Parreira: Money not an issue
Johannesburg - Money would not motivate Bafana Bafana to succeed at the Soccer World Cup finals on home soil in June, but commitment, pride and the desire to succeed should drive the national side at next month’s global showpiece.
Speaking to the media after his Monday training session at Milpark, national head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, stressed that financial incentives were not part of his or his players' game plan.
“This is not about money. We are playing in front of our own fans and the players will be motivated by their pride and determination to do well -not by money.”
Parreira said he was happy to play Thailand at Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium on Sunday (15:30) and stressed the Thais would be a good side to begin putting the final touches to his preparations.
But the Brazilian-born coach is still hoping to add Argentina to his list of friendly internationals before Bafana meet Mexico in the opening World Cup match at the new Soccer City on June 11.
The South African Football Association scrambled to secure Thailand for the new World Cup venue in Nelspruit on Sunday after China - for the second time in a month - pulled out.
Parreira said while Thailand failed to make the World Cup finals and were 15 places below 90th world ranked Bafana, they would provide a stern test for his side.
“I worked in Thailand and know they will give us a good game. They are not the best side in the world, but they are a good side.”
Parreria said he still hoped to secure a late friendly against Diego Maradona’s Argentina early next month. “We are still talking and negotiating with Argentina so we have to wait and see. I badly want to play a top side like Argentina.”
SAFA have confirmed friendly matches against Bulgaria, Colombia and Denmark before June 5. Mexico have a better list of friendly matches ahead. They play three giants in England, Holland and defending world champions Italy, before meeting Bafana.
Parreria also said he would assess his injury plagued German based goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez, before the Fifa deadline on Tuesday when all 32 competing countries have to submit their provisional 30-man squad lists.
Said Parreira of the Arminia Bielefeld keeper: “Rowen was expected to arrive on Sunday but was delayed. He is expected to join the camp today (Monday).”
If Fernandez passes his fitness test, then Martizburg United keeper Shu-Aib Walters would fall out.
There was bad news for SuperSport United defender Morgan Gould who is recovering from an operation. “Gould has not played for three months, which is not ideal coming into a massive tournament like the World Cup.
"I am not sure if I could risk him.”
Parreira said while Bafana may not be the best side technically at June’s showpiece, they would be the fittest of the 32 teams after two camps in Brazil and Germany and now the final at home.
“Physically we will be up for any challenge, but I am a little worried about the condition of my overseas based players when they arrive -hopefully next week.
"I hope they are as fit as the local based players.”
Parreira also supported the Premier Soccer League’s decision that all National First Division clubs would field a minimum of five players in each match next season.
“I have been saying all along South Africa need to do more at grassroots level.”
Parreira, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994, stated it was up to clubs to develop players for the national team. He hit out at the rule in the PSL allowing five foreign players to be signed by each club.
“That is killing development. It means in the 16 PSL teams there are over 90 foreign players taking places of local players in the country's top league. That foreign rule should be scraped for the good of developing home grown talent.”