Uruguay turn to Bielsa to develop their next generation on world stage

May 16 – The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) have confirmed that legendary manager Marcelo Bielsa is the new coach of Uruguay.

Bielsa (pictured) takes over from Diego Alonso, who departed after Uruguay failed to advance past the group stages at the World Cup in Qatar. Alonso had succeeded longstanding coach Oscar Tabarez, who had rebuilt Uruguay into a football powerhouse.

With Bielsa at the helm, Uruguay has another high-profile coach who aims to deliver strong performances at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, a century after Uruguay won Olympic gold in the French capital. Additionally, Bielsa will look ahead to the 2026 World Cup.

As Uruguay’s golden generation, including Luis Suarez, fades away, the upcoming Olympic Games provide an important opportunity for Bielsa to assess the next generation of players. It is conceivable that Bielsa will build a team around Ronald Araujo, a defender from Barcelona, Federico Valverde, a midfielder from Real Madrid, and Darwin Nunez, a striker from Liverpool.

While Uruguay traditionally plays a conservative style of football, Bielsa is known for his attacking approach.

In June, Bielsa will make his debut with friendlies against Nicaragua and Cuba. The South American 2026 World Cup qualifiers kick off in September. Bielsa becomes the seventh Argentinean coach to lead one of the ten South American nations. Brazil, however, still lacks a manager, although the Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) is hopeful of appointing Carlo Ancelotti, who is currently at Real Madrid.

Bielsa boasts a long and illustrious career in both club and international football. He guided Leeds United to the Premier League after a 16-year absence and had successful spells with Argentina and Chile.

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