Those following the Argentina football saga will now trace the path of federation leader Armando Perez across Europe as he seeks guidance and forgiveness from his country’s best.
Along the way, he’ll try to convince some high-profile coaches to give their nation’s top job consideration, and some superstars not to quit the squad.
It’s difficult to believe Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino or Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone would leave their UEFA Champions League campaigns to join a floundering unit that may not have Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and any number of quality Argentine stars.
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While the headlines around the globe claim Perez wants Pochettino or Simeone to take over for resigned coach Tata Martino, courtesy of a La Nacion report, could either newly-extended coach possibly leave their cushy gigs simply out of national pride (for a federation widely considered a total mess).
On Thursday, reports emerged that Argentina was willing to “share” Simeone with Atleti, and that’s something that could set a standard throughout the world. If a federation had trusted pieces in place to identify and monitor talent, a big name coach could — theoretically — deal tactically in the same international break windows as his players come together. AS says that the same deal would be possible for Pochettino and Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli.
There are a lot of plusses and minuses for the idea, but having a Simeone behind the bench would add lustre to international friendlies let alone competitions like the World Cup. Clubs would be hard-wired against the idea, but imagine Man City’s Pep Guardiola also leading Spain or Zinedine Zidane leading France and Real Madrid.
As for Messi, Perez also is hoping to convince the world’s best player to quash his retirement from international football, something that would surely lead to stability from the rest of the team. At least in this regard, let’s hope Perez is a smooth talker.