Batista to become Bahrain boss

The World Cup winner will sign a two-year contract with the Gulf nation after being out of the game since parting company with Guangzhou Evergrande

Former Argentina coach Sergio Batista has agreed to take charge of Bahrain's national team.

The 52-year-old Buenos Aires native has been out of work since parting company with Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande last year but will sign a two-year contract with the Middle Eastern nation.

Batista, a former defensive midfielder who was a part of his country's 1986 World Cup-winning squad, led Argentina to Olympic glory at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

He subsequently took charge of the senior squad in 2010, succeeding former team-mate Diego Maradona at the helm, but was dismissed after a poor showing at the Copa America the following year.

Batista returned to the game in 2012 by taking a management role at Guangzhou but has now been charged with trying to qualify Bahrain for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The 2022 hosts have never before performed for the biggest tournament in the game, though they were beaten in a play-off with New Zealand for South Africa 2010, losing 1-0 on aggregate.