’s choice to replace Jorge Sampaoli, who agreed Sunday to step down as national team coach.
Some 33 per cent of the respondents said Simeone is the ideal coach to lead Argentina, while 29 per cent supported Gallardo. Gareca is identified as the best coach by 13 per cent of the respondents, while 11% named Pochettino as the best choice and seven per cent gave their support to Matias Almeyda.
Argentina fans had high expectations from their team heading into the World Cup. Argentina’s roster was headlined by Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, who had just one goal in the tournament.
Ole ran a photograph of Pekerman on its front page and reported that Argentine Soccer Federation (AFA) president Claudio Tapia wants the veteran coach to lead the national youth teams and play a role in selecting or working with the national team coach.