Marcelo Bielsa is already marking his territory

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It was around midnight, French time, when a cooler ignited European and South American social networks. To announce its new coach, the Uruguayan federation (AUF) raised the sauce. Finally, half an hour after posting photos of coolers and tactical diagrams in reference to the Loco, the AUF made the news official. Laid off by Leeds, Marcelo Bielsa (67) is the new boss of Celeste. Only the second foreign coach to have this honor, after Daniel Alberto Passaralla (from 1999 to 2001).

Uruguay’s objective is clear: to start a new cycle after the golden age of Cavani and Suarez with a view to the 2026 World Cup organized jointly in the United States, Mexico and Canada, via the Copa América 2024. Bielsa, who will be presented tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. (Paris time) in the legendary Centenario stadium in Montevideo, has also signed a contract until 2026. He will then have to manage friendly matches before starting the World Cup qualifiers 2026 next September against Chile (an old acquaintance) and Ecuador. On paper, the scene is set.

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Marcelo Bielsa new Uruguay coach

The Uruguayan Clairefontaine scrutinized

Behind the scenes, as usual, Bielsa left nothing to chance. Before signing his contract yesterday, the Argentinian negotiated with the AUF for six months. He only gave the contractual green light on Thursday of last week (without having signed for as much), after numerous alterations. He and his staff (they will be six to disembark with him) will receive around 4 million dollars per year, or around 3.6 M€. In today’s edition, A standing ovation looked back on Bielsa’s early hours as a charrua coach. Arrived in Uruguay on Sunday, El Loco arrived yesterday at the Uruguay Celeste Complex around 4 p.m. local time (9 p.m. Paris time). He spoke with the director of national selections, Jorge Giordano, as well as with the president of the AUF, Ignacio Alonso.

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Bielsa then signed his contract (finally!), before going through the Uruguayan Clairefontaine with a fine-toothed comb. The former OM and Leeds coach took notes, lots of notes that he will pass on to Giordano. The local media indicates that Bielsa was very thorough and that he did not forget any corner of the sports complex. He observed the pitches, the locker rooms, the dormitories and even gave an update on security. Because Bielsa has made it clear that he wants waterproof installations, in order to avoid any leaks to the media. Barely arrived, Marcelo Bielsa has already shown that he was the boss and that he will have to go straight!

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