Argentina have reappointed Marcelo Bielsa as coach of the national side, despite the country’s poor performance in the World Cup finals.

Bielsa has agreeda new four-year contract which will take him up to the next World Cup finals held in Germany in 2006.

The decision to reappoint Bielsa, who presided over a disappointing campaign which saw Argentina – one of the pre-tournament favourrites – knocked out in the first stage, comes as something of a surprise.

Since his previous contract expired on June 30, there has been constant speculation about the identity of his successorwith Jose Pekerman regarded as the leading candidate to succeed Bielsa.

However, Pekerman, former coach of the under-20 side, said that he wa not interested in the vacancy and attention switched back to Bielsa.