Tue, 18 Jan 2022

Argentine Jose Pekerman takes charge of Venezuela

Xinhua
01 Dec 2021, 11:05 GMT+10

CARACAS, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Argentine manager Jose Pekerman has been appointed head coach of Venezuela's national team after agreeing to a five-year contract, the South American country's football federation said on Tuesday.

The 72-year-old replaces Leonardo Gonzalez, who had been in charge on an interim basis following the August departure of Portuguese manager Jose Peseiro.

"We are going to start with great enthusiasm," Pekerman told a news conference. "The objective that we have gives us reason to be hopeful. Our thinking has to be that there is no tomorrow. We have to focus on the present."

Pekerman has been out of work since ending a successful six-and-a-half-year spell as boss of Colombia's national team in September 2018. His 40-year managerial career has also included a stint as Argentina's head coach from 2004 to 2006.

Venezuela are currently last in the 10-team South American zone qualifying standings for the 2022 World Cup.

While out of contention for a place at football's showpiece tournament in Qatar, the Vinotinto are already setting their sights on qualifying for the 2026 tournament - to be played in Mexico, the United States and Canada - according to Pekerman.

"Let's hope we can make that dream come true," he said. "We are going to follow a path of hard work, discipline and sound organization ... and our goal will always be to keep improving."

Pekerman's first match in charge of Venezuela will be a home World Cup qualifier against Bolivia on January 27.

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