The former coach of Argentina's national football team has been hired in hopes of leading the UAE to the World Cup.
Edgardo Bauza was officially presented on Thursday as the UAE's new national team manager, replacing Emirati Mahdi Ali, who resigned after a dramatic loss to Australia in March.
"Coaching a new team in the U.A.E. will be a new challenge," 59-year-old Bauza said, according to ESPN. "I am eager to be successful in the mission."
The UAE hasn't qualified for the World Cup since 1990, but the national team is still holding out hope to qualify for the international football tournament in 2018.
Bauza, who was fired from managing Argentina's team in April after three wins, two draws and three losses, has less than five weeks to read the UAE for a crucial qualifier against Thailand on June 13.
Then on Aug. 31, the UAE will face Saudi Arabia's Green Falcons. If Bauza manages to win these two matches, the UAE's match against Iraq on Sept. 5 could decide which nation moves on to the AFC's fourth-round playoff.
Before he started managing, Bauza played for several Argentinian football clubs and earned the nickname el patón or big footed.
Prior to leading Argentina's national team, Bauza worked with local South American clubs in Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil, achieving significant acclaim and success. He also served a brief stint with Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr in 2009.