Two years after arriving in Accra as a pariah, Milovan Rajevac has become a force to reckon with. The Serbian coach who led the Black Stars to the quarterfinals of the World Cup has won the admiration of fans, players and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) who have thrown their support behind him. The technician’s contract ends in just over a month and the GFA is seeking to extend it.
The Yugoslav trained Milovan Rajevac has revived the myth of white magic in Ghana. In the CAN and the World Cup the least known among European coaches on the African continent ridiculed his competitors with noisy gongs, sounding cymbals and of course the deafening vuvuzelas… Yes, he is the only Western coach who remains standing on continent after the World Cup.
And the Ghanaian Football Federation is leaving no stone unturned to keep the Serbian technician whose current contract ends in August 2010. All good, the Serb himself wants to continue the adventure. “I am still under contract with the Ghana Football Association,” he is quoted as saying on the federation’s website. “Although I have received some offers, I want to continue my work here. I am happy here. I want to state that I haven’t mentioned anything about money and nobody has. Neither the GFA nor me have raised any issue about money.” he continued.
Rajevac is already focused and dreaming of a more promising future. “There are a lot of good young players, so they already have a core of a team for 2014. And although the way we lost was painful and shocking in the end, this will be great experience for the players and they have a lot of potential to achieve great things”. Under 20 World champions in 2009, CAN 2010 finalists and quarter-finalists in the 2010 World Cup, Ghana’s potential is enormous. Thanks to a certain Rajevac who arrived in Ghana virtually unknown to all and sundry.
The Black Stars know it. In fact, Sulley Muntari, the temperamental midfielder, has asked the coach to stay. “I don’t take the decision but I prefer him staying because now he knows us very well,” he told the Accra-based radio, Joy FM. “We know him too and we both know our likes and dislikes and we are living like a family now so we sending him away or he not renewing his contract is going be a problem .”
Support from players
A priori, if both sides are willing, Rajevac can sleep soundly. He should be able to continue his African dream peacefully, because the Ghana Football Association (GFA) does not have the habit of turning their backs on coaches as is the case among a lot of their African counterparts. While Nigeria dismissed Shaibu Amodu, who had managed to qualify the Super Eagles for the World Cup and finished third in the 2010 CAN, for a more prestigious European coach, GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi ignored critics for his choice of the illustriously unknown Milovan Rajevac, former assistant coach to Bora Milutinovic, to succeed Claude Le Roy in 2008. And they left him alone with his work. Better still, they backed him when he expelled Sulley Muntari, one of Ghana’s star players, from the 2010 CAN for disciplinary reasons.
African football observers continue to salivate while thinking about what this great team of Ghana could achieve if they had not been burdened by injuries. The return of Michael Essien could do some good for the young Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan, Kevin Prince Boateng and Samuel Inkoom, among others. Without a doubt, Rajevac has managed to build a strong team, difficult to maneuver and comfortable on the offensive. The Serbian technician has been praised for his strategy and choice. It is no surprise that Ghana has emerged as a tactically smarter and more promising team on the continent.