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Josef Martinez returning to Venezuela national team?

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New coach, new attitude

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer-Colombia at Venezuela Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Back on September 27th last year, Josef Martinez publicly announced that he would not answer calls for Venezuelan national team duty as long as Rafael Dudamel remained the coach. He cited “an increasingly deteriorating professional relationship” as the reason.

Dudamel didn’t last much longer in the position. He resigned on January 2nd, and is now the coach of Atlético Mineiro in Brazil, opening the door for Josef to return to the Vinotinto.

Venezuela didn’t waste any time in naming a successor. Yesterday the Venezuelan Football Federation appointed Jose Peseiro as the new coach. And apparently he in turn didn’t waste any time either in opening relations with the Atlanta star. Today Josef tweeted out this:

Grateful for the call of Professor José Peseiro. We had a very professional and sincere conversation. I am excited to start a new stage in the national team of Venezuela. - via Google Translate

That definitely suggests that Josef is at a minimum willing to consider suiting up under Peseiro’s leadership. Venezuela’s next scheduled games are World Cup qualifiers March 26th and 31st against Colombia and Paraguay respectively. Could we see Josef v. Miggy and Tito?

For his part, Jose Peseiro, who is Portuguese, has a long and well-traveled managerial career: since 1992 he has coached 18 teams. His most recent position was with Sporting CP in Portugal (his second stint with them), who fired him on November 1st, 2018.