Getting best out of Messi is Sampaoli's job

Posted June 03, 2017

JORGE SAMPAOLI, Argentina coach, encouraged by the prospect of working with his captain Messi.

"I dream of building a strong squad". I appreciate the patience of their President. In March they looked like they risked failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1970.

Rumours had swirled that Sampaoli would be taking the job after Edgardo Bauza was sacked in April with less than a year in the role. The manager has coached several teams in Ecuador, Peru and Chile, but never a top-league Argentine side. However, the La Liga outfit confirmed on Thursday evening that his €1.5 million release clause had been paid. What we want is for those players that wear this jersey to expose the quality they have. "We need to have a starring role".

Argentina now lie fifth in their qualification group and only the top four automatically go through to the finals.

The Argentinians' hopes of reaching the World Cup Finals next year are on a knife edge in the 10-nation South American group in which the top four qualify for Russian Federation.

But Sampaoli believes in their chances of reaching Russian Federation 2018, saying: "We are convinced that we have the resources to qualify".

"The qualifiers are complex and there are other teams like us that are trying to reach the same aim".

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The Argentine football team, that boasts of some of the biggest superstars of the game such as Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and so on, have been embroiled in instability.

Barcelona star Messi remains Argentina's star man but Dybala, who has produced some excellent performances for Juventus this season, is widely expected to succeed the 29-year-old to become his country's leading player. "I talked to him and he's very excited".

A few months ago Sampaoli was hotly linked with the Barcelona job, which has since gone to Ernesto Valverde, while he's previously been linked with a switch to England with Chelsea and Arsenal. "I want to get back to talent and the art of dribbling, in order to move forward".

The announcement came less than a week after Sampaoli parted ways with Spanish club Sevilla.

"Sevilla FC wishes Jorge Sampaoli luck and success in his new professional adventure and thanks him for the services done during the 2016-17 campaign".

Argentina face Brazil in Melbourne on June 9 and then will play at Singapore a week later.