Veteran Argentine coach José Pekerman was appointed Tuesday to take over the Venezuela national team, tasked with leading them to the 2026 World Cup.
"I know I'm in the right place. We have one idea in common: leave a mark," the 72-year-old Pekerman said during his presentation in Caracas.
"Welcome, José Néstor Pekerman. Pekerman is Vinotinto" declared a video broadcast on the screens of the room.
Venezuela are the only member of CONMEBOL never to have qualified for a World Cup. They are already out of the running for next year's tournament in Qatar with four qualifiers still to play, including a clash with Argentina.
"It is a day of joy for Venezuelan football," said the president of the Venezuelan Football Federation, Jorge Giménez, who said he had high hopes that the Argentine would be a catalyst for change, providing a "turning point" for the Vinotinto.
Pekerman coached Argentina to the 2006 World Cup, losing on penalties to hosts Germany in the quarter-finals. He led Colombia to the same stage of the 2014 World Cup and then to the last 16 in Russia. This is his first job in three years.
"We are going to leave our hearts, our souls out there, to carry this d team forward. We are all going to do our bit to make us better," said Pekerman, who promised "hard work" from his players.
He replaces Leo González, who was in charge on an interim basis after the resignation of Portuguese coach José Peseiro in August over unpaid wages.
Peseiro said Tuesday on Twitter that his debt had now been repaid.