- Title: Sampaoli takes charge of Argentina until 2022, seeks the best Messi
- Date: 2nd June 2017
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (JUNE 1, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARGENTINE COACH JORGE SAMPAOLI, SAYING: "Yes, I spoke with Leo (Messi) and he was very excited with our project that's going to start now. And that excitement motivates us as well, because seeing him so excited, at a new stage, makes me happy."
- Embargoed: 16th June 2017 00:37
- Keywords: Singapore Messi Argentina Brazil Jorge Sampaoli
- Location: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
- City: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0036JG68G3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Argentina soccer coach Jorge Sampaoli told media in Buenos Aires on Thursday (June 01) that his greatest challenge was to get the best out of Lionel Messi and reach next year's World Cup finals in Russia as he was officially unveiled with a contract through to the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
The 57-year-old is fulfilling a long-time dream of coaching his national team. He has reportedly signed with the Argentine Soccer Association (AFA) until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, after nearly two years of turmoil at the Argentine FA (AFA).
But their hopes are on a knife edge in the ten-nation South American group from which the top four qualify for Russia.
Sampaoli wants a more compact team to see out the rest of the qualifying round.
The new Argentina coach also said his first contact with captain Lionel Messi was positive. Reports had emerged the Barcelona star was not happy in the national side.
There are four rounds of matches to go with Argentina on 22 points from 14 matches, behind already-qualified leaders Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile.
Argentina face Uruguay next in Montevideo on Aug. 31. Then they have home matches against Venezuela and Peru and finish with a visit to Ecuador, who are sixth with 20 points.
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