Cool Carlos Parreira admits: ‘I’m burning inside’

2010-06-16 00:00

BAFANA Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has revealed that he does feel the nerves of coaching the South African team as the World Cup hosts, despite his calm exterior.

The South Africans play Uruguay tonight in a match that could make history if Bafana win it, because it would see the unfancied, lowest-ever ranked host nation (83rd) all but qualify for the second round, and against the expectations of most.

Parreira has impressed foreign journalists with his clear, relaxed manner in press conferences and interviews, and was asked yesterday how he remains so calm.

“This morning I woke up at 5 am,” the coach replied. “There is something that can tell you.

“I am not stressed, I am not panicking. But there is anxiety, of course there is.

“The whole country is behind us and expects us to deliver.

“But I have never said to my players, ‘You have to go to the next round’.

“I have told them, ‘You have to believe in yourselves and in the work you have done, and in the quality you have as you proved in the second half [against Mexico], and then things will happen’.

“But I am not [calm]. Inside I’m burning.”

The coach was asked what Bafana’s opinion is about the vuvuzela and the much-criticised Adidas Jabulani official match ball.

“We love both — the vuvuzela and the ball,” Parreira said. “We love the vuvuzelas; it’s part of our culture, it doesn’t disturb us …

“And the ball … the technology is there, everything is there.

“We have had no complaints and we have been training with this ball since the beginning of March.”

Tonight’s match takes place on Youth Day, which commemorates the 1976 Soweto uprising.

Captain Aaron Mokoena said: “We all know tomorrow is a monstrous day for South Africans, more especially for the youth.

“It’s absolutely a day that all South Africans remember and it would be really good to win the game on that day.”

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