Marcelo Bielsa’s feats — leading Chile’s national team to the third spot in the World Cup qualifiers and just one win from a ticket to South Africa 2010 — have turned him into one of Chile’s most beloved figures. Men say he should run for president; women rank the introverted coach a sex symbol.
Reuters Soccer Blog
Europe’s 53 national teams have been split into nine groups with the winners of each qualifying directly for South Africa. The best eight runners-up will play off among themselves over two legs next month for the remaining four slots. The runner-up with the worst record will miss out on a playoff berth entirely.
Spain’s qualification for next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa has brought a welcome distraction to a nation suffering more than most of its European peers from the economic crisis.