Argentina soccer coach Jorge Sampaoli said his greatest challenge is to get the best out of Lionel Messi.
The 57-year-old, who was officially unveiled on Thursday with a contract through to the 2022 tournament in Qatar, told reporters in Buenos Aires that he also has a task to reach next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.
He has reportedly signed with the Argentine Soccer Association (AFA) until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, after nearly two years of turmoil at the Argentine FA.
But their hopes are on a knife edge in the 10-nation South American group from which the top four qualify for Russia.
The new Argentina coach wants a more compact team to see out the rest of the qualifying round.
He also said his first contact with Captain Lionel Messi was positive, though reports had emerged the Barcelona star was not happy in the national side.
There are four rounds of matches to go with Argentina on 22 points from 14 matches, behind already-qualified leaders Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile.
Argentina face Uruguay next in Montevideo on August 31, and will later play home matches against Venezuela and Peru, and finish with a visit to Ecuador.