Messi backs Batista to replace Maradona

Lionel Messi is the latest Argentine player to come out in
support of interim national team coach Sergio Batista, who seems
likely to be given the job permanently to replace Diego
Maradona.

Arriving in Buenos Aires for Argentina’s friendly next week
against Spain, Messi told reporters that he wanted Batista to stay
on in the job. The sentiment was echoed by Argentina’s other top
striker Carlos Tevez, who arrived in Buenos Aires a few hours
earlier.

Tevez urged Argentine football officials to quickly name a
permanent replacement for Maradona, who was dropped as the national
team coach after Argentina’s 4-0 loss to Germany in the World Cup
quarterfinals. Batista was in charge in Argentina’s 1-0 victory
over Ireland on Aug. 11 and will be on the bench against Spain.