Lionel Scaloni has been named as Argentina’s interim boss for their upcoming friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia.
The 40-year-old – who has helped as assistant coach with the national side – replaces Jorge Sampaoli, who stood down last month following a disappointing World Cup.
Scaloni is currently in charge of Argentina’s Under-17 side with fellow retired Argentine international, Pablo Aimar.
A statement from the Argentine Football Association (AFA), said: ‘The AFA informs that after a meeting of the Executive Committee, Lionel Scaloni will coach the future friendlies along with his assistants Pablo Aimar and Martin Tocalli.’
However, the association’s president Claudio Tapia told reporters they were going to take their time to appoint a permanent coach.
As a right back, Scaloni had a spell on loan at West Ham from Deportivo La Coruna in 2006, making 13 appearances for the East London club.
Earning a total of seven international caps for his country, Scaloni also enjoyed a fine six-year spell at Lazio.
1998 – 2006: Deportivo La Coruna
2006: West Ham (on loan)
2006 – 2007: Racing Santander
2007 – 2013: Lazio
2008 – 2009: Mallorca (on loan)
2013 – 2015: Atalanta
2016: Sevilla (assistant)
2017: Argentina Under-17 coach
Present: Argentina interim manager
After finishing his playing career at Atalanta, he made his transition into coaching by becoming assistant to Sampaoli at Sevilla at the start of the 2016 season. Just a year later he returned into the Argentina fold.
Sampaoli left his position following Argentina’s disappointing World Cup run which ended in a 4-3 defeat in the round of 16 by subsequent tournament winners, France.
The South American giants have had three different men in charge since Alejandro Sabella resigned in 2014 after taking the team to the final of that World Cup, where they lost to Germany in extra-time.
Since then Gerardo Martino, Edgardo Bauza, and Sampaoli have all had spells at the helm but none have won any silverware and Argentina’s trophy drought now extends back to 1993, the last time they won the Copa America.
The two-time world champions meet Guatemala in Los Angeles on September 7 and then face Colombia in New Jersey four days later.