Asunción – Chile’s former national coach, Jorge Sampaoli (58), is in talks over heading the Paraguayan selection. If he accepts, Sampaoli will prepare the team for the 2019 Copa América in Brazil. Previously, Sampaoli led the Argentine selection in the World Cup in Russia.
Jorge Sampaoli started talks regarding the new position this week. The Argentine soccer trainer could take over from Gustavo Morínigo and lead the Paraguayan selection. Morínigo took the position of temporary trainer in January. But Robert Harrison, head of Paraguay’s soccer association, promised a permanent trainer would be installed by September to lead the selection through the Copa América in Brazil.
Harrison remarked that the association has three high quality candidates and added that “Paraguay promises a good soccer project.”
According to Argentine news site Clarín, Harrison will meet with Sampaoli in Europe to discuss the contract next week. Aside from Sampaoli, the selection had its sight on Argentine Gerardo Martino (El Tata), who, however, rejected the offer and will remain with Atlanta United. The other candidate, Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari, also declined and will stay with Palmeiras.
— D10 Paraguay (@D10py) August 13, 2018
Competition from other countries
But the Guaraní selection isn’t the only one interested in Sampaoli. Selections from the US (Chicago Fire), Costa Rica, and Mexico have also tried to contract the coach who led Chile to victory in the Copa America in 2015, news outlet 24 Horas reported.
Sampaoli has been an international trainer since 1996, when he debuted with the Argentine team Alumni de Casilda. He has won seven titles, including Copa América, Copa Sudamericana, Primera División Chile, Copa Chile, and others. His time with the Ecuadorian team Club Sport Emelec resulted in winning the title as the World’s Best Team of the Month in June 2010.
After a bitter pill at the Russia 2018 World Cup, where Argentina was defeated by France, the Argentine soccer association decided to finish the contract with Sampaoli. But if he’s accepting Paraguay’s offer, he’ll surely have a chance at revenge rather sooner than later.