Santiago: Claudio Borghi of Argentina was appointed Thursday as Chile's national team coach to replace countryman Marcelo Bielsa, who last year led the South Americans to their best World Cup finish since 1962.
Borghi, who quit three months ago as the coach of Argentine club Boca Juniors, is reported to have signed a contract worth about $1.5 million annually.
Bielsa resigned three months ago, ending a three-month saga over his future. Bielsa stepped down in a dispute with the leadership of Chilean football, but remains very popular after leading the country to the second round in its first World Cup since 1998.
"Today we begin the road to Brazil 2014," said Sergio Jadue, the new president of the Chilean football association.
Broghi played for 20 years and coached clubs in Chile, having the most success with popular club Colo Colo. But he may have trouble overshadowing Bielsa.
"This is a big responsibility," Borghi said of his appointment.
His contract comes into effect on March 9, but Borghi said he would start working immediately. And he sought to play down replacing Bielsa.
"Always after someone successful, someone else has to follow," Borghi said.
Borghi knows many of the Chilean players, having coached them during his club years in the country.
He will make his debut in a friendly on March 26 against Portugal. But his first big challenge will be this year's Copa America, the continental championship in which Brazil and Argentina are always the favorites.
Two other Argentines were also candidates for the job: former Argentina coach Jose Pekerman and Alejandro Sabella, who recently resigned at the coach of Argentine club Estudiantes.