Argentine coaches leave fingerprints all over Copa America

SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – It’s too early to say if 11 Argentines will lift the Copa America after the final in Chile on July 4 but the chances are that at least one Argentine will.

Six of the 12 coaches who started the competition are Argentine and five of those who progressed to the last eight are, an unusually high percentage and one that highlights the prestige Argentine managers have around the region.

“There are six Argentine coaches and that means that at international level, coaches, just like players, have shown they can do well in these kind of tournaments,” Ramon Diaz, the Argentine coach of Paraguay said.

In addition to Diaz, Jorge Sampaoli is boss of hosts Chile and Jorge Pekerman leads Colombia.

Ricardo Gareca is in charge of Peru at his first international tournament, Gustavo Quinteros was in the dugout for Ecuador, and former Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino leads his own nation and tournament favourites Argentina.

Of the five who have gone abroad all bar Diaz have long-standing ties to their adopted nation.

Most of them also have a successful track record at club level in their second home.

Sampaoli won three league titles with Universidad de Chile; Gareca, who took over Peru just three months ago, led Universitario to the Peruvian title in 2008; while Quinteros, who represented Bolivia as a player, led Ecuador’s Emelec to domestic glory.

Colombia’s Pekerman, who played for Independiente of Medellin for three years in the 1970s, recently had his contract extended after taking Colombia to the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

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