• I was and still am in awe of how Marcelo Bielsa works and trains – but I don’t want to become his clone

Belgian Division 1A football club K. Beerschot V.A. headed to Spain for a winter training camp last week, staying at the 4*Campoamor Golf Club.

The squad included new signing Dante Rigo, 23, who signed a contract until the end of this season, with an option for another year.

Rigo, who played for PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Premier Division, joined the training sessions in Spain and met his new team mates.

Central midfielder Rigo was a member of Lierse’s Youth Academy until 2007, joining the PSV Academy at the Herdgang in Eindhoven, where he made the breakthrough to Jong PSV and the first team squad.

Dante Rigo, former PSV Eindhoven central midfielder at Spain training camp.

On loan at ADO Den Haag last season, Rigo has made over 100 appearances in the Dutch Premier and First Divisions.

The Belgian youth international was a member of the U17 squad, featuring in both the European and World Cup Finals. In 2015 he won the bronze medal with Belgium after beating Mexico in the 3rd/4th place play-off final.

“I strongly believe Dante will be an asset to Beerschot’s midfield in the coming months”, said technical manager Sander Van Praet.

“We were looking for a young Belgian in that position and he fits the bill perfectly,” he added.

Following the departure of Peter Maes, Javier Torrente has arrived at the club as interim coach until the end of the season.

Argentina born Torrente, 52, an admirer of Marcelo Bielsa when they worked together with the Argentinian national team and Olympique Marseille, brings in assistants Greg Vanderidt, Frank Magerman and brother Diego (video analyst) who all join the club in a bid to save Beerschot from relegation.

“This is a golden opportunity for me. Becoming a head coach in Europe has always been my dream and lifelong ambition,” said Torrente.

“So when Beerschot contacted me I was very flattered and rushed to the negotiation table where we quickly reached an agreement,” he said.

“With just one draw and seven defeats in eight games and being six points adrift in team in the table this is going to be a hell of a challenge.

Javier Torrente assistant coach to Marcelo Bielsa at Vélez Sársfield, Espanyol, Argentina and Olympique de Marseille.

“But I thrive on challenges like that. Football is my passion and my life. I have never been more motivated and focused than I am now. I want to start as soon as possible to turn it around,” said Torrente.

“As soon as it came clear we would reach an agreement I started looking up facts and figures about Beerschot.

“I immediately found out Beerschot is a traditional club in Belgium, with an impressive honours’ list. The way they fought their way back to the top since 2013 is an incredible achievement.

“I also learned about their exceptional season last year with that successful start and then sliding back.

“I want to revive the club as quickly as possible, with my vision and the kind of football in which players and supporters have to believe in.

“I know the league here is physically tough and tactical challenging. Belgium has a good name internationally, thanks to their national team. “The Red Devils are number one in the FIFA ranking for a reason. It proves training methods are on a high standard over here.

“I am looking forward to playing my part in this new football culture by performing well with Beerschot,” said Torrente.

“There will be lots of effort, fast changeovers and ball recovery. With a clear tactical concept, temperament and attacking dynamics.

“I was, and still am, in awe of how Marcelo Bielsa works and trains, but I don’t want to become his clone.

“I also want to implement my views, adapted to the players I have in my squad. At the moment the main thing is to restore confidence in the group.

“This has to become a positive story. We have to change course with lots of passion and battle,” added Torrente.

“Our supporters have a big and important role to play in the reconstruction of the team. “Being positive and get behind the team, even in difficult situations, must now be their top priority.

“We have a young quad and we need to grow and blossom. I will work my socks off to turn this round. With the unconditional help of our supporters it will make the job easier,” he said.

“A handful of players speak Spanish, that will be a big help. I understand and speak a bit of French and English. And on top of that my assistant Greg Vanderidt is fluent in Spanish. “He will be the perfect interpreter, when necessary. But you also know ‘football language’ is universal. Don’t worry, my players will understand me and quickly adapt to what I want them to do,” said Torrente.

“Remaining in the division is the big challenge and objective. I will try to lay the foundation of Beerschot’s reconstruction at the same time. And recreate the club’s positive image. With my approach of strict principles and hard work,” added Torrente.