Parreira open to a return to SA

2009-10-21 00:00

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is “willing to evaluate” a return to South Africa to lead the host team in the 2010 World Cup.

“There is a possibility that there may be an invitation, and I would be willing to evaluate it, if it becomes concrete,” Parreira told the Brazilian television channel GloboNews in an interview on Monday.

Parreira’s admission comes in the wake of the agreement between the SA Football Asscociation and Joel Santana for Santana to stand down as Bafana Bafana coach following a string of poor results. Reports yesterday were that Santana received a R4,2 million payout package as part of his exit deal.

In the interim, assistants Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane will act as caretaker-coaches.

Parreira stepped down as South Africa’s coach last year for personal reasons due to the ill health of his wife, who had cancer, and suggested Santana as a replacement.

Parreira stressed that Safa have not contacted him yet, but he made it clear that he would be glad to take part in his eighth World Cup, this time with Bafana.

The man who led Brazil to the World Cup trophy in 1994 and to a resounding failure in 2006 thinks Leal’s stay with the South African team indicates that Safa would like to remain with “the Brazilian school” of coaches.

He said he was sorry about Santana’s exit, following a string of eight defeats from nine games.

“It was not quite a surprise, because Joel had been under very great pressure. Eight defeats in nine matches are really a lot, but you have to take into account that South Africa lost to teams like Brazil, Germany, Spain, Serbia — these are perfectly acceptable results,” he said.

“There is probably another reason (for Santana’s exit), which we do not yet know.”

Parreira said he had spoken Monday to Santana, who was “surprised but calm.”

The veteran Parreira stressed that his own exit from the Bafana coaching job was not due to professional reasons or criticism about his high pay.

“When I accepted the invitation of the South African federation (in 2006), I did not do it for the pay but for the wish to lead the host country in a World Cup,” he said. “I was planning to stay for four years, but I had to leave the job for family reasons.”

For Parreira, the main challenge for South Africa’s incoming coach will be to recover players’ confidence in the wake of recent poor results.

“The coach that comes in will have to break the barrier of low self-esteem among players after eight defeats. To do that, he will have to bring back and emphasise the importance of the work that was done for the Confederations Cup (in June), in which they had the support of the whole country,” he said.

Parreira noted that before his own arrival in 2006, South Africa had not been playing other national teams for preparation, which limited their opportunities to be challenged and improve.

“I fought to have them play strong teams. Now, when the World Cup comes, we will already have played the best in the world,” he said.

However, the coach admitted that the remaining time before the start of the World Cup in June is not enough to solve the team’s main problem.

“The greatest difficulty for South African football is the lack of goal– scorers,” he said.

“And you cannot find a goalscorer in a few months.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.