Argentina has had a rough start to the 2018 World Cup after coming in as one of the favorites. They drew against Iceland, then dropped a terrible 3-0 match to Croatia.
Everything has boiled over to the point where players tried to get manager Jorge Sampaoli fired after the game.
Sampaoli will stay on to manage the last Group D match against Nigeria. But one has to question what form the team will be in after this controversial event.
How did Argentina Players Try to Get Sampaoli Fired?
Argentina had a meeting at the team’s base camp, with the primary subject being whether Sampaoli should be sacked. The players’ plan involved Jorge Burruchaga taking over as manager against Nigeria.
En TyC aseguran que Burruchaga dirige a la selección ante Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/PNCT3LNUuP
— SebasTempone (@SebasTempone) June 22, 2018
However, Burruchaga dismissed the matter and had no plans to be part of the takeover. Reports didn’t confirm whether Sampaoli was involved in the meeting. But he did go straight to his room after arriving at base camp.
Firing Sampaoli Is a Difficult Decision
Considering that Jorge Sampaoli will continue coaching through Group D play, it’s likely that he’ll stay on if they’re able to advance.
One of the key issues here is Sampaoli’s contract. He’s only in the second year of a five-year deal. The contract buyout amount before the 2019 Copa America is $20 million. It’s highly unlikely that Argentina will fire him with such a huge buyout figure.
The only option here appears to be Sampaoli stepping down from the position. This is a possibility when considering that public pressure is mounting for him to quit as manager.
However, everything goes back to the money again. It would be better for the manager to continue his duties from a financial standpoint. And if he gets fired before the next Copa America, then he’s $20 million richer.
Will Argentina’s Players Quit?
Reports indicate that several key players will retire from international play after the Cup. These include Marcos Rojo, Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria.
Additionally, Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi are considering international retirement.
Argentina vs Nigeria Odds
Here are the GTBets odds on the match between Argentina and Nigeria:
- June 26 at 2:00pm EST
- Argentina -0.5 (-200); moneyline -200
- Nigeria +0.5 (+155); moneyline +500
- Draw +345
- Over 2.5 (-143)
- Under 2.5 (+110)
You can see from the odds that Argentina is favored in betting circles. But given the turmoil going on here, Nigeria could be a nice value pick.