Colombia appoints Néstor Lorenzo new national football team coach

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s soccer federation said Thursday it has chosen Néstor Lorenzo to coach its men’s national team for the next four years. The 56-year-old Argentine will replace Reinaldo Rueda, who was dismissed in April after his side failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

The federation said in a statement that former Colombian captain Amaranto Perea will be Lorenzo’s assistant.

Local media had reported for weeks that other managers with more impressive CVs, such as former Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, were in the running for the job.

Lorenzo worked as an assistant at three World Cups: 2006 for Argentina and 2014 and 2018 for Colombia. Much of his career has been as a key assistant to coach José Pekerman.

Lorenzo also played that role at Toluca and Mexico’s Tigres and was currently coaching Peru’s Melgar, who leads the country’s league with 34 points after 15 appearances.

Colombia finished the South American World Cup qualifiers in sixth place with 23 points from 18 matches. The top four teams – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Ecuador – secured direct berths in Qatar. Fifth-placed Peru will face a team from the Asian confederation for a final place in the tournament.

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