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Scaloni wonders whether he'll stay on as Argentina coach after winning in Brazil

Lionel Scaloni Lionel Scaloni - The Canadian Press

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A Copa America title, a World Cup trophy and now a first-of-a-kind win in Brazil has Lionel Scaloni wondering whether he'll stay on as Argentina coach.

“I need to think a lot about what I will do," Scaloni said in a news conference after Argentina's 1-0 win over Brazil on Tuesday in a World Cup qualifying match in Rio de Janeiro. “I need this time to think."

Scaloni said he'd give it some thought before talking to Argentina's soccer federation president Claudio Tapia and the players "because this national team needs a coach that has every possible energy, and that feels well.”

The Maracana Stadium result was Brazil's first ever home defeat in a World Cup qualifying match.

“It is not a goodbye, it is not something else. But I need to think because the bar is set really high and it is tough to go ahead," Scaloni said, “it is tough to continue winning.”

He did not respond to other questions after making his comments.

The 45-year-old Scaloni, who had his contract extended to the 2026 World Cup after his triumph last year in Qatar, replaced Jorge Sampaoli as coach after Argentina lost to France in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup.

Before he attended the news conference Tuesday, Scaloni was seen giving emotional hugs and kisses to other members of the Argentina staff. It was the team's last match of 2023.

Argentina leads the 10-team South American qualifying competition with 15 points from six matches, followed by Uruguay on 13 and Colombia on 12. Brazil could end the year in sixth position, with seven points.

The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada will include 48 teams, meaning direct entry for the top six teams from South America.


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