Nearly half of the World Cup teams have foreign-born managers

Posted by Francisco De Laurentiis, ESPN.com.br

Inaldo Perez/LatinContent/Getty ImagesArgentine Jose Pekerman is at the helm of Colombia, one of the top seeds in World Cup 2014.

SAO PAULO -- The World Cup 2014 in Brazil may see a new record for foreign managers if there are no firings before the start of the tournament in June. At the moment, 15 of the 32 national teams to have qualified are headed up by a foreigner.

The most emblematic cases are those of Jose Pekerman and Jorge Sampaoli, who are doing a great job with Colombia and Chile, respectively. The Italian Alberto Zaccheroni and the German Ottmar Hitzfeld, who coach Japan and Switzerland, respectively, also stand out.

Pekerman has coached the Colombian team since 2012. Always using attacking formations, he transformed Colombia into a goal-scoring team, leading it to second place in South American qualifying and a high seed in the Brazilian World Cup.

Sampaoli, who stood out by making Universidad de Chile a major team in the Libertadores, took the reins of Chile's national team in 2012. Another proponent of attacking formations, he led his team to third place in the qualifiers, and has recently beaten strong opponents such as England.

Zaccheroni has coached Japan since 2010. His long-term work has yielded fruit, making Japan a team to be feared. Having easily achieved Asian qualification, the objective now is to lead the Japanese team past the round of 16 for the first time in their history.

Hitzfeld, meanwhile, has coached Switzerland since 2008, and transformed it into a balanced team with a strong defense and with skilled young players, such as Xherdan Shaqiri, from Bayern Munich.

Aside from these four, other foreign coaches are achieving success with national teams, such as Greece’s coach, the Portuguese Fernando Santos; Russia’s coach, the Italian Fabio Capello; Ivory Coast's coach, the Frenchman Sabri Lamouchi; and Germany's Jurgen Klinsmann, coach of the United States.

The previous record was 14 foreign coaches, set at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Interestingly, however, all the teams that have previously won the World Cup were headed up by a coach of their nationality.

Colombia and Germany have the greatest number of coaches managing World Cup teams. The United States, Cameroon and Switzerland are led by Germans; Costa Rica, Honduras and Ecuador are led by Colombians.

That all foreign-born national team coaches are from countries that qualified for the 2014 World Cup is also of interest. That means that the chances of managers facing their native countries during the World Cup are high.

Check the list of foreign coaches:
Japan: Alberto Zaccheroni (Italy)
Australia: Ange Postecoglou (Greece, naturalized Australian)
Iran: Carlos Queiroz (Portugal)
Costa Rica: Jorge Luis Pinto (Colombia)
United States: Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany)
Switzerland: Ottmar Hitzfeld (Germany)
Colombia: Jose Pekerman (Argentina)
Russia: Fabio Capello (Italy)
Chile: Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina)
Ecuador: Reinaldo Rueda (Colombia)
Honduras: Luis Fernando Suarez (Colombia)
Ivory Coast: Sabri Lamouchi (France)
Cameroon: Volker Finke (Germany)
Algeria: Vahid Halilhodzic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Greece: Fernando Santos (Portugal)

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