After weeks of speculation and delays in negotiation talks, La Roja coach Marcelo Bielsa has finally committed to staying in Chile for five more years, through the 2015 American Cup.
Bielsa said he has decided to remain in Chile because of the strong support he has received throughout the country, the work environment, and because he also feels he has much more to do here in respects to soccer.
Bielsa met with Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the President of the National Association of Professional Football, for three hours on Saturday to discuss renewing his contract with Chile. This commitment will tie him to the 2011 American Cup and the 2011 Olympic games qualifiers in Peru as well as the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 World Cup in Brazil if they qualify. His contract would be up after the 2015 American Cup.
Under Bielsa's new contract he will receive a 35 percent salary increase as well as a new role of coaching the Under 20 Chilean team. He said he will pursue more friendly games, outside of the 50 scheduled FIFA games, in order to test local tournament players and have more contact with other divisions. Other goals for his coaching tenure, which began in Chile in 2007, includes increasing the base number of players to 50.
Along with pursuing his goals for the team, Bielsa will also have work to do on filling empty spots in his coaching staff. His former assistant, Eduardo Berizzo, left his position with the Chile team to pursue his candidacy to become Bolivia's national coach.
Since assuming the position of head coach for Chile's national team, Bielsa has seen the team through many accomplishments and improvements. Chile won a game in the World Cup for the first time in 48 years, advancing to the Round of 16, where the team lost to Brazil.
SOURCES: LA NACION, CLARIN
By Kayla Ruble (firstname.lastname@example.org)