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Almeyda happy coaching Chivas but still dreams of leading Argentina

6:36 PM EST 2/1/17
Matias Almeyda Chivas Club America Liga MX 08272016
The ex-River Plate midfielder is enjoying life in Guadalajara but would love to return to his home country to lead Leo Messi and Co.

Matias Almeyda is happy with his current position coaching Chivas in Liga MX but hopes his career path takes him back to Europe and one day to the helm of the Argentina national team.

Speaking to Ole ahead of his team's friendly against Boca Juniors on Thursday, the former River Plate great said that his focus is on Chivas, though he didn't deny that he had a clause in his contract allowing him to leave the post should the Argentine federation come calling.

"Perhaps," he said with a laugh. "Here they gave me a five-year contract and I'm very happy. Right now, I'm not thinking about anything else."

But while Almeyda is enjoying life in Guadalajara, the 43-year-old said there's a hope to manage in Europe, where he played with Sevilla, Lazio, Parma and Inter, and eventually return to his home country to lead the national team.

"I'd like to have a similar career to the one I had as a player, winning things, managing in Europe, one day the national team. In the meantime, one must work, demonstrate what you are, grow and be self-critical."

The young manager spoke of an adjustment period at the all-Mexican club after coming in as the replacement for Chepo de la Torre in September of 2015. Since then, Almeyda has led the Guadalajara side to back-to-back appearances in the Liguilla and a Copa MX triumph along the way.

Despite the club playing Wednesday in the cup and Sunday in the league, the team scheduled a Thursday friendly against Boca — something that Almeyda said he wanted for his club. The match will give the team a chance to taste international competition, the coach said, after Chivas qualified for the Copa Libertadores only for Liga MX to pull out of the South American championship after CONMEBOL made modifications to the calendar.

Boca, on the other hand, is awaiting the start of the Argentine tournament, which has been delayed because of a financial dispute between clubs and the federation involving television rights and other issues.

"We're going ot have a great game," Almeyda said. "Since they took away the possibility of the Copa Libertadores, we want the players to have international competition, and being Boca it's an even bigger task. We're going to give it the significance that it deserves."