Former Argentina striker Ricardo Gareca appointed coach of Peru's national team
Lima, March 3 (IANS) Former Argentina international forward Ricardo Gareca has been appointed coach of Peru's national team. The 57-year-old replaces Uruguayan Pablo Bengoechea, who was sacked in December after a poor run, reports Xinhua.
"It's an honour. I am very happy. It's the most important challenge of my life," Gareca said in a statement on Monday. "To be in charge of a country that I like, that has treated me well, that I have had the possibility to get to know, is an enormous responsibility."
Gareca's last coaching job was a spell in charge of Brazil's Palmeiras, where he was axed in September after just four months in the role. His objective will be to guide Peru to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1982. The team finished seventh in the South American qualifying zone standings for the 2014 World Cup.
His first match in charge will be a friendly against Venezuela in Miami on March 31. The first competitive fixture will be against Brazil in the Copa America on June 14.
"I accept this job knowing that a tough challenge awaits, but nothing is impossible when you believe in yourself. I believe in Peruvian players and that's why I accepted the job,” Gareca said.