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Argentine coach Bielsa chases glory with Chile

Argentine coach Bielsa chases glory with Chile

The high point of Marcelo Bielsa's tenure as coach of Chile so far surely came from the team's 1-0 victory over his native Argentina in 2008.
His next one will be when he leads him team at this year's World Cup in South Africa, where Chile will face European champion Spain, Switzerland and Honduras in Group H.
The 54-year-old Bielsa coached Argentina at the 2002 World Cup, a disappointing tournament in which Argentina failed to advance from the first round. This time, Chileans are expecting the highly regarded Bielsa to get them into the knockout stage.
In a poll by South America's national team coaches, Bielsa was voted the best in the region by a wide margin. Another Argentine, Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino, also got a few votes.
Biesla is known as an innovator who has added younger players and more attacking to Chile's usually deliberate style.
Known as "El Loco," Bielsa had a brief career as a defender with Newell's Old Boys, but moved into management early, first taking over Newell's youth team before becoming the manager of the club in 1990.
Bielsa picked up his share of titles with Old Boys before moving to Mexico and stints with Atlas and Club America. He returned to Argentina in 1997 to manage Velez Sarsfield and then took over Argentina's national team in 1998, replacing Daniel Passarella.
Although he failed to win the World Cup with Argentina, he did coach the country to the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. That made Argentina the first Latin American country to win football gold since 1928.
Bielsa resigned at the end of 2004 and was replaced by Jose Pekerman.
Chilean officials have already proposed extending Bielsa's contract until 2015, and many are suggesting a raise. He has also won praise from former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who left office on March 11.
"He (Bielsa) is an excellent reference point and a model for young people," she said. "He gets results with discipline and hard work, and with enthusiasm. Hiring him continues to be a good move for Chile."


Updated : 2021-06-12 19:55 GMT+08:00