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Engineer Verzeri, a passionate teacher who instills what he feels

Engineer Verzeri, a passionate teacher who instills what he feels

Only France, the fearsome opponent in Saturday's final, separates him from a title that would make his Uruguayan team be the most successful youth team from Uruguay. They would surpass Victor Pua's team that was runner-up in Malaysia in 1997. 

A spinal problem prevented him from pursuing a career as a footballer, after some initial attempts, so he turned his efforts in carving out an academic background, while at the same time never neglecting football.

Tactics, systems, strategies ... all this is a passion for the 'engineer' Verzeri. During this tournament he has tried to convey his knowledge to a united and responsive group. His kind of a football father and a teacher whose footballing lessons will serve his pupils in their future careers.

He is an extremely methodical and exhaustive coach who likes to study his opponents to perfection, to be fully aware of their strengths, weaknesses and their game alternatives to be able to find the best ways in which to cause them damage.

"We still don't know much but the teacher is going to explain in the next few days, like he always does. We will review what the good characteristics of France are and see how we can play," said attacker Gonzalo Bueno after the semifinal against Iraq.

One of the positive messages that Verzeri tries to always convey to his players is fair play, although this is a subject that he is routinely asked about by the international press as Uruguay is seen as a combative team.

"Passion is a feature of Uruguay football, but we also want to demonstrate the technical aspects that we can develop. Always, above all, we are good in the statistics of fair play," said Verzeri this Friday at the official press conference prior to the final.

After coaching several youth teams in his country and the national team of Oman, Verzeri assumed coaching duties of Racing Club of Montevideo in 2008, guiding them to the Copa Libertadores, and in 2010 moved on to Under-20 team of Uruguay .

Uruguay crashed out in the first stage of the 2011 U-20 World Cup in Colombia but at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, the same year, the team got the bronze medal.

He managed to qualify the team for the London Olympics, although there senior coach Oscar Tabarez took over.

After the first game (1-0 loss to Croatia) in this U-20 WC he earned harsh criticism on social media for not starting star player Nicolas Lopez. He has started every game since.

Verzeri,  who is also a sports marketing expert and yoga lover, weathered that small storm with elegance and now time has shown that his methods and his work with the national team will work as his team is on the verge of making history.

 

By Diego REINARES