Marcelo Bielsa set to become Uruguay National Team manager, according to reports
The Argentinian coach has been out of work since he left Leeds United last season, but finally it seems like he has found a new role.
How much does it cost to ship a large bucket across the Atlantic ocean? A spike in online searches for such an absurd question might not actually happen, but it is the sort of crazy thought that springs into one’s mind upon hearing the name of Marcelo Bielsa circling the airwaves. What sort of sweets will he hand out to the children? Will he have a fight with a foreman about a plug socket in a wall? These are not football questions, they are Marcelo Bielsa questions, and exactly what make the myth of the man survive so strongly, despite hardly seeing him or hearing from him for over a year.
The ‘crazy’ coach, according to reports in Argentina, is set to take over the job of the Uruguay National Team manager. Apparently the deal is a matter of time, with César Luis Merlo and Joaquín Bruno of TyC Sports both saying “he will become the coach” and that “everything is signed” and “it will be made official in the coming days”.
Uruguay’s 2026 World Cup plan
Merlo claims that Bielsa will sign a deal that takes him to the end of the qualification process for the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada and Mexico, and that the agreement will be extended should Los Charrúas make it to the tournament.
In the 2022 World Cup, Uruguay disappointed, despite being tipped as potential dark horses to go deep in the tournament. They drew 0-0 with South Korea, lost 2-0 to Portugal and beat Ghana 0-2, but results on the final day of the group (South Korea beating Portugal 2-1), meant that Diego Alonso’s side fell at the first hurdle and went out in the group stage.
Alonso subsequently handed in his resignation to the Uruguayan Football Federation, citing his want to return to club football. In 2021, the former Valencia and Atlético de Madrid striker took over from Óscar Tabárez, who had taken control of the side since 2006.
What is Bielsa’s recent record?
The Uruguay job would be Marcelo Bielsa’s first in South America since he managed Chile at the 2010 World Cup and his first role since his sacking from Leeds in February of 2021. Since then, the Argentine has been linked with various posts around the world, including the job of Mexico boss before the arrival of Diego Cocca. He also was strongly linked with a move back to the Premier League, with teams such as Bournemouth and Everton seemingly showing an interest in the coach who took Leeds to a top-half finish in their first season back in England’s top division.
His unique, man-to-man marking, all-action system of play took Leeds United out of the Championship after waiting for 16 years; they swept up the league title with 93 points - ten above second place - and losing just 9 out of 46 games. In their first season in the Premier League the team finished 9th after a strong end to the campaign, beating the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham. In the second season, however, things changed, and Bielsa’s methods meant heavy defeats came almost weekly, and he was sacked by February.