Tournament News

Parreira must prove his worth

2010-03-29 18:07

Johannesburg - South Africa was so desperate for Carlos Alberto Parreira to lead the historic World Cup campaign that it employed him twice.

Originally recruited in 2007, to the delight of the country's football fans, the 1994 World Cup-winning Brazilian coach belied his impressive reputation and even more impressive wage packet to lead Bafana Bafana to an embarrassing first round exit at the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Soon after, Parreira was forced to resign and return home to look after his ill wife but not before a sudden, resounding 3-0 victory over Paraguay in March 2008 showed his experience and expertise might finally be paying off.

A disappointing spell followed under another Brazilian, Joel Santana, and eight losses in nine games convinced the South African Football Association to chase its experienced former manager for a second time.

This time the fans were less convinced but Parreira returned at the end of 2009 - with barely six months to go until the biggest moment in South African footballing history.

Bafana Bafana's results have been far short of eye-catching since, but Parreira is adamant he can shape the World Cup hosts into a dangerous underdog. He hopes the lowest-ranked team at the 32-nation tournament will be good enough to surprise Group A opponents Mexico, Uruguay and France.

"Of course we respect everybody. We know we would be maybe considered underdogs because of our low ranking," Parreira said.

"But there is not one single guy in the world who can forecast this game. That's the reason why it's the No. 1 sport in the world, because nobody can forecast the result of a football game." Away from South Africa, the 67-year-old coach's resume is extensive, culminating with victory on the highest level at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Parreira has taken charge of his home country on three separate occasions, the latest in 2006, and he has also managed 11 clubs dating back to 1967. He is one of just two men, the other is Bora Milutinovic, to have coached at least four national teams at World Cup tournaments.

His experience of football's biggest occasion runs from the high of winning it with his home nation in 1994 to the low of being fired by Saudi Arabia half way through the group stage in France four years later. He also coached Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates at the World Cup.

"I tell my players you are part of the elite," Parreira said.

"You are going to represent your country and very few athletes in the world have this opportunity, so use it and do the best you can do."

The problem this time, though, is that South Africa's best may not be good enough. Bafana have won just one game in two World Cup appearances, in 1998 and 2002.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Updated: Hottest SWC WAGs

Updated: Hottest SWC 2010 WAGs

Vote

World Cup 2010 is over and the country is returning to normal - but have you moved on yet?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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