Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli said it was not the time to “evaluate my resignation” after his team was beaten 4-3 by France and eliminated from the 2018 World Cup in the round of 16.
Sampaoli, 58, said the loss had left him frustrated because the team had given everything in their effort to win the World Cup for Argentina and help Lionel Messi secure a first major title playing for his country.
Following the match, Sampaoli said: “The need, perhaps, was stronger than what the team had put together. It is very painful to have been eliminated, especially because of the effort these players put forth. The frustration I feel doesn’t allow me to evaluate my resignation [as manager].
“On a personal level it is a great frustration. We had the best player in the world and we tried to put him in a position to score. We tried to surround him with the right players to take advantage of that talent, it is a talent that no other team has.
“That is why I don’t want to talk about any other kind of analysis.”
Argentina held a 2-1 lead early in the second half through goals from Angel Di Maria and Gabriel Mercado after Antoine Griezmann had put France in front with an early penalty.
But Les Bleus put together a stellar 15-minute second-half stretch that saw Benjamin Pavard score a magnificent goal and Kylian Mbappe add two more to stake France to a 4-2 lead.
Sergio Aguero’s late header was only window dressing for La Albiceleste and Sampaoli admitted afterwards the team’s “grand illusion” of winning the World Cup had come up short.
“It was a day of a lot of effort and I want to thank this entire team, because they did everything possible to put Argentina on the top,” Sampaoli said. “Argentina fought and had a chance right up until the end. This is a frustration, but failure is something completely different.
“I came into this with the grand illusion that Argentina could win. That strengthened me as coach right from the starting point. We were involved in all the details. We talked about each thing that could have happened during the match.
“But this is football and it has to be done on the field.”