Javier MASCHERANO and Lucas BIGLIA have retired from the Argentina squad while coach Jorge SAMPAOLI will stay on.
Following the team’s 4-3 loss against France in the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup, two players have called it quits. The veteran midfield duo of Javier MASCHERANO and Lucas BIGLIA have both announced their retirements from the Argentina National Team.
For MASCHERANO, it’s not much of a surprise as he stated before the start of the tournament that this would be it for him.
Javier Mascherano: "This story comes to an end. We gave everything until the final. Now, I'm just another fan of the Argentina team. Hopefully in the future these kids will be able to accomplish something." pic.twitter.com/9mzsoKG5Ru
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) June 30, 2018
As for the coach, Jorge SAMPAOLI stated that he will continue as coach of the team while Sergio AGUERO said that he will continue with Argentina for as long as the coach needs him.
For the moment, no word on whether Lionel MESSI will retire or not.
Personally, I may be in the very, very small minority but I think SAMPAOLI should continue. He’s a coach which needs time for his teams to play his system (something, if we are being honest, he hasn’t had with Argentina). He inherited a broken squad while introducing young players like Nicolas TAGLIAFICO (who was a stud in this World Cup and made that left back spot his), as well as the likes of Cristian PAVON and even Maxi MEZA (though this one may not have turned out too well).
Also worth mentioning that it would bring continuity to the squad and some stability in terms of the coach. This team went through three managers in one year with Gerardo MARTINO, Edgardo BAUZA and Jorge SAMPAOLI.
Furthermore, Argentina will play a friendly match against Colombia on September 11 at Metlife stadium in New Jersey.