Brilliant, bombastic Bielsa can cap career with Copa América triumph

Uruguay opened their campaign with a 3-1 over Panama and the expectation is that they’ll push Argentina for a record-breaking 16th title

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Marcelo Bielsa and Uruguay feel like the perfect fit. A maverick manager for a talent-laden team. Both are odd, and definitely outliers, but in an endearing and captivating way that makes them beloved by soccer hipsters.

With a population of just over 3 million, surely Uruguay shouldn’t be this good. Seated on a cooler during a match or actually calling up a fan after promising him he’d check to see if security would allow him to open one of Uruguay’s Copa América training sessions, surely Bielsa shouldn’t actually work as a manager.

There’s something else Bielsa and Uruguay have in common: even their biggest backers have to admit that it has been too long since they actually lifted a trophy. Now, Bielsa’s Uruguay are hoping for a first Copa América title since they won the trophy on Argentinian soil in 2011 – a feat that would break the deadlock with La Albiceleste for most titles at the tournament.

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