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Bielsa dares Uruguay to dream

Veteran Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa said that he did not need to be persuaded to accept the job as Uruguay’s national team boss.

The 67-year-old made the comments as he faced local media for the first time since officially replacing Diego Alonso on Monday, reports Xinhua.

Alonso’s contract was terminated after Uruguay’s failure to progress beyond the group stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“I did not have to be convinced… I like the players that have represented the country in recent years,” Bielsa told a news conference.

“There are countries that combine the awareness of their power, of their potential, and enhance it through fantasy and hope. Uruguay has the resources to nurture that hope.”

Bielsa, who agreed to a contract that runs until the 2026 World Cup, had been out of work since parting ways with Leeds United in February last year.

He is no stranger to international football, having had spells in charge of Argentina and Chile over a coaching career that has spanned more than four decades.

“Managing a club is a job of constant intervention and a national team is a job of quickly bringing together high-level talent,” he said. “One of the things that I considered a lot is that I would not have a group of players like the ones Uruguay has at the moment in any other club that can offer me a job.”

He said he used his time away from the game to learn about new concepts and strategies but promised to remain true to his attacking identity and preference for possession-based football.

“I’ve been out of work for over a year and a lot of that time has been used to get a better understanding of some of the new things football has to offer,” Bielsa said.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in charge of national teams. Football, players and resources have changed but I always try to incorporate new things, new ideas.”

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