South Africa’s new but old national soccer coach Carlos Alberto Parreira arrived in South Africa Thursday to resume coaching and quickly said the 2010 World Cup hosts can reach quarter finals.
The Brazilian is taking over from his fellow countrymen Joel Santana
who quit last month after a string of poor results.
But media reports say Parreira’ arrival was a low key event “devoid of the fanfare” that surrounded his first coming as coach to the World Cup host nation in September 2006. At the time, "King Carlos," as he was dubbed, was given the red-carpet treatment.
"The greatest challenge is getting to the second phase. South Africa must work hard but I’m confident we will get there. I hope that with the backing of home fans we will reach the quarter-finals and after that the sky is the limit," Parreira is quoted saying.
He added “The World Cup is kill, kill, kill, and it is not always the best teams that reach the final. It is different from a championship and I think we could have a very competitive team."
The 66-year-old former Brazil national coach has been given a controversial choice to lead Bafana Bafana into the World Cup in seven month’s time. Many South Africans bear him a grudge for abruptly quitting the job in April last year for family reasons and leaving the team in the hands of his hapless compatriot, Joel Santana, reports say.
Under Santana, the team’s fortunes plummeted. He finally agreed to quit last month after Bafana Bafana notched up seven defeats in eight friendlies, against mostly mediocre teams.
The national squad’s dismal performances over the past few years had
caused dismay in South Africa as it prepares to stage the World Cup
for the first time in Africa. South Africa is currently ranked 85 in the world by FIFA.