Argentina coach to step down after Cup final

July 12, 2014 - 12:41:18 am

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella is to step down after the World Cup final against Germany regardless of the result, his agent told Argentine radio yesterday.

Sabella, who took over in 2011, has led Argentina to their first World Cup final in 24 years, where they will face a powerful German side.

While Argentina will now have to step up the search for a successor, Sabella could deliver no better parting gift than winning the World Cup on the soil of their fiercest rivals.

Former Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone are being mentioned as possible candidates to replace the 59-year-old, according to media reports.

While state news agency Telam said the 59-year-old’s contract was due to expire after the tournament, the news caught some by surprise in Argentina.

“It’s not good that the announcement came before the final. Psychologically it is not good for the players,” said soccer enthusiast Facundo, declining to give his surname.

“He did something no trainer had done in years.”

Sabella told Argentina sports newspaper Ole that he was focused only on the final.

“The future, for me, is the next match, the World Cup final. Thinking about something different would be disrespectful,” he said.REUTERS