Experience in attack, potential in midfield, zero success. The Uruguayan national team has surprisingly struggled in recent years, and experienced coach Marcelo Bielsa is set to change that. Last time out, he pulled Leeds into the Premier League.
Uruguay have reached out to Bielsa after unsuccessful years. The highlight for the local football association was failing to progress from a paper-weak group to the World Cup in Qatar. Four points were not enough in a competition with Portugal, South Korea and Ghana.
For Bielsa, his stint with the Uruguayan national team will not be his first experience with a national team from a South American country. In the summer of 2004, he scored his biggest career success with his native Argentina, dominating the Olympic Games with them.
Between 2007 and 2011 he led the Chilean national team, and on the club scene he gained experience in Spanish teams (Bilbao, Espanyol), French teams (Lille, Marseille) and in Italy he coached Lazio Rome.
The most successful club stint was the last one. In the summer of 2018 he was appointed head coach of Leeds, in the second season he celebrated a clear promotion from the first place of the Championship to the Premier League.
The Whites were back among the elite after 16 years and were far from a bore. Bielsa pushed the players to play offensive football, turned Patrick Bamford into a goalscorer, sold Raphinha to Barcelona and Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City.
The Argentine coach was also renowned for his excellent tactical preparation for all matches. He also won over the Leeds public by fighting to the last round for the Top 7 guaranteeing European Cups in the 2020/21 season after being promoted.
He finished on the Leeds bench in February 2022, when the club was in 18th place in the table. Now he has the chance to show his tactical skills again in the national team, with success at the Copa America 2024 the immediate goal.
Source: Uruguay national team
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