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Mexico appoint Argentine Martino as coach

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Mexico appoint Argentine Martino as coach
REFILE - CORRECTING DATE Soccer - Mexico - Gerardo Martino presented as new Mexico national team coach, Mexico City, Mexico- January 7, 2019 Argentine soccer coach for Mexico Gerardo Martino attends a news conference REUTERS/Daniel Becerril   -   Copyright  DANIEL BECERRIL(Reuters)
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MEXICOCITY (Reuters) – Mexico named former Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino to lead the national team on Monday, bringing an end to the short and unsuccessful reign of interim appointment Ricardo Ferretti.

Martino, who has also coached Paraguay and Argentina, is charged with taking Mexico to the Qatar World Cup in 2022, Yon de Luisa, president of the Mexican Football Federation said in making the announcement of the Argentine’s appointment.

“His experience with clubs and national sides gives us the guarantee of a working team, which is exactly what we want for the challenge of Qatar, 2022,” said de Luisa.

Mexico have played in every World Cup since 1994 but have been knocked out at the second round each time.

Martino, 56, has a track record of reaching finals, leading Argentina to the Copa America showpiece in 2015 after taking Paraguay to the same final four years previously, losing both.

He was last year elected coach of the season for his work at MLS side Atlanta United.

Martino will be expected to get more out of a Mexico team that has lost five of the last six friendlies under Ferretti, the Brazilian-born Mexican coach of Liga MX club Tigres who took over on a short-term basis after the 2018 Russia World Cup.

His first challenges will come in March friendlies against Chile and Paraguay, both of which will be played in California.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; editing by Ken Ferris)

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