Since Gerardo Martino tendered his resignation as national team coach almost one month ago, the Argentine Football Association’s chaotic search for his replacement has been seen everyone from Marcelo Bielsa to Diego Simeone named as a potential successor. None of those apparent first choices came to fruition and so in typically disorganised style, it has been left to a number of other sources, rather than the AFA, to confirm that Edgardo Bauza will be the new Argentina coach.
Given the turmoil the AFA find itself in after a failed election and the formation of a breakaway league, the government investigating the misappropriation of funds, Lionel Messi retired and the organisation broke to the point where it can’t afford flights to Europe, let alone buy a coach out of a contract, it is little surprise that the shortlist came down to Bauza, Ramón Díaz and Miguel Ángel Russo.
Bauza’s former employer Matías Lammens, president of San Lorenzo, was first to officially congratulate the 58-year-old and while the AFA still kept the press waiting, his current club São Paulo announced his departure.
— São Paulo FC (@SaoPauloFC) August 1, 2016
“São Paulo announce that Edgardo Bauza has revealed he received and accepted on Monday evening an offer from the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to take over the national team.
“As a result, he will leave the post of coach of the Tricolor. Hired at the start of the season, Patón leaves the club after eight months of important work rebuilding the team.”
While Bauza maybe relatively unknown in Europe, El Patón has an excellent record in South America after leading Liga de Quito and San Lorenzo to their maiden Copa Libertadores titles in 2008 and 2013.
With the next round of World Cup Qualifying just a month away, Bauza has no time to adjust to his new role and will have to name his first squad in two weeks for the important clashes with Uruguay and Venezuela.
Lionel Messi is not expected to return for this fixtures but certainly speaking to the Barcelona star and attempting to persuade him out of international retirement will be high on Bauza’s to-do list.