Veteran Tabarez signs new deal as Uruguay coach

FILE PHOTO: Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez at Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia - June 30, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Oscar Tabarez has signed a new four-year deal as Uruguay coach that will extend his record as the world's most experienced national manager, the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) said on Friday.

"It will be Tabarez' fifth period in charge of the Uruguayan national team," the AUF said in a statement. "Tabarez has coached the team in 185 matches, which means he holds the record of coaching the most matches with the same national team."

After a short stint in charge between 1988 and 1990, the Uruguayan took over again in 2006 and has led the tiny South American nation ever since.

He is the only man to lead his country at four World Cups, the AUF said.

Tabarez, who is now 71 and has difficulty walking, is a hugely respected figure in Uruguay. Known as "The Maestro" he took Uruguay to the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup and won the 2011 Copa America.

They were knocked out the 2018 World Cup in July by eventual winners France at the quarter-final stage.

His next games will be friendlies against South Korea on Oct. 12 and Japan on Oct. 16.

Interim coach Fabian Coito led Uruguay to a 4-1 win over Mexico earlier this month while contract negotiations with Tabarez took place.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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