SANTIAGO - Argentine Claudio Borghi has
been named Chile coach in succession to compatriot Marcelo
Bielsa, Chilean FA (ANFP) president Sergio Jadue said on
"Today we begin the road to Brazil 2014. Football lives off
the successes of efficiency but none of that counts if there is
no joy. Claudio Borghi brings these factors together
perfectly... and his game is fun, that's what Chile wants," Jadue
told a news conference.
"Claudio's contract begins on Wednesday, March 9, but he
starts working for Chile from now."
Borghi's contract is until the end of the South American
World Cup qualifiers in late 2013. It will automatically be
extended if Chile qualify for the finals.
Former Argentina striker Borghi, who made his name as a
coach in Chile with Colo Colo between 2007 and 2008, had been
out of work since resigning from Boca Juniors in his home
country in mid-November.
Bielsa, who steered Chile to their first World Cup finals
since 1998 last year and was popular with players, fans and
media, quit this month over differences with the ANFP's new
The Copa America will be played in Argentina from July 1 to
Chile, who reached the second round of the World Cup in
South Africa, are in Mendoza-based Group C with Uruguay, Peru
Borghi's first match in charge will be a friendly away to
Portugal in Leiria on March 26.
Borghi, a gifted striker who helped Argentinos Juniors win
the Libertadores Cup in 1985 and Argentina win their second
World Cup in Mexico the following year, has a tough act to
Bielsa transcended football with his popularity in Chile as
he steered his team to second place behind Brazil in the 2010
World Cup qualifiers including a first ever win over Argentina
in a competitive match.
In his favour, Borghi knows many of Chile's present
internationals having coached them at Colo Colo including
goalkeeper and captain Claudio Bravo and striker Humberto Suazo.
He too is well liked by Chileans.
"Bielsa's results were very good. But anyway, always after
someone has done well or badly, another has to come along. We
feel capable, we know the place... I hope to take advantage of
what Marcelo Bielsa left," Borghi said.
A man who likes to be close to his players rather than keep
the distance the older Bielsa maintained, he is criticized for
being emotional and impulsive and prone to at least threatening
to resign if results go against him.
On the field, Borghi's teams are less rigid tactically than
Bielsa's as he gives his players more freedom of expression.
Borghi finished his playing career in Chile where he made a
home nearly 20 years ago but returned to Buenos Aires in 2008
and, after a disappointing spell at Independiente, steered his
former club Argentinos to the Clausura championship last May.
He was a popular choice with Boca fans when appointed last
May but, always with his heart on his sleeve, was unable to cope
with the huge media spotlight on Argentina's most popular club
and, in particular, criticism of his three-man defence.
Borghi was also unlucky that Boca's brilliant playmaker Juan
Roman Riquelme was unavailable for all but one of his matches
with the team and he left after five wins and seven defeats in
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