LA PAZ (Rahnuma) — Newly appointed Bolivia coach Eduardo Villegas said Monday that his goal is to help the team qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In his first comments to the media since officially replacing Venezuelan Cesar Farias at the weekend, Villegas said the CONMEBOL region’s perennial minnows would fight “to achieve important things”.
“It’s my desire and intention to make it to Qatar,” Villegas said in a statement published by the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF).
Bolivia have qualified for the World Cup on only three occasions: in 1930, 1950 and 1994. Their only goal in football’s showpiece tournament came in a 3-1 loss to Spain at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
Villegas is one of the most successful managers in Bolivia’s recent domestic football history, having won six first division titles with four clubs.
His most recent triumph came last year with unheralded San Jose, who clinched their fourth top-flight title despite grappling with financial problems.
The 54-year-old called on fans from Bolivia’s different regions to leave behind their traditional rivalries and unite behind the national team.
“We need to maintain a positive outlook, without discriminating because color, departments, teams … If we all support our national team, we can achieve important things.”
Foremost on Villegas’ mind will be the Copa America, to be played in Brazil from June 14 to July 7. Bolivia have been drawn in Group A alongside Brazil, Venezuela and Peru.