New Argentina coach Bauza must coax Messi to rejoin
ARGENTINA named coach Edgardo Bauza on Monday to run the national team, as
the nation seek to regain their football prowess and convince superstar Lionel Messi to return from early retirement.
Bauza, 58, takes on the job after a strong season at Brazilian club Sao Paulo, whom he coached to the semi-finals
of the Copa Libertadores.
He faces the stigma of being the default choice.
A string of potential coaches - including Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid, Jorge Sampaoli of Sevilla
and Mauricio Pochettino
of Tottenham Hotspur -
"We were in talks with
a lot of people, and it seems Mr Bauza is the best,"
Bauza has won two Copa Libertadores - one in 2014 with Pope Francis' favourite team, San Lorenzo, the other in 2008 with Ecuadorian side LDU Quito.
He takes over an Argentina smarting from Barcelona star Messi's abrupt retirement announcement, the departure of coach Gerardo Martino
and a series of disappointing losses in big tournaments - most recently in the Copa America final, the catalyst
for Messi's exit.
Bauza's number one job will be to convince the Barcelona star and five-time World Player of the Year
Meanwhile, he must get Argentina ready for two
key dates on the 2018
World Cup qualifying trail: against Uruguay at home
on Sept 1, and away
at Venezuela on Sept 6.