Who is Juan Antonio Pizzi? Argentinian Coach Will Take Saudi Arabia to 2018 World Cup

Argentinean Pizzi would represent Saudi Arabia at the World Cup draw in Moscow on Friday, they added.

Pizzi is the third coach to fill the position in the last three months after Bauza was hired to replace Bert van Marwijk, who qualified the country for its first World Cup finals since 2006.

Van Marwijk left the post after failing to agree a new contract with the Saudi federation while Bauza was fired last week after just five games in charge, including back-to-back losses against Bulgaria and Portugal.

Saudi Arabia has qualified for its fifth World Cup, with the country's best performance coming in its debut appearance at the finals in 1994 in the United States, when it reached the Round of 16.

The country has been eliminated in the group phase of the competition on each occasion since.

Juan Antonio Pizzi
Juan Antonio Pizzi at Monumental Stadium, Santiago, Chile, August 31. Alex Reyes / Getty

Pizzi was most recently in charge of Chile, who he took to the final of this year's Confederations Cup, but the 49-year-old resigned after failing to steer the country to the World Cup finals.

His career on the field lasted 15 years, beginning and ending at Rosario Central in his native Argentina. The peak of his career came from 1996 through 1998 when he played under Sir Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal at Barcelona.

Pizzi was part of the team that won the Copa del Rey and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1997, and then La Liga in 1998 before returning to Argentina to play for River Plate.

Juan Antonio Pizzi For Spain
Juan Antonio Pizzi, top row wearing number nine, in St Etienne, France, June 19, 1998. Pizzi represents Spain at the 1998 World Cup in France. Mark Sandten/Bongarts/Getty

He scored 11 times in 48 appearances at Barcelona, and though it may be the most prominent period of his career it was not the most prolific. Pizzi spent the majority of his career at Tenerife, where he scored 76 goals in 141 games.

Although born in Santa Fe, Argentina, Pizzi chose to represent Spain on the international stage, playing 22 times and scoring eight goals between 1994 and 1998. He was part of the squads for Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup in France.

The striker also played in the Spanish La Liga for Valencia, as well as in Portugal for Porto in 2000. He returned to Valencia in 2013, 20 years after joining as a player, to become the new manager but was sacked when the club was taken over by Peter Lim.

On Friday, he will discover which teams Saudi Arabia will face in Russia next year for the 2018 World Cup.