Who is Jorge Sampaoli?

It’s been a while since we have been in this position. Most team’s in Spain can’t say that they have had the luxury of having the same manager for 3 and a half seasons. That run has now ended with Emery officially announcing his departure from the club. On Monday, Sevilla announced Emery’s successor which has lost some of its glamour because of the length of time it took Emery to resign. So we have our guy. He is a 56 year old Argentine and former Chile national team manager, Jorge Sampaoli. Our guest writer, Ethan Reith was kind enough to put together this summary for us. Please welcome Ethan to Monchi’s Men and let us know what you think about the new man in charge in the comments.

Jorge Sampaoli’s career began in Peru with Club Juan Aurich and he stayed in Peru until mid-2007 where he managed various different teams such as Sport Boys Callao, Coronel Bolognesi and Sporting Cristal. However, it was at Coronel Bolognesi where Sampaoli really first began to make his name as a manager. Here, his team qualified for the preliminary rounds of the Copa Sudimericana only to be knocked out by a strong Colo-Colo side that went on to finish as Runners-up. He then took Bolo to 3rd in their Apertura(national league) before going on to manage Sporting Cristal for four months.

After leaving Peru, he joined Chilean team O’Higgins in December 2007 who he improved significantly, winning 10 of 19 games in the Apertura and finishing 3rd. However in the next season he finished 8th and after losing 6-1 to Unión Española, Sampaoli was sacked. He then moved to Ecuador in 2010 joining Emelec in a short spell which lasted one successful season where he qualified for the 2010 Copa Sudimericana and the 2011 Copa Libertadores preliminary stages and earned a move to Chilean giants Universidad de Chile.

It was at Universidad de Chile where Sampaoli has had his biggest success as a manager. In his first season he won the Apertura, Clausura and the Copa Sudimericana with firing strikers such as current Hoffenheim player Eduardo Vargas and not long after winning next seasons Apertura, the Chilean National team came calling for his services and this is where he has had his biggest success to date as a manager.

Sampaoli was appointed as the new manager of Chile in November 2012 after consecutive defeats, bad performances and a slightly disappointing Copa America where they were eliminated by Venuzuela in the quarter finals. Sampaoli had a job of changing the team and that was done in qualifying as he turned the team around from resounding defeats in qualifying to Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia to finish in 3rd place in behind only Argentina and Colombia. When the 2014 World Cup finally started, it was Sampaoli’s Chile side who caused arguably the biggest upset of the tournament defeating the Champions Spain and eliminating them in just the Group Stages and also nearly knocking out the hosts Brazil in the next round before losing painfully in penalties.

The next international tournament for Sampaoli’s Chile was at the Copa America in 2015. In their first game they defeated Ecuador 2-0 followed by a 3-3 draw against Mexico. Chile went on to top the group with a huge 5-0 win against Bolivia. After that, they contested the quarter final against Uruguay with a goal from Chile’s Mauricio Isla proving to be the difference. In the semi-final Chile faced Peru for the chance to make their first final in 28 years and won 2-1 on Eduardo Varga’s brace. The final saw Sampoli’s Chile match up against the tournament favorite, Argentina, on Chile soil. The match ended in a goalless draw; however, Chile pulled it out in PKs to win their first ever Copa America.
Sampaoli’s Chile picked up various tournament awards such as Eduardo Vargas winning the golden boot with four goals and playmaker Jorge Valdivia having the tournaments most assists withthree.

Sampaoli’s victory at the Copa America earned him a well deserved South American Coach of the year award. He also was a final three nominee for FIFA World coach of the year.

Now he move’s on to his next challenge, following in Unai Emery’s footsteps at Sevilla FC. The challenge is enormous as the 56 year old coach finds himself cemented in the group stages of the Champion’s League and facing huge expectations for a top four finish in La Liga. What kind of tactics will he employ? Will we see some of his former players joining him in Sevilla such as Isla? There are lots of questions to be answered. Hopefully he can continue to improve Sevilla and possibly even surpass our Legend Emery.