Mauricio Pochettino returns to management as coach of World XI at Soccer Aid

Mauricio Pochettino has made his long-awaited return to management with the Argentinian taking over as coach of the World XI at Soccer Aid.

The former Southampton and Tottenham boss has been out of work since leaving Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain last July.

Pochettino is set to be confirmed as Chelsea manager in the near future, but his return to the dugout will come at Old Trafford rather than Stamford Bridge.

The 51-year-old has been confirmed as manager of the World XI against England at Soccer Aid for Unicef on June 12 in the north west.

Mauricio Pochettino is managing for the first time since leaving PSG
Mauricio Pochettino is managing for the first time since leaving PSG (Tim Goode/PA)

“I am really looking forward to getting involved in Soccer Aid this year and managing the World XI,” Pochettino said.

“It is a real pleasure to be part of a match that represents a big cultural moment in this country’s annual calendar – and rightly so, because it raises so much money for Unicef.

“I love English football stadiums, the passion the fans show for the game and the atmosphere they create, so it will be great to feel that again next month.”

Pochettino will coach former Argentina team-mates Gabriel Batistuta and Hernan Crespo in the Old Trafford encounter.

Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, has been confirmed as captain of a side that includes the likes of Francesco Totti, Patrice Evra and Nani.

“The Soccer Aid World XI FC has a very strong team this year and we want to ensure we help to continue their long unbeaten run in this match,” said Pochettino, who will be joined by long-serving assistant Jesus Perez.

“Two of the most talented players I have played with – Gabriel Batistuta and Hernan Crespo – will be a big goal threat and we also have Nani and Totti, players that will excite fans so we hope as many people as possible will come along on the day to see them live and support this incredible cause.”

:: England vs Soccer Aid World XI FC takes place on Sunday 11 June. Tickets for the game are on sale: www.socceraid.org.uk/tickets.