Lionel Scaloni signs new contract as Argentina manager as he's rewarded for World Cup triumph
- New contract for Argentina's Scaloni
- Managed Argentina to famous World Cup win
- Took charge of Albiceleste in 2018
WHAT HAPPENED? Some two months on from being crowned world champions, Argentina have confirmed that manager Lionel Scaloni has signed a contract extension until 2026. The 44-year-old was capped seven times for his country as a player and worked both as an assistant to the national team and as manager of the nation's Under-20 side before taking charge of the senior team in 2018.
Despite initial opposition to him getting the job on full-time basis following a period as caretaker manager, it was Scaloni who ended the team's 28-year trophy drought by leading them to the 2021 Copa America, a year before the World Cup.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The news was confirmed via Argentina's official Twitter account, with Scaloni rewarded for becoming the fourth youngest manager in history to lift the World Cup.
While all eyes were on Lionel Messi heading into the 2022 tournament, with this potentially being his last chance at taking Argentina to global glory having missed out in every chance previously, there was naturally just as much pressure on Scaloni - a relatively inexperienced manager - to craft a squad that could go all the way and beat anyone in their path.
AND WHAT'S MORE: La Albiceleste fell to a shock defeat against Saudi Arabia in their opening bout at the winter tournament in the Middle East, but bounced back incredibly to make their way to the final, eventually beating France 4-2 on penalties following a dramatic 3-3 scoreline after 120 minutes of football. With the help of Scaloni, Argentina were able to avenge missing out on the trophy in 2014 and ended a 36-year wait to lift the World Cup once again.
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WHAT NEXT FOR SCALONI? Having already become a legend in Argentine football for his role in restoring the country's men's team back to glory, the next challenge for Scaloni will be defending the crown in 2026.