Argentina will qualify for World Cup, says outgoing Bauza

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Edgardo Bauza officially farewelled the national team, not before insisting Argentina will qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia.

Bauza fronted the media on Tuesday alongside the Argentine Football Association (AFA) after he was sacked less than a year in his position as head coach.

The 59-year-old, who succeeded Gerardo Martino in August, paid the price for overseeing just three wins in eight matches in charge - last month's shock 2-0 loss in Bolivia leaving the South American giants outside of the automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup in the CONMEBOL section.

However, Bauza is confident Lionel Messi and his team-mates will be among the 32 nations competing next year.

"I am grateful to the players because they are responsible for this option that Argentina can go to the World Cup," Bauza said.

"I do not want to forget about them, I want to thank them, not everyone values the sacrifice made by these players.

"A generation, beyond having lost three finals, gives everything for the national team.

"I am convinced that Argentina will be in the World Cup."

Bauza added: "It was a wonderful experience for me and all my coaching staff. There are many people to thank for the opportunity.

"We tried to do it in the best way, there were some inconveniences at the beginning but we were improving, especially the communication with the players despite the short time of work.

"There were good results and others not so much."

Argentina are fifth in South American qualifying, a point adrift of fourth-placed Chile after 14 matches.

The 2014 World Cup runners-up will travel to Australia in June to face Brazil in a friendly, before resuming their qualifying campaign with a trip to Uruguay in August.