Soccer

New Argentina coach Martino officially introduced

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The Canadian Press
8/14/2014 2:58:33 PM
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- New Argentina coach Gerardo Martino says he will not make any drastic changes to the style of play that took it to the World Cup final.

After being officially introduced on Thursday, Martino said he will keep the same philosophy and tactics of former coach Alejandro Sabella, who stood down after the World Cup in Brazil.

"What Alejandro achieved was wonderful," Martino said.

Martino's first official task will be to pick a squad for a Sept. 3 friendly against Germany in Dusseldorf, a match that was scheduled before they met in the final a month ago.

Martino said he will likely summon the same 23 players from the World Cup squad.

"It would be a prize for these players," said Martino, who did the same thing as Paraguay coach after the team reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

He did not rule out a recall for Carlos Tevez, who was left out of the World Cup despite pressure from fans and local media.

"The doors are open for all the players," he said.

Martino accepted the Argentina job less than three months after leaving Barcelona with one year left on his contract. The Spanish club failed to win a major trophy for the first time in six years.

Known for setting up offensive squads, Martino was hired by the Argentine Football Association until the end of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, but the contract will be automatically extended if the team makes it to the tournament in Russia.

Argentina, coming off the 1-0 loss to Germany in the World Cup final at the Maracana, hasn't won a major title since the 1993 Copa America in Ecuador. The team won gold in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, tournaments played mostly with under-23 players.

Gerardo Martino  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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