Parreira: Be realistic, please
Johannesburg - Carlos Alberto Parreira has urged the South African public not to inflate their expectations of Bafana Bafana at the Soccer World Cup.
The coach is aware that it is customary for the host nation to provide a good showing at the global showpiece, but also pointed out his side's standing in world football.
Bafana are placed 90th in FIFA's latest rankings, but that has not stopped the likes of President Jacob Zuma and SAFA boss Kirsten Nematandani from predicting that Aaron Mokoena and company will secure a place in the World Cup final.
Parreira knows this is highly unrealistic and warned the country's supporters to lower their expectations.
The Brazilian was speaking at a press conference after announcing his 29-man preliminary squad for the month-long tournament.
He reacted angrily when asked about his lack of achievement at World Cups - apart from his tenure at the helm of Brazil.
Aside from the Samba Boys, Parreira has yet to guide another nation past the first round of the football spectacle.
"I don't know if you have any idea what you are talking about," he said.
"With Kuwait (whom he guided at the 1982 World Cup), they only had 11 000 amateur players, and we won the Asian Cup for the first time, we reached the quarter-finals of the Olympics. Qualifying for the World Cup was a trophy in itself.
"With the Emirates (in 1990) it was the same ... I hope South Africa can be in the final, but what are our credentials at the moment to be in a World Cup final?
"Let's be very realistic. Brazil have played in 18 World Cups, have reached seven finals and won five times. (Even) they stayed 24 years without reaching the World Cup final.
"Let's not put pressure on our boys, my staff, our officials. We have to give our best, we have to fight for our country, we have to be proud of them, to create this spirit.
"(But) England won only one World Cup so far. That is the situation, the World Cup is very difficult," concluded Parreira.
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