October 11, 2017 / 4:26 AM / 9 months ago

Soccer: Pizzi stands down as Chile coach after elimination - reports

REUTERS - Juan Antonio Pizzi has confirmed he will stand down as Chile coach, just hours after his team were beaten 3-0 by Brazil to miss out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup Finals, local news reports said.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Chile's national soccer team news conference - Sao Paulo, Brazil - October 9, 2017 - Chile's head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi attends a news conference. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Pizzi’s contract was due to expire at the conclusion of the qualifiers and after Chile finished sixth in the 10-team group, outside the places for Russia, he said there was no reason to discuss a new deal.

“I am ruling myself out of continuing,” Pizzi said in comments reported by Chilean media and confirmed by veteran midfielder Gary Medel.

Pizzi, 49, led Chile to victory at the 2016 Centenary Copa America but his aging team have struggled in the closing stages of the qualifiers, winning just two of their last six games.

Several of the team’s biggest names — including Claudio Bravo, Arturo Vidal and Medel — are already in their 30s and Tuesday’s defeat in Sao Paulo appears to have signaled the end of the most successful team in the country’s history.

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - South America - Chile Training - Sao Paulo, Brazil - October 8, 2017 - Chile's head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo attend a training session ahead of their match against Brazil. REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by John O'Brien

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