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Nick Mulveny

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia manager Graham Arnold announced on Monday that he would stay in his position until the 2026 World Cup final.

Arnold led Australia to the last 16 of the World Cup for the second time with an unprecedented double win in Qatar before being narrowly beaten 2-1 by eventual champions Argentina.

Arnold returned home just months after being exposed during Australia’s stuttering qualifying campaign and was given time to think about his future in the role he assumed after the 2018 World Cup.

“I love them. Every time I wear a soccer shirt or am around soccer, I bleed green and gold,” he said at a press conference in Sydney.

“It’s been a difficult road, but I believe in the group of players and the amazing staff. This is just the beginning.

“Qatar was a great achievement, but there is still a lot more to come. I truly believe that.”

Arnold, a former football striker who has won two A-League titles as club manager, said European teams and Middle East national teams had shown no interest in continuing to coach for another four years. rice field.

“Ultimately, I want to help Australia,” he said. “Perhaps what inspired me most was seeing a fan site[during the World Cup]. I’ve seen you.”

His first task will be to prepare Australia for the Asian Cup in Qatar early next year. A football loose he won the continental title on home soil in 2015, but under Arnold he was knocked out in the quarter-finals of the 2019 edition.

“The first step is to go to the Asian Cup and win it successfully,” he said.

“Secondly, a direct qualification to the World Cup, because I really don’t want to (playoffs). ”

Arnold, who warned during the World Cup campaign that the grassroots of the Australian game needed serious attention, will also coach age-group teams across the country and play a role in identifying young talent.

“Socceroos don’t happen suddenly,” he said.

“The ingredients have to be there. And the preparation and planning have to be perfect.”

Arnold is widely credited with forging strong ties within a team that arrived in Qatar with very low expectations, but beat Tunisia and Denmark to win two World Cup tournaments for the first time.

“Under Graham’s leadership, the Socceroos have made Australian football history, uniting the nation like never before,” said FA Chief Executive Officer James Johnson.

“We are thrilled that he is committed to Football Australia and has helped us continue to realize our vision for the game.”

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Christian Radnedge, Himani Sarkar, Peter Rutherford)

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