Three former defenders, Juan Reynoso, Heimir Hallgrimsson and Slaven Bilic, are back in the dugout in the next phase of their career.
Juan Reynoso, the former Peru skipper back in 1990s, has been appointed to take charge of Peru national team to replace Ricardo Gareca. The Argentine boss was no longer at the helm of Renato Tapia and Co after their failure to seal one ticket to Qatar last summer. They were beaten on penalties by Australia. Compared to Gareca, Reynoso’s experience as a manager has been relatively ordinary. He did win the top flight league trophy for the local side, Bolognesi in 2007 and FBC Melgar in 2015, plus one Mexican top tier league title for Cruz Azul in 2021.
Reynoso was more famous as a player. Despite never playing in the world cup finals and in European leagues, he had a long service for Peru from 1986 to 2000. The former Alianza de Lima, Cruz Azul and Necaxa man was a member of the squad in Copa America 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1999 and helped his country to reach quarter finals in 1993 and 1999 editions. Both lost to Mexico. He also brought Peru to the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup semi final. Overall, the 52-year old boss made 84 appearances in the international fixtures and scored five goals.
Meanwhile, Heimir Hallgrimsson has been surprisingly named to be the head coach of Jamaica. The former Iceland boss is set to take up a huge task, leading Reggae Boyz to world cup final round in USA-Canada-Mexico 2026. Hallgrimsson released a statement to the press regarding his new position:
“I’m honoured and I’m grateful, but most of all excited for this opportunity. My first impression of Jamaica is a very positive one. We have a year until we start the play-offs or the group stage for the World Cup, so we have to start quickly to try to find and stabilise the Jamaican national team.The second job is assisting in improving football locally here in Jamaica, in coaching education and working with elite players, and we are happy to be a part of this and assist in that."
The 55-year old manager had stolen the spotlight during his time at the helm of Iceland due to his success in leading Gylfi Sigurdsson and Co to two major international tournaments, EURO 2016 and World Cup 2018. In the former competition, Hallgrimsson managed to guide them to go through the quarterfinals after eliminating England in the round of 16. Previously, at the group stage, they were able to finish second on the final standings above Portugal. Unfortunately, Iceland failed to replicate their impressive form in the latter tournament. Their best result was holding Messi and Argentina in a 1-1 draw at the opener. Sadly, they were defeated by Nigeria and Croatia afterwards. Such led to Hallgrimsson’s resignation.
He then moved to Middle East afterwards by signing for Qatar’s Al-Arabi. However, his spells there were barely memorable as the club could only finish on the sixth and seventh on the table. This part-time dentist boss was unable to win any silverware for them.
Last but not least, the former Croatia, West Ham and West Bromwich boss, Slaven Bilic, is set to be back in England soil. The former centre back has taken over the post in the EFL Championship club, Watford, as Rob Edwards’s successor. He has had various stints several countries in the world such as Russia (with Lokomotiv Moscow), Turkey (Besiktas), Saudi Arabia (Al-Ittihad) and China (Beijing Guoan) besides taking charge of Vatreni and two Premier League clubs. His best result was leading Croatia to quarter finals in EURO 2008, guiding West Ham to finish seventh in 2015/16 season and bringing West Bromwich back to Premier League in 2020.