The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) has listed former Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa as their ideal candidate to lead the men’s national team, sources told ESPN MX’s David Faitelson
Faitelson broke the news on Monday, later listing a game plan the FMF has in mind after the end of Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s contract as Mexico’s head coach after the 2022 World Cup.
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“The candidate who holds them [the FMF] Up at night is Massela Bielsa, they want Bielsa – Feitelson said during an episode of Football Picante – if it’s not Bielsa, there are other candidates.
According to the report, other alternatives for the FMF include Ignacio Ambriz, Matias Almeyda, Antonio “Turco” Mohamed, Guillermo Almada and former Mexico coaches Miguel Herrera, Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti and Juan Carlos Osorio.
The national team is scrambling to find a replacement for Martino after an underwhelming exit in the group stage of the World Cup. In preparation for the next edition of the tournament that they will co-host with the US.
On Futbol Picante, Faitelson elaborated on other details for the FMF’s game plan in a post-Martino era, which include: hiring a new manager before March’s Nations League games, limiting the amount of staff the new hire would bring, Making the vacant U23 coach position an automatic assistant to the senior manager, with the goal of bringing in El Tri legend Rafael Marquez and/or former Mexico U23 coach Jaime Lozano as assistants, which requires the new manager to move to Mexico City, and create An advisory committee made up of former national team coaches.
The big question is if someone as famously eccentric as Bielsa, nicknamed “El Loco“, would be willing to buy into Mexico’s demands. The Argentine is a well-known football obsessive who has no shortage of unconventional moments in his coaching past.
In 2016, he spent two days as manager of Serie A Lazio before leaving. A few years later in 2019, as coach of Leeds United, Bielsa held an impromptu 70-minute press conference detailing more than 300 hours of analytical work amid a “Spygate” scandal. According to a report by Marca last summer about his possible demands to take over Peru’s men’s national team, Bielsa also included the desire to control the U20 team in order to build his philosophy of play.
Bielsa was out of a job after being fired by Leeds United early last year.
The 67-year-old was first brought in by the English club in 2018, eventually reviving them and gaining promotion from the Championship to the Premier League in 2020. A difficult second season in the Premier League led to Bielsa being dropped by February 2022.
Mexico are looking for a rebuild after their last World Cup group stage exit, snapping a seven-tournament run since 1994 in which they have previously qualified for every knockout round.