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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 19, 2006

Pekerman Argentina exit is confirmed

BUENOS AIRES, July 19 (Reuters) - Argentina coach Jose Pekerman has confirmed he will not carry on in the job, the football association's president said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday.

'Pekerman has told me he's not going to continue with the national team,' Julio Grondona, president of the Argentina Football Association (AFA), told the sports daily Ole.

Pekerman first announced his decision immediately after his team lost on penalties to hosts Germany in the quarter-finals of the World Cup following a 1-1 draw.

Grondona would not comment on possible successors.

'We'll wait and see. We haven't thought about this because it (the World Cup) is still very recent,' he said. Ole named 10 possible successors, ranging from Diego Maradona to veteran Carlos Bilardo, who led Argentina to the title in 1986 and second place four years later. Former taxi driver Pekerman, who won three World Youth championships, took over the senior side in October 2004 after the shock resignation of Marcelo Bielsa. He had a reputation for fair play and making his sides play attacking football yet was blamed for being too cautious during Argentina's match in Germany. With Argentina leading 1-0 and in control of the match, he pulled off playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme and brought on holding player Esteban Cambiasso and also left speedy forward Lionel Messi on the bench. Germany hit back to equalise and confirmed their penalty shootout expertise by converting all of their attempts.

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