Chosen after the departure of Portuguese Jose Peseiro for non-payment, Leonardo Gonzalez put an end to his position as interim coach of Venezuela. Once he faces Brazil, Ecuador and Chile in the World Cup qualifiers, he is only ready to continue as the “Official Manager”.
“If he’s like the official coach, yes, but it’s very difficult to be a temporary for a lot of games,” Gonzalez, 49, said in an interview with AFP, when asked about his desire to continue beyond the October date in the south. America’s qualifiers towards the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
He was set in principle only for the previous tripartite appointment, in September, while the president of the Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF), Jorge Jimenez, claimed he was negotiating with the coach of the “international hierarchy”. The press reported, among other things, Argentine Jose Pekerman.
Although he received defeats against Argentina (1-3), Peru (1-0) and Paraguay (2-1), he repeats.
Venezuela is at the bottom of the table with four points out of a possible 27, vacated at the mid-calendar end.
“If maybe they give me the opportunity to be the coach of the national team and I can assume that the planning for the 2026 World Cup and the replacements will come, then the renewals will come (…). In this way (temporarily) it is very difficult to make decisions,” explained Gonzalez, coach of Deportivo Lara in the local league. Because decisions must be made by whoever comes.
Starting to look towards US/Mexico/Canada 2026 seems to make sense, with Qatar 2022 turning into an illusion.
For now, the temporary says he is focused on “today”: “We are not thinking about 2022 or 2026. It was necessary to take this position, it was necessary to put bullets in his chest.”
Venezuela hosts Brazil on Thursday and Ecuador on Sunday to conclude the tripartite rendezvous with a visit to Chile.
It was important for him to arrive, Rondon.
Once again, injuries have hit Venezuela, with fewer footballers like Salomon Rondon (Everton, England), Joseph Martinez (Atlanta United, USA) or Yangel Herrera (Espanol, Spain).
“It was important for Suleiman to arrive, because he was playing with his team in an important league, and unfortunately he could not attend. Joseph suffered a lot from discomfort in his right knee (in the previous triple appointment) and preferred to recover (with his team), ”regrets Gonzalez.
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has reported that Rondon, Venotento’s all-time leading scorer with 31 goals, is absent after Everton requested his release to “avoid quarantine” upon his return amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He added that Martinez withdrew from the call due to “physical discomfort” despite playing for Atlanta United at the weekend.
The good news is the return of winger Darwin Matches (Granada, Spain), who missed this year’s Copa America due to injury and the last three World Cup matches.
“He plays at an important level, in an important league (…). We were able to talk and he showed 100% willingness to come,” he celebrates.
– ‘Option set’ –
Speaking of news, the comeback of Adalberto Peñaranda (Las Palmas, Spain), one of the generation that gave Venezuela an unprecedented Under-20 World runner-up in 2017. He was directed by Gonzalez, when the player was a teenager, in place of Deportivo La Guaira.
“We know the potential you have,” he said of the 24-year-old Albinaranda. “Somehow he was staying on the road due to some circumstances, but he’s a boy with great abilities (…). He’s curable.”
From that trash came the usual pieces of current Vinotinto such as Wuilker Faríñez, Herrera or Yeverson Soteldo.
Gonzalez has brought in other new faces, among them Brian Hurtado, the striker who has scored 10 goals this year with Chile Cobrisal.
“The idea is to leave more than one closed group of the same 11, the same summoner, a wider range of options.”
© 2021 AFP