Jorge Sampaoli has stepped down from his position as manager of the Chilean national team just months after leading the country to a Copa America title.
Sampaoli had been in charge of the team since 2012, but differences between the manager and the newly-elected president of Chile’s federation led to the 55-year-old’s resignation.
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With Chile as the host nation for last summer’s Copa America, Sampaoli led the country to it’s first-ever title in the tournament, defeating Argentina in penalty kicks in the final. The Chileans were also very impressive in the 2014 World Cup, reaching the round of 16 before being knocked out on penalties to Brazil.
Nominated for the 2015 FIFA Coach of the Year, Sampaoli had been linked with the Chelsea job when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December. Now out of work, he will surely be high on the list for many top European clubs in need of a new manager.
With Manchester City linked with a takeover from Pep Guardiola next summer, Manuel Pellegrini saw his name immediately come up as a possible replacement. However, Pellegrini ruled out a return to his native Chile, saying “I hope to remain with competitive teams in Europe, I am not thinking about returning to Chile at least for the next three or four years.”