Jorge Sampaoli trades Sevilla for Argentina

Sampaoli keen to build around'very excited Messi in Argentina team

Sampaoli keen to build around'very excited Messi in Argentina team Getty Images

Sampaoli moved a step closer to taking over the vacant position as Argentina coach this week after his club side Sevilla said it had reached a deal with the Argentine Football Association (AFA). "It's a boost for us to see how excited he is with this new stage (for Argentina)", Sampaoli said.

Argentina are fifth in the South American standings with four games remaining.

JorgeSampaoli has had success with the Chilean national team, leading them to the 2015 Copa America title.

Argentina sacked Edgardo Bauza in April after eight matches as coach, BBC reports.

Another change Sampaoli plans involves Javier Mascherano, who has featured in midfield for the national team despite playing as a defender for Barcelona. "I talked to him and he's very excited".

Argentina are now outside an automatic qualifying spot for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation after six wins in 14 qualifying games.

AFA President Claudio Tapia also presented Jorge Burruchaga, who won the 1986 World Cup with Argentina, as the national team's new manager.

But Sampaoli believes in their chances of reaching Russian Federation 2018, saying: "We are convinced that we have the resources to qualify".

"This is a dream come true, one that I had desired for some time".

Sampaoli had previously stated his desire to coach five-time Ballon d'Or victor Lionel Messi, and aims to have the Barcelona star at his best for his country.

"Messi? We want the best player in the world to feel happy here", he began.

A surprising selection in Argentina's latest squad - to face Brazil and Singapore in friendlies later this month - was Mauro Icardi.

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