Two Argentine managers are at the centre of a trans-Andean tug of war today, after Marcelo Bielsa, the Argentine who did such a good job in charge of the Chilean national side that many in his adopted country wanted him to run for president, will step down as manager today. His decision comes after the elections to name a new president of the ANFP – Chilean football’s governing body – went against his liking. The ANFP are already looking into the possibility of taking Boca Juniors manager Claudio Borghi as Bielsa’s replacement.
Yesterday, Bielsa gave a typically succinct and brief press conference in which he outlined the reasons for which he couldn’t work under Luis Segovia, the owner of Unión Española who was running against the incumbent Harold Mayne-Nicholls for the presidency of the ANFP. Segovia is a political ally of Chile’s president Sebastián Piñera, and won today’s vote by 28 votes to 22. As such, the hugely popular Bielsa seems set to confirm his resignation today.
As his replacement, the ANFP are already sounding out the chances of taking Claudio Borghi from Boca Juniors. Prior to winning this year’s Torneo Clausura with Argentinos Juniors, former River Plate and Milan midfielder Borghi had a massively successful spell in charge of Colo-Colo in which he won four consecutive Chilean first division titles. Borghi’s family still live in Chile, and he’s said in interviews that he feels ‘half Chilean’. When asked by his bosses earlier in the week whether they should be preparing for him to take the job, he told them, ‘for now I’m not thinking about it.’ The speculation will continue, though, until the Chilean national side has a new manager. Fans across the Andes, meanwhile, will have to get used to the idea of life without the man who’s become a national hero.
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I’d say there’s a much better than even chance that Borghi is going back to Chile. Boca has been no bed of roses for him and how can he pass up returning “home” to manage the national team for Chile ? Bielsa to Boca ? I’ve no idea.
I identify myself with Bielsa so bad that I’m glad he resigned in the end. He is too much for the Sudamerican idiosyncrasy in general. He represents honesty, work, method, transparency, humility and coherence, all words that have nothing to do with political positions and so are not wanted around. Even less when they prove to be effective and people start noticing that.
He deserves better opportunities and I think he will finally find them in a team in Europe.
I’m chilean. Bielsa’s departure is a big loss to our football. And I blame directly our president. He didn’t like the former ANFP president – for political issues – and he supported the Segovia’s campaing. Hell, there’s evidence that the Education minister, the sports secretary and even Piñera himself tried to take off Mayne-Nicholls from ANFP. In the sacred words of Tupac Shakur (Rest In Gansta Peace): F*CK PIÑERA AND ALL HIS NIGGAS.