Tuesday 22 January 2019, 08:38

Pizzi: My job with Saudi Arabia is done

  • Juan Antonio Pizzi steps down as Saudi Arabia head coach

  • Green Falcons knocked out of AFC Asian Cup Round of 16

  • Pizzi led Saudi Arabia at 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Juan Antonio Pizzi has announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia following the country’s exit from the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Pizzi, who led the Green Falcons at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, expressed his decision to step down after Saudi Arabia suffered a Round-of-16 defeat against Japan on Monday.

"I’m happy and grateful for my players, they did what I asked them to do. Of course, we did some mistakes but we will learn from them,” he said after the game.

"My job with the national team is done, nobody talked with me about renewing my contract. I still don’t know anything about my next challenge."

Born in Argentina, Pizzi represented Spain at international level and was part of La Roja’s France 1998 squad.

After winning the Copa America Centenario with Chile in 2016, Pizzi took charge of Saudi Arabia in 2017 and led his side to a victory over Mohamed Salah’s Egypt at Russia 2018.

The Green Falcons finished second in Group E at the Asian Cup before bowing out to Japan in the knockout stage; Takehiro Tomiyasu netting the only goal of their encounter.

"We must not forget that we played against one of the best teams in Asia, with most of their players participating in the European leagues," Pizzi said.

"We chose the best players who deserved to represent the team. I am satisfied with how they performed during the tournament and what they earnestly sought to apply in the games in terms of technical plans and strategies."