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Uruguay scored a beautifully well-worked team goal that had Marcelo Bielsa’s fingerprints all over it in their 3-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Chile.

Almost 18 months have passed since Bielsa was sacked by Leeds United. In that time he’s reportedly held talks with Everton, Bournemouth, Bolivia, Mexico and a return to old flame Athletic Bilbao. But for one reason or another, it wasn’t until Uruguay that the Argentinian tactician put pen to paper on his next big project.

Immediately, the fit just looks right. With long-serving coach Oscar Washington Tabarez out of the frame and era-defining, all-time top scorers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani winding down their careers, now is the time for a new cycle.

There’s arguably no better coach for a new dawn. Just ask Chile, who had their golden generation brought through by Bielsa. He laid the foundations for their greatest-ever, back-to-back Copa America-winning sides.

Chile now find themselves at the end of that cycle, with little coming through to replace those all-time greats like Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. They failed to make it to the last World Cup and came into this new qualification campaign off the back of disastrous form.

How Chile fans might have looked over at the opposition bench and sighed at what they once had and could desperately do with once again.

Both the scoreline and nature of Uruguay’s performance was reminiscent of Bielsa’s last great restoration project at Leeds. Their Championship opening weekend victory over Stoke City back in 2018 is a match that signalled a new era and has gone down in Leeds folklore as a result. Looking back, it can be seen as the beginning of one the most joyful chapters in the club’s recent history.

The quick and intricate interplay of their opener against Chile, finished off by River Plate attacker Nicolas de la Cruz, was an early signal that Uruguay’s next chapter is going to be a lot of fun.

As anyone who’s accustomed to Bielsa’s media appearances will attest, he’s not one to take credit.

“It is not something that we have worked on,” the manager responded in his post-match press conference when asked about the work in transitions.

“That has to do with the style of the players and their qualities. In reality, the training was only one day, so even though we spent more days together, due to travel, rest needs, after the weekend game at their clubs, we were only able to train one day then. Nothing the team showed was a product of the work’s influence”.

To be fair, he’s probably not just being humble there and has a point. International football is a different beast and he’s barely had any time to drill these players on his uniquely intense brand of football.

But if Uruguay are producing this kind of football after just one Bielsa training session, imagine what they’ll be like come the Copa America next summer or the 2026 World Cup.

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez failed to get on the scoresheet but he played a big role in the win, providing two assists, including for their supremely sexy opening goal.

Before he’d even had a chance to work with Bielsa, Nunez credited the 68-year-old’s influence after his incredible late brace for Liverpool against Newcastle last month.

“(Bielsa) showed me some of my matches, he corrected some things I’d done. For example, there’s a play where all of the opposition team are back, (where he says),” Nunez said.

“Don’t run in front of the second centre-back, run in behind”. So that the centre-back loses me.”

Nunez now looks set to spearhead the new Bielsa era after the coach has opted to look to a future without Suarez and Cavani.

Bielsa coaching Nunez? That sounds like glorious chaos to us. Uruguay are going to be appointment viewing.

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