Despite overseeing a disastrous campaign for the South American side, the team’s former coach says he has no regrets
Jorge Sampaoli has no regrets over Argentina’s failed World Cup campaign despite a last-16 loss to eventual winners France costing him his job.
Argentina stumbled through the group stage at Russia 2018 with Sampaoli heavily criticised for what were perceived to be confused tactics and an over-reliance on Lionel Messi.
Sampaoli, who won the Copa America during his time in charge of Chile, also appeared uncertain of his best team, having left out Inter captain Mauro Icardi despite a prolific season in Serie A.
And the 58-year-old is willing to treat Argentina’s World Cup failure as a learning experience as he considers his next step.
“I believe that all of us who were there, including myself, were honest in terms of our contribution,” Sampaoli said to Marca .
“I put my heart and my passion into it, but it wasn’t enough. I do not think I have to reproach myself with things. I learned a lot for the future.
“Criticism was as big as the expectation. I arrived with 95 per cent approval from the people, thinking that Jorge Sampaoli could give Argentina that desired World Cup with the best player on the field. When it did not come, the criticism came. But I have no grudge against anyone.”
Sampaoli was commenting publicly for the first time since being sacked by Argentina and the former Sevilla coach explained why he has taken so long to speak to the media.
“I took some time to analyse my time in the national team and the period after the World Cup,” he added. “I needed this moment of analysis to make clear things about my future.
“I just took time to go deeper into the experience I lived and for that reason I wanted to be isolated and break things up. I am a person who works as a football coach.
“I moved away from the media life. But I didn’t stop talking to the world of football, nor did I lose my social life, nor did I stop going to the movies, or go for a coffee at a bar. Nobody criticised me face to face, on the contrary.”