October 23, 2016

Argentine Pizzi named new Chile coach

Juan Antonio Pizzi

Santiago, Chile: Chile named Argentine ex-striker Juan Antonio Pizzi as their new nationalfootball coach on Friday after his compatriot Jorge Sampaoli quit in acrimony.

The Chilean football association ANFP said in a statement it struck a deal to hire Pizzi until the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He was until now coach of Leon de Mexico and will take up the Chile job next week.

Pizzi also holds Spanish nationality, having played for Barcelona and Valencia.

“We are very satisfied with the arrival of Juan Antonio Pizzi. He is a professional who inspires great confidence. He has a proven career record,” said ANFP president Arturo Salah in the statement.

The ANFP added that he “is the right person to safeguard and continue the work of the Chile national team and to maintain its competitiveness of recent years.”

Sampaoli quit this month, six months after leading the country to its first Copa America title.

He led a golden generation of Chile stars such as Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich.

Sampaoli accused the federation of holding him hostage over a $6 million (5.5 million euro) buyout clause in his contract which had two years to run.

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