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Hector Cuper Takes Over as Uzbek Head Coach

Hector CuperHector Cuper

Former Valencia and Egypt boss Hector Cuper was introduced as Uzbekistan’s new football coach Monday as the ex-Soviet country sets its sights on a first-ever World Cup qualification.

Cuper, 62, whose most recent job was with the Egyptian national team, told journalists in the capital Tashkent that Uzbekistan can be “a strong team in Asia,” AFP wrote.

His contract with the “White Wolves,” as Uzbekistan’s national team is known, runs three years with the possibility of a one-year extension which would take him beyond the 2022 World Cup in Qatar if triggered.

Having spent his entire playing career in his native Argentina, Cuper’s first managerial job in Europe saw him take Mallorca to the finals of the Spanish Copa del Rey and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in consecutive seasons, losing both.

He is best remembered for his time at Spanish giant Valencia in 1999-2001, when his team twice ended up the losing side in the final of the UEFA Champions League.

He also managed another Spanish outfit Real Betis along with Italy’s top flight sides Inter Milan and Parma, while his career in international management has seen him manage Georgia and Egypt.

The latter crashed out at the group stage at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

Uzbekistan, which won the 1994 edition of the Asian Games and reached the Asian Cup semifinals in 2011, has yet to reach the World Cup.

 

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