Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella to step down after World Cup final

Alejandro Sabella will coach Lionel Messi for the last time on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella will step down from his managerial role following Sunday's World Cup final, regardless of the result, according to Reuters. 

Sabella has been at the helm since 2011, and has guided the Argentinians to its first World Cup final since 1990. It will take on Germany, which destroyed Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals, from Maracana Stadium. 

His agent announced the news to an Argentinian radio station on Friday. "To go at the top is always positive. I believe he gave everything to the national team and that now is the time to give way to another person," Eugenio Lopez said. "He's going. He's leaving whatever happens. Whether they are champions or not, a cycle is ending," his agent said. 

Sabella guided his side to a first-place finish in Group F with wins over Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria and Iran, all by one goal margins. His side then advanced with consecutive 1-0 wins over Switzerland and then Belgium, before it outlasted the Netherlands in a penalty shootout with a spot in the World Cup finals on the line. 

Largely seen as a team built around Lionel Messi (which it certainly can be at times), Sabella deserves credit for integrating his midfield and strikers into a cohesive attacking unit. Messi, afterall, has thrived at this World Cup and has a chance to win the ultimate prize on Sunday. Doing so, in Sabella's last game, in front of a fiercely rival crowd, would be as sweet as it gets. 

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