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Saturday, Nov 27th

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River Plate football club's Argentine defender Gabriel Mercado arrived here on Thursday to formalise his contract with Sevilla after passing the medical test.

The Argentine international will join the Spanish team for two seasons for 2.5 million euros ($2.7 million), officials close to the deal told EFE.

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Edgardo Bauza has been named the new Head Coach of the Argentine national football team.

58-year-old Bauza, appointed on Monday, comes off a strong season at Brazilian club Sao Paulo, which he coached to the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores.

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Celta de Vigo Head Coach Eduardo "Toto" Berizzo has ruled out the possibility of leaving the Spanish football club to take up the post of Argentina coach, though he would meet with leaders of the Argentine Football Association if they asked.

In an appearance before the media after team training on Friday, the coach mentioned his "existing contract" with Celta and that he is committed to it. The Argentine confirmed that there is a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the club if he receives an offer from the national team, but insisted that he will not exercise it.

However, he considered it a compliment that the AFA have thought of him as a possible replacement for Gerardo "Tata" Martino to train the two-time FIFA World Cup winners.

 

With the qualification of gymnast Nicolas Cordoba, Argentina will go to the Rio Olympics with 213 athletes, the same number as for London 1948, the largest delegation in their history. Cordoba, a specialist in the horizontal bar, will go to the Olympics after Portugal's Gustavo Simoes dropped out, having broken his left foot in training.

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Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez of Barcelona is convinced that Lionel Messi "will reconsider" a return to the Argentina national football team, from which he announced his withdrawal after the last edition of the Copa America.

"He's fine, he's having a good vacation and like every player, he's excited to get back to training," Efe quoted Suarez as saying in a press conference on Friday.

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Argentina legend Diego Maradona has expressed his desire to coach the national side and added that he is ready to work without payment.

Maradona had previously coached Argentina from 2008 till the 2010 World Cup, but his tenure came to a premature end as Argentina lost 4-0 to Germany in the World Cup quarter-finals. He then enjoyed a stint in Dubai with Al Wasl in 2011, but was sacked a year later. Since then he has not undertaken any managerial role.

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The Copa Libertadores de America, the most important club football tournament in Latin America, will not have finalists from either Argentina or Brazil for the first time in 25 years. The final of the continental tournament will be played between Colombia's Atletico Nacional de Medellin and Ecuador's Independiente del Valle.

The last time there was a final without an Argentine or Brazilian team was in 1991 when Chile's Colo Colo came away with their country's only title in the competition after beating Paraguay's Olimpia.

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