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Buenos Aires, June 2 (IANS) Getting the best out of Lionel Messi and reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup are the two main goals for new Argentina football coach Jorge Sampaoli.
“I spoke with Leo and we’re both excited,” Sampaoli was quoted as saying by BBC.
“It’s a boost for us to see how excited he is with this new stage (for Argentina),” Sampaoli, 57, who took over the reins from Edgardo Bauza, said.
Sampaoli was in charge of Spanish club Sevilla for one season.
Messi, the star FC Barcelona forward, announced his retirement from international football in June 2016 before reversing his decision two months later.
Argentina are currently outside an automatic qualifying spot for next year’s World Cup in Russia after six wins in 14 qualifying games.
Their last four qualifiers are against Uruguay (away) on August 31, Venezuela (home) on September 5, Peru (home) on October 5 and Ecuador (away) on October 10.
“The South American qualifiers are very complicated. There are some very good teams trying to do the same thing as us,” said Sampaoli, who has signed a deal until the 2022 World Cup.