Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni to stay

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has confirmed that he will keep his job until at least December, laying to rest rumours that he will leave after the Copa America.

The 41-year-old said he received assurances from Argentine Football Association (AFA) chief Claudio Tapia that he would remain in the role after the team’s 2-0 semifinal defeat to Brazil on Tuesday, which eliminated the Albicleste from the tournament.

“I spoke with Tapia and we will continue until December 30, when my contract expires,” Scaloni told reporters ahead of Argentina’s clash with Chile in Saturday’s third-place playoff.

“There was no talk about [what will happen beyond that]. I will be here for the next six games and after that the Argentine FA will have to make a decision.”

Scaloni replaced Jorge Sampaoli as Argentina’s boss after last year’s World Cup in Russia, where the Albiceleste were eliminated in the round of 16 by eventual champions France.

Bidding for their first major trophy since 1993, Argentina lost their opening Copa America group match to Colombia before drawing with Paraguay and then beating Qatar and Venezuela to reach the semifinals.

“I don’t feel that I’m on a trial,” the former Deportivo La Coruna full-back said. “My trial already happened. It was bringing these young guys through, giving them the chance to play in the national team, making them competitive against Brazil. We have achieved what we wanted to do when we came. In the next six games we will do the same thing and make them feel a part of the team.

“People said I had no experience. And it’s true. That said, I’m now another manager. I don’t know everything. I had the opportunity to start at the top and I’m eternally grateful to the AFA.”