Wed Oct 26 09:39:58 SAST 2016

he's got faith

By unknown | May 20, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Joel Santana, the new Bafana Bafana coach, did not beat about the bush yesterday - predicting that South Africa will perform "excellently" during the 2010 World Cup.

Addressing his first official media briefing since his appointment in April, Santana urged South Africans to support the team in their quest to conquer the world.

"You will not get to know me through words, but through work," said Santana, who opted to use an interpreter despite having a fair understanding of English.

"I cannot do anything by myself. I particularly need the help of the press. It's going to be up to you to assist me in my work.

"I learnt my trade in the same faculty as Professor Carlos Parreira [former Bafana Bafana coach] in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

"I'm not a coach who learnt his coaching out of a book. I did not land in football by parachute, I worked my way through the youth academies into first teams."

Asked why he accepted the job to guide Bafana Bafana, the Brazilian said: "Who, as a coach, would not like to come and coach the South African national team ... a country that is due to host the next World Cup with a great sense of pride. This is not a challenge, for me it is a gift.

"Being born on a Christmas Day, this is my Christmas present and I'm thankful," said Santana, who has never coached at national level Santana but has coached club soccer in Brazil, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Bragging about some of his achievements, Santana said: "I'm the only coach in Brazil who has won titles with four different clubs in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

"My entire life, in fact, has been dedicated to Brazilian football."

The man also known as "Mr Jackpot" and "Guitar Man" chose to be diplomatic in his response when asked if he would not disappear like Parreira, arguing that his wife was also sick back home.

"It is an interesting question. We are just getting to know each other. It's no use sitting here and making promises."

Santana said he will also work with the joint assistant coaches, Pitso Mosimane and Brazilian Jairo Leal.

At the same briefing, Safa chief executive Raymond Hack announced that Santana received his work permit from the government yesterday morning.

With the assistance of Mosimane and Leal, Santana will name the team to play Nigeria in Abuja on June 1 tomorrow.

l Safa were scheduled to appear before the Portfolio Committee on Sports and Recreation in Cape Town today to answer questions relating to Santana's appointment.

Butana Komphela, the committee's chairman, said they wanted Safa to satisfy them that there was no other South Africans suitable to coach Bafana Bafana.

Sowetan has learnt that Safa decided to send all the relevant documents to the committee, instead of making an appearance.

Also included in the documents is Safa's approach to the development leagues that will serve as a feeder to Bafana Bafana.


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