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One last dance? Argentina manager Scaloni commits to 2026 World Cup with contract extension

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has extended his contract until 2026, the country's FA said on Monday after he led the team to their World Cup triumph in Qatar last year.

Scaloni renewed his contract after meeting with AFA president Claudio Tapia in Paris on Monday, taking him through to the next World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

"Claudio Tapia and Lionel Scaloni met to close the extension of the contract as coach of the Senior Selection until 2026," the AFA said in a statement.

Scaloni, who played for Argentina's Newell's Old Boys, Lazio and Mallorca, began his link with the national team as part of the coaching staff led by Jorge Sampaoli, who was sacked after they exited in the last 16 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Scaloni, 44, gave the squad captained by Lionel Messi a thorough overhaul, winning the Copa América in 2021 plus the "Finalissima" against Italy and World Cup in 2022. He has a record of 37 wins, 15 draws and five defeats in 57 games.

"When confidence is high, communication is simple and effective. We continue to strengthen the national team project, together with Lionel Scaloni, the world champion coach," said Tapia, who is in Paris to attend FIFA's "The Best" Awards.

Scaloni was named Best Coach of 2022 at the awards presentation on Monday.

(Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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