Appointed Chile coach yesterday, the Argentinian Claudio Borghi is nothing if not his own man. Witty, blindingly honest and hardworking, the former attacking midfielder was once touted as the next Diego Maradona, but enjoyed most success in Chile, first as a player and then as a coach. Now, as Borghi takes the helm of La Roja, FIFA.com brings you some of the key stats from his distinguished career.
- Claudio Borghi’s age, making him the third youngest national team coach in South America. Born on 28 September 1964, the Argentinian is only senior to Gustavo Quinteros (15 February 1965) and Cesar Farias (7 March 1973), the coaches of Bolivia and Venezuela respectively.
- Borghi is the 18th foreigner and fourth Argentinian to coach Chile, Jose Salerno, Alejandro Scopelli and Marcelo Bielsa being the three former supremos from across the border.
- The number of clubs Borghi ran out for during his 18-year playing career. In addition to spells with homeland sides Argentinos Juniors, River Plate, Independiente, Union de Santa Fe, Huracan and Platense, the nomadic midfielder played for Italian sides AC Milan and Como, Swiss outfit Neuchatel, Brazilian giants Flamengo, Chilean clubs Colo Colo, O’Higgins, Audax Italiano and Wanderers, as well as Correcaminos of Mexico. “I was always a footballing wanderer. I used to enjoy moving on and getting to know new places. If someone offered me the chance to live in Switzerland or Brazil, I always said yes,” he said recently.
- The number of major titles Borghi won: eight as a player and five as a coach. In the former category, four came with Argentinos Juniors, two with Colo Colo, one with Flamengo. Most famously though, he was part of the Argentina team that won the 1986 FIFA World Cup™ in Mexico. From the bench, he guided Colo Colo to an unprecedented four straight league championships, before steering another former club, Argentinos Juniors, to the Clausura title last year.
- The number of siblings with whom Borghi grew up in Castelar, a district in the western suburbs of Buenos Aires. “We never went hungry, but the food didn’t go much beyond soups, stews, boiled cornmeal, and sandwiches with mate”, recalls El Bichi, who lost his father to a heart attack when he was just ten.
- The number of clubs he has coached: Audax Italiano, Colo Colo, Independiente, Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors. His most successful spell was with Colo Colo, whom he led to 83 wins, 27 draws and 27 defeats in 137 games.
- The shirt number he used at Mexico 1986 – rather unusual for an attacking midfielder. During that victorious campaign, Borghi accumulated 119 minutes of playing time from the group games against Bulgaria and Italy. All told, he won nine caps with La Albiceleste, scoring once.
- Borghi is a former winner of the Americas’ Coach of the Year award given by the Uruguayan daily El Pais. He took the accolade in 2006 after winning the opening and closing league titles with Colo Colo, beating off competition from the likes of Alfio Basile, Abel Braga, Luis Suarez and Diego Simeone.