Juan Antonio Pizzi to step down as Chile coach after World Cup woe

11 October 2017 09:25

Juan Antonio Pizzi is set to leave his role as Chile coach following their failure to qualify for next summer's World Cup.

La Roja were beaten 3-0 by Brazil in Sao Paulo in their crucial final qualifier, and Peru's late equaliser against Colombia meant they do not even have the consolation of a play-off place.

The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal will therefore not be on a plane to Russia at the end of the season but Chilean football federation president Arturo Salah vowed to take the time to evaluate the campaign before deciding whether to retain Pizzi.

But Pizzi told reporters in South America after the match: "About the future, as I said last week, my contract ends in this situation.

"It seems to me, although it is the responsibility and decision of the directors, we must speak and evaluate what they want for the team, try to choose the best option.

"Of these options, I rule myself out."

Paulinho's goal and two from Gabriel Jesus secured a comfortable win for already-qualified Brazil, whose coach Tite believes they will go into the tournament in Russia as one of the teams to beat.

"Brazil are a favourite at the World Cup," he said.

"By the football presented, the campaign completed, by level, performance plus results. Brazil are one of the teams, yes.

"I have said that France are at a very strong level too. Rising players like [Kylian] Mbappe, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Antoine] Griezmann. Look at the offensive trio. And there is also world champions Germany."

Brazil's rivals Argentina will also be present after Lionel Messi's hat-trick earned them a 3-1 win over Ecuador and Tite congratulated the Albiceleste.

"Argentina deserved to qualify," he said.

"It's not only one game that defines the team. It's a sequence of regular matches."

Source: PA


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