Julio Grondona

Martino to reunite with Messi as Argentina’s new manager

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Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino has only managed Lionel Messi on the club side, but it appears he will have the chance to do so internationally, as his appointment to Argentina’s managerial opening is imminent.

Martino has had considerable experience managing Argentina’s club teams since 1998.

“Our first candidate is Martino. If we agree with the economic issue and the agreements that everyone seeks, Martino will be the new coach,” AFA general manager Miguel Silva said. “We have one outstanding point, and we’ll either agree or we will not agree.”

Martino didn’t have the type of high-quality season one comes to expect out of Barcelona in his short one-year stint in Spain. He failed to lead the team to one major championship–falling to Atletico Madrid in the race for both the La Liga title and Champions League crown.

Barca was closer to capturing the league honors. Coming down to one match against Atletico in May, Martino needed a win to seal it and unfortunately succumbed to a draw. In Champions League play, however, Barcelona wasn’t able to make it past Atletico in the quarterfinals, the first time they’ve haven’t been a semi-finalist since 2007.

Still, Martino’s succession of Alejandro Sabella, who brought Argentina to the brink of a World Cup victory only to have Germany defeat them in the championship, looks almost like a sure event.

“In principle, the idea is (to meet with Martino) on Thursday. If he meets the AFA’s expectations, the idea is to close a deal,” said Luis Segura, now the president of the Argentina FA following the death of Julio Grondona.

Grondona’s passing canceled the press conference when Sabella was supposed to officially announce his resignation, but last week, media reported that he would no longer coach the squad.

FIFA confirm interest in 2030 World Cup to be co-hosted by Argentina and Uruguay

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FIFA senior vice-president and president of Argentina FA Julio Grondona has confirmed interest in having the 2030 World Cup joint-hosted by Argentina and Uruguay.

The 2030 competition would mark 100 years of World Cup play, with the first-ever World Cup hosted by Uruguay in 1930 and the final saw Uruguay defeat Argentina 4-2.

Grondona confirmed the world soccer governing body were vastly intrigued by the prospect of celebrating 100 years with the significance of the locales.

“FIFA wishes to celebrate the World Cup’s 100 years in Argentina and Uruguay, I can confirm that,” the Argentine told Radio 10 in Argentina. “(An agreement) has been signed by the two associations (AFA and Uruguay’s AUF). What will we do?… We’ll see but surely something of quality.”

Only one previous World Cup has been co-hosted by two or more nations in the past, with Japan and South Korea co-hosting the 2002 competition.  That would still be possible, but the rules have changed since, with FIFA deeming one governing body must oversee any future co-hosted competition. In 2002, Japan and South Korea both used their own governing bodies to jointly oversee the World Cup.

According to the Reuters report, a joint Argentine-Uruguayan bid for 2030 would be backed by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).

Following the controversy of the vote to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup bid, any future World Cup hosts must be awarded by a vote of the entire 209-person FIFA congress, rather than the 24-person executive committee.

Grondona made headlines in 2011 when he said following the Qatar bid that he voted for the tiny Arabian country over the United States. The 81-year-old Argentine stated his reason for the vote was that he believed a vote cast for the U.S. was like a vote cast for England, something he could not condone due to his disdain for England’s control over the Falkland Islands, which Argentina has laid claim to for a long time.