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Sergio Batista succeeds Diego Maradona in Argentina job

Sergio Batista
Batista's team became the first Argentina side to lose to Japan

Sergio Batista, who has led Argentina since Diego Maradona's contract expired after the 2010 World Cup, has been made national coach on a permanent basis.

The 47-year-old, who guided Argentina's Under-23 team to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, has a contract up to the end of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"I'm fulfilling a dream, one of my great objectives," said Batista, who won the World Cup as a player in 1986.

"I want us to win what we so desire, the last game of the 2014 World Cup."

When he was in temporary charge of the team, Batista led the team to wins over the Republic of Ireland and Spain as well as a loss to Japan.

606: DEBATE

His first match in permanent charge is against 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil in Qatar on 17 November, with his first major tournament being next year's Copa America, the South American championship, which is being hosted in Argentina.

The last time they won the tournament was in 1993, under Maradona's predecessor Alfio Basile.

Maradona, who captained Argentina to victory at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, was in charge of the team for 20 months until their 4-0 loss to Germany in this year's World Cup quarter-finals.

He was initially offered a new contract before it was withdrawn after a disagreement over his backroom staff.

He turned 50 last weekend, saying the birthday was "the saddest anniversary of my life", and vowed to regain the Argentina job in the future.



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see also
Maradona wants Argentina job back
25 Sep 10 |  Football
Maradona's Argentina reign ends
27 Jul 10 |  Football
Argentina offer Maradona new deal
15 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010


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