Football: Menotti named Argentina's director of national teams

Argentine football coach and team manager Cesar Luis Menotti in a photo taken on March 1, 1978.
Argentine football coach and team manager Cesar Luis Menotti in a photo taken on March 1, 1978.PHOTO: AFP

BUENOS AIRES (REUTERS) - Argentina have appointed 80-year-old former coach Cesar Luis Menotti as director of national teams, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on Monday (Jan 14).

Menotti, who led Argentina to their first World Cup title in 1978, will be charged with overseeing the 10-year plan unveiled last November to finding a "footballing identity" for the two-times World Cup winners.

"Menotti will begin the job on Feb 1," the AFA said of the former Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Mexico coach. "In the coming days he will meet with the backroom staff of the men's team to start work on future organisational issues."

Argentina have not won a major international title since 1993, when they lifted the Copa America, and were dumped out of last year's World Cup finals in the round of 16.

Lionel Scaloni took over as interim coach after the tournament in Russia and recently had his contract extended until this summer's Copa America in Brazil.

The team's biggest star Lionel Messi is on a self-imposed sabbatical from international duty after scoring only one goal at the World Cup.