Javier Mascherano to keep Argentina under-20s job despite disastrous tournament

There are high hopes surrounding Javier Mascherano and his coaching career, but those hopes were brought back down to earth at the recent under-20 Copa America.

In charge of Argentina, the Albiceleste did not make it past the group stages, losing three of their four games. It marked a dramatic failure for Argentina, who despite having a talented generation, will now be without the under-20 World Cup and the Pan-American games to test themselves.

After going out, Mascherano seemed likely to go, as per MD.

“I don’t have much to say, there are no excuses. Here I am the one who failed and I have to take charge. The best thing now is to return to Argentina, be calm and I repeat again: very grateful for the opportunity,” Mascherano commented.

However AFA President Chiqui Tapia has backed Mascherano to turn things around.

“Today I was at Ezeiza to receive our Under 20 team headed by their coach Javier Mascherano. The National Team’s project, beyond the results, is the path we have chosen and the path we all want to take. We will continue sowing to harvest [the results].”

Mascherano has worked under a number of heralded coaches, including Rafael Benitez, Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique, with many expecting him to be an excellent coach down the line. However his under-20 side are yet to show signs of that, lacking identity and structure, which may have caused Mascherano to doubt his own abilities.

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