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Juan Antonio Pizzi appointed World Cup-bound Saudi Arabia coach, say sources

Juan Antonio Pizzi is the third coach to fill the position of Soudi Arabia football team coach in the last three months after Edgardo Bauza was hired to replace Bert van Marwijk

football Updated: Nov 28, 2017 12:39 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters, Bangkok
FIFA World Cup 2018,Russia 2018,Saudi Arabia football team
Juan Antonio Pizzi , who was the head coach of Chile National Football team, would represent Saudi Arabia at the FIFA World Cup 2018 draw in Moscow on Friday.(Reuters)

Juan Antonio Pizzi has replaced Edgardo Bauza as head coach of World Cup-bound Saudi Arabia, sources at the country’s football federation have told Reuters.

Argentinean Pizzi would represent Saudi Arabia at the World Cup draw in Moscow on Friday, they added.

Pizzi, who played the bulk of his club career in Spain, mostly at Tenerife, Valencia and Barcelona, also played for Spain in a World Cup and European Championship.

Post-retirement, he embarked on a coaching career -- the high-point of which was his stint with the Chile national football team. Under him, Chile won the Copa America Centenario in USA, and reached the final of the Confederations Cup 2017. However, they failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, following which Pizzi resigned as coach.

Pizzi is the third coach to fill the position in the last three months after Bauza was hired to replace Bert van Marwijk, who qualified the country for their first World Cup finals since 2006.

Earlier in the month, the Saudi Arabia Football Federation announced they have sacked head coach Edgardo Bauza after just five matches in charge.

The Argentinian replaced Van Marwijk just over two months ago, but the association decided to go in a different direction, after a period of evaluation on Bauza’s time with the national team.

Bauza’s stint included a 2-0 victory against Latvia and a 5-2 win over Jamaica. But more importantly, Saudi Arabia lost 0-3 Ghana, 0-3 to Portugal, and 0-1 to Bulgaria (1-0), hastening his exit.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 12:39 IST