After the 2010 World Cup, Argentine national team manager Diego Maradona did not renew his contract, and Batista was appointed as caretaker manager on 27 July 2010. In his role, Batista led Argentina to two wins (1–0 over Ireland and 4–1 over World Cup holders Spain) and suffered a defeat against Japan 0–1. Three months later, he was named the official head coach of the Argentine national team. In his first match after being officialized as Argentina's coach, his team defeated Brazil 1–0, with a 90th minute goal by Lionel Messi. On 25 July 2011, the AFA announced that Bastita had stepped down as manager of the Argentina national team after poor results in Copa America.