Santiago, Dec 1 (IANS) Chile’s football team head coach Jorge Sampaoli said he felt proud to be one of the three shortlisted to win FIFA’s World Coach of the Year award. “This nomination makes me proud of the time I have spent with the club. I am very proud to be nominated alongside successful coaches (Pep) Guardiola (Bayern Munich) and Luis Enrique (FC Barcelona),” Sampaoli said via the Chilean team’s official website on Monday.
Sampaoli thanked “the fans, players and coaching staff for making it possible to take a collective and ambitious idea to the playing field”. The coach from Argentina is now considered one of Chile’s best coaches after leading the team to their first ever international title with the Copa America 2015 back in July. He also led local side Universidad de Chile to win their first ever international prize in the Copa Sudamericana 2011, reports Xinhua.
“This award is not for me but for the players, coaching staff and directors who supported me. This gives me the possibility to represent a way of playing in a team that was valued by the whole world,” said 55-year-old Sampaoli. The winner will be announced during the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) Ballon d’Or 2015 gala which will take place on January 11, 2016.
The 2014 winner of World Coach of the Year was German Joaquim Low. He was awarded the title after winning the World Cup with Germany. Carlos Ancelotti (Real Madrid) came in second place and Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid) in third.