Jorge Sampaoli and the Argentina national team agreed to part ways, the soccer federation announced on Sunday. With Sampaoli gone, there could be a lot more changes coming to Argentine soccer. After the World Cup disaster, losing in the round of 16 to eventual champion France, Argentina could be looking at selecting a fresh crop of players to join the national team to help lead it into the future. A lot of that will depend on who the new manager is. Sampaoli had success in Chile as manager of the national team and a club manager at Universidad de Chile, but never seemed to get similar results in his home country of Argentina.
It was clear he had a hard time understanding how to use his players, sticking with a formation, and motivating his team to perform on the field up to their potential. There were plenty of reasons why Argentina crashed out of the tournament, but.
So now, Argentina must find the right person to guide a proud national team into the future as it continues to covet an international title which it hasn't done on the senior circuit since 1993. There are a lot of options, but it's likely that the manager will be Argentine and there's a chance he could be currently working in Europe, Argentina's top division or possibly coaching another national team in South America.
The logical choice
Teams managed: Peru (currently), Palmeiras, Velez Sarsfield, America de Cali, Independiente, others.
Why he could be the pick: The veteran manager, who played five years for the national team in the '80s, worked wonders as manager of the Peruvian national squad, leading the team to the 2018 World Cup. Gareca guided a team that has been considered a bottom-dweller for decades through arguably the hardest qualifying zone in the world in South America and managed to punch a ticket to the World Cup for the first time since 1982. He's earned legendary status there, understands the game so well and knows how to build a team, which is what Argentina has been missing.
The dark horse
Teams managed: River Plate (currently), Nacional.
Why he could be the pick: El Muñeco, who played for D.C. United in 2008, has done just fine as a manager. After winning the Uruguayan league in 2011-12, he has won a Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana at River Plate, and he's won two Copa Argentinas. He is a demanding coach who has a great eye for talent, and he would bring in some young players to this national team. He's got a really good shot to get this job.
The unlikely option
Teams managed: Chivas, Banfield, River Plate.
Why he could be the pick: Out of a job after stepping down from the Chivas gig, Gallardo's former teammate at River Plate has been linked to the Mexico national team job should Juan Carlos Osorio go. He has done well everywhere, including leading River back to the top flight six years ago and doing the same with Banfield two years later before winning five titles at Chivas, including the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League over Toronto FC. He's not the first option by any means, but he'll likely be looked at.
The dream that likely won't come true
Teams managed: Atletico Madrid (currently), Racing, San Lorenzo, River Plate, Estudiantes, others.
Why he could be the pick: He's the hottest coach out of Argentina at the moment because of what he's done from Atletico Madrid, turning them into a power in Spain, lifting a club from a long spell of mediocrity. He's defensive minded and elite at coaching how to pressure, which will be key to Argentina's future, but he was offered the job two years ago and declined, so he's unlikely to take it now with Lionel Messi's future uncertain.
The stud making noise in Europe
Teams managed: Tottenham (currently), Southampton, Espanyol.
Why he could be the pick: "Poch" has done so well at Tottenham. He's shown the ability to scout top talent and help them progress, and he's moved the Spurs from a team likely to finish sixth to mid-table to a team with three straight top-three finishes in the Premier League and a boatload of players who were featured at the World Cup. The only glaring thing working against him on his resume -- no trophies in nearly 10 years of coaching, but it feels like he'll get one soon, and he wasn't in a good spot to win one at Espanyol or Southampton. It would be a good pick for this team.
Argentina has some time to make this decision with the Copa America next summer being its next important competition, but it's likely it'll have somebody hired in the coming months to get this team back on track after a horrible last few years.