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Argentina’s Coach Resigns

Argentinean coach Alfio Basile, noting “personal reasons”, resigned twenty four hours after his squad fell 1-0 to Chile in CONMEBOL’s qualifying round ten in preparation for the 2010 World Cup. Basile, who took over as coach in 2006, had previously coached Argentina from 1990-1994.

The resignation came after the 64-year-old Basile met with Football President Julio Grondona.  Grondona was against Basile’s decision to resign.  Media outlets have already lined up several replacements including Sergio Batista, Diego Simeone, and Miguel Angel Russo.

Whoever takes over must tap into the international potential of club stars – Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), and Carlos Tévez (Manchester United).  The trio has combined for 23 goals in 87 international appearances.

With 8 qualifying rounds remaining, Argentina is in serious jeopardy of missing the South African hosted World Cup.  The nation sits in third place with 16 points.  The top four nations qualify automatically and the fifth nation must play its way into the World Cup.

Surprisingly the frontrunner is not Brazil but Paraguay who sits in first place in the table with 23 points followed by Brazil 17 points and Argentina 16.  Five nations are within six points of Argentina in the table.  Will Argentina qualify?