Last month, Jorge Sampaoli resigned from his position at the helm of the Chilean national team. Since then, the 55-year-old Argentine coach with a tendency for high energy and heavy pressure tactics has been linked to any and every club we love: Chivas, Real Madrid, Valencia – you name it. Needless to say, his European future is brewing and bright.
Recently, Sampaoli – who has never managed outside of South America – has been linked to a lesser contract (and a major move for bad boy Arturo Vidal) at another big club: Chelsea. His resume makes him a hot commodity; he won Copa América on home soil with Chile last year, earned a FIFA World Coach of the Year nomination alongside Pep Guardiola and eventual winner Luis Enrique. He’s even drawn comparisons to Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was hired (and quickly fired) by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich back in 2008-09. While some highlight his questionable success rate in CONMEBOL play – he has coached 11 clubs in Argentina, as well as Peru, Ecuador, and Chile, with his only real tangible success coming in the form of a domestic championship and Copa Sudamericana with Universidad de Chile in 2011 – he may just be the man for the job come July 2016 when interim Guus Hiddink’s time is up.
Recipe for success or disaster? We would love to see Sampaoli living large in London, bringing that frightening La Roja flair to dull and dreary Chelsea. Stay tuned.