Coach uses WhatsApp to guide Libertadores win

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Estudiantes Merida’s Argentinian coach Martin Brignani managed his team’s 3-2 home win over Alianza Lima in the Copa Libertadores group stages on Wednesday from more than 5,000 kilometres away.

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Brignani, who in May travelled to his home town of Mar del Plata after the COVID-19 pandemic suspending football, has been unable to return to Venezuela to coach the team based in the city of Merida, in the Andean region.

His assistant, Jose Torrealba, guided Estudiantes during the encounter at Merida’s Stadio Olimpico while Brignani sent him tactical messages using WhatsApp.

“I found out about our winning goal because my daughter, who was watching in another part of the house, got the images before I did,” Brignani said to Planeta 947.

“We agreed on the substitutions with my assistant who was confined in his home with COVID-19 and with my other assistant, who was there in the stadium.”

Brignani says he is hopeful of getting the authorisation needed to travel to Merida for his next Copa Liberadores group game against Uruguay outfit Nacional on Sept. 22.

“I’m doing all that I can to see if I can travel with Nacional’s squad,” he said. “We play against them on Tuesday in Venezuela. All the paperwork is being carried out.”