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Lionel Scaloni says to continue as Argentina coach until AFA decide otherwise

Scaloni, 46, had caused a stir when he said he was considering stepping down after Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in a 2026 World Cup qualifier in November.
Last Updated : 03 June 2024, 03:09 IST
Last Updated : 03 June 2024, 03:09 IST

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Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said he is fully committed to leading the national team and expects to stay in charge until Argentine Football Association (AFA) President Claudio Tapia decides otherwise.

Scaloni, 46, caused a stir when he said he was considering stepping down after Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in a 2026 World Cup qualifier in November.

Local media reported in January that the coach had agreed to remain in charge until at least the end of the Copa America, which runs from June 20 to July 14 in the United States.

Scaloni told reporters on Sunday he intends to continue at the helm after the continental showpiece.

"I was not having a good year and I felt it was time to stop the ball. Today I'm here with all my energy, which, to be honest, was not the case in November," he said.

"As long as the president of the AFA wants me to be here, I'll be here."

Scaloni also gave an update on Lionel Messi's fitness and his decision to leave Paulo Dybala out of the 29-man squad for their final friendlies.

"The good thing is that Messi has had continuity in his team (Inter Miami), especially after his injury. That's important, that he gets more minutes. We see him at full fitness. He will join the squad for training tomorrow," he said.

"We have a special affection for him (Dybala), but we always say that the team comes first. Given the circumstances and the fact that we had problems in some positions, we decided not to include him."

"We know what he has given us. With all the pain in the world, this is the decision we have taken."

Argentina face Ecuador on June 9 at Soldier Field in Chicago and Guatemala at Commanders Field in Washington five days later in the run-up to their Copa America title defence.

They open their Copa campaign against Canada on June 20 in Group A, before playing Chile and Peru.

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Published 03 June 2024, 03:09 IST

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