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Soccer  

Albania hopes to keep Brazilian coach Sylvinho at the helm beyond Euro 2024

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania hopes to keep coach Sylvinho at the helm in a bid to reach the World Cup for the first time after the Brazilian ushered the team into next summer's European Championship.

Albania qualified for Euro 2024 atop a group that included the Czech Republic and Poland. It's only the second time the country has reached the tournament.

Sylvinho’s current deal ends after next summer’s tournament in Germany.

Armand Duka, president of Albania's soccer federation, said Thursday that Sylvinho will be offered a contract extension as the team tries to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

“I believe in the next days we will offer the contract renewal (for) after the European,” Duka in an interview with private Albanian station News 24.

Duka downplayed the idea that Sylvinho will be lured to a bigger job after next summer's tournament.

“I do not fear (our) cooperation will change,” he said.

Albania has made it to the European Championship only once before — in 2016 under Italian coach Giovanni de Biasi. It has never qualified for a World Cup.

Sylvinho was hired in January together with his two assistants — countryman Doriva and Argentinian Pablo Zabaleta.

Sylvinho could not be contacted for any comment.

Earlier this month, he was reluctant to say where he saw himself after next summer.

“I prefer to live the unbelievable moment to dream for us and prepare the team from the next six or seven months,” Sylvinho said.

___

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer



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