Argentina have been without a manager since Copa America Centenario, after which Gerardo Martino resigned. But they finally have a new boss, hiring Edgardo Bauza from Sao Paulo to take over the national team.
Argentina’s search for a manager has been rocky, to say the least. After Copa America, Lionel Messi retired from the national team, then Martino gave up his post. To make matters worse, the federation was ruled to be corrupt and have too much government intervention, leading to it being taken over by a FIFA commission.
By the time that was all done, Argentina was looking for a manager, but didn’t have a clear direction, leadership or its star player, and there were questions about how much money they had.
There were quotes from those on the FIFA commission and those who had previously been part of the federation that Diego Simeone, Mauricio Pochettino and Jorge Sampaoli would be the top targets to take over the national team, but that never came to be. All were happy to stay at their European clubs, with Pochettino publicly saying that he did not want the job and multiple reports indicating that Sampaoli had turned Argentina down.
In the end, Argentina turned to Bauza. The Argentine played in the country’s Primera Division and made three appearances for the national team. He’s managed for nearly 20 years now, famously winning Copa Libertadores at LDU Quito and San Lorenzo.
Bauza lasted just seven months at Sao Paulo, leaving when his country came calling. He will manage Argentina for the first time on September 1 when La Albiceleste resumes World Cup qualifying.
Argentina is currently third in South American qualifying, just two points off of first, but also only two points clear of Brazil, who are outside of a qualification spot in sixth place.