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.
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.
Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by John O'Brien