Cree en grande.

Bauza, a trainer with a winning attitude and Copa Libertadores specialist

Bauza, a trainer with a winning attitude and Copa Libertadores specialist

Edgardo 'Patón' Bauza, the Argentinean trainer who took San Lorenzo to the top, as he had done back in 2008 with Ecuador's Liga de Quito, passed on his winning attitude and managed to erase all past frustrations of the "Ciclón" in the Copa Libertadores de América.

This former footballer was born 56 years ago in Granadero Baigorria, a town next to Rosario, which is about 310 km north of Buenos Aires.  This town produced players to the likes of Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Angel Di María, as well as amazing coaches like Marcelo Bielsa and Gerardo Martino.

Bauza, who played most of his career in Rosario Central, the archrival of Newell's Old Boys, looks to be a possible choice as coach of Paraguay, whose best phases took place under trainer Martino, the fiery trainer of Argentina.

Of very strong character, 'Paton' is on record as the only coach to have won the Copa Libertadores with two teams from different countries. 

On Wednesday he added the Copa obtained with San Lorenzo to the history books, which already included the continental title in 2008 with Liga de Quito. He was the trainer there from 2006 to 2008 and from 2010 to 2013 before taking over the San Lorenzo team.

Other coaches have obtained the Copa with different clubs but always from the same country, like Argentinean Carlos Bianchi (Velez and Boca) and Brazilians Luiz Felipe Scolari (Gremio and Palmeiras) and Paulo Autuori (Cruzeiro and Sao Paulo).

Bauza is considered a straight forward trainer with a winning attitude and arrived to the "Ciclón" in 2013 with the very difficult task of replacing Juan Antonio Pizzi.

"I want to send greetings to Juan Antonio, who was the amazing coach that allowed us to play this Copa," said Bauza after the 1-0 win over Nacional of Paraguay.

In these eight months he quickly imposed his stamp to give the team a profile of greater strength and less offensive voracity than Pizzi. 

Before long, he was able to impose his capacity as a trainer to a large group of players without international experience.

Born into a poor family, as a boy he would see his father playing on the field and grew up alongside a very strict mother who would not allow him to leave school.

- Faith and hard work for the team of the Pope -

Socialist sympathizer, Bauza admitted in an interview "not being a funny guy and having a hard line when it comes to training."

With no friends in football, this admirer of Alejandro Sabella, the outgoing coach of the 'Albiceleste', admits that he had problems putting "feelings aside" when putting together the team.

An idol at Central, where he started as a coach (1998/2001), the tone changed when he participated in 2000 putting together a CD as a singer with songs dedicated to his beloved club, organized by musician Adrian Abonizio, along with other artists. 

"You have no idea how hard it was for them to get me to sing," he confessed about his experience as a performer of the song in his honor, titled "Paton y conductor." 

The song is a declaration of principles: "Faith and work are my favorite inspirations," says the coach.

After Central, he led Velez (2001/2002) and Colon (2002/2003), Sporting Cristal of Peru (2004-2005), then returned to Colon (2005-2006) before going to Liga de Quito of Ecuador (2006-2008).

He also led Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia in 2009 and returned to Liga de Quito (2010-2013) before coming to San Lorenzo.


Text and photo: AFP