Chile’s Pizzi to coach Saudi Arabia for 2018 World Cup

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia have appointed former Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi to lead the team at the 2018 World Cup following the sacking of Edgardo Bauza.

Ex-Argentina coach Bauza was dismissed last week, having only taken charge of five friendly matches.

Pizzi, who was born in Argentina and played as a striker for Rosario Central, Tenerife, Valencia and Barcelona, representing Spain at international level, quickly became established as a frontrunner and was announced as Bauza’s successor on Tuesday.

Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup under Pizzi, but he will nevertheless lead a team to the tournament next year after former Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk, Bauza’s predecessor, guided the team to the finals for the first time since 2006.

Saudi Arabia will learn their group-stage opponents in Friday’s World Cup draw at the Kremlin in Moscow.