Santana was too defensive for Brazilian tastes

BERLIN - Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana has not been popular among the fans of the clubs he coached in Brazil because of his defensive style of play.

BERLIN - Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana has not been popular among the fans of the clubs he coached in Brazil because of his defensive style of play.

And Carlos Alberto Parreira did not only recommend him for the Bafana job because he is his friend, but because the former Bafana Bafana mentor is also a firm believer in defensive play.

This according to top Brazilian sports journalist Ary Farias, who has covered two Fifa World Cup finals.

"These two gentlemen have the same mentality when it comes to the approach of the game," said Farias yesterday.

Farias, who is also a reputable athletics journalist for O Globo newspaper, one of the influential newspapers in Rio de Janeiro, was speaking to Sowetan in Berlin yesterday where he was covering the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

"To be honest with you Santana was very unpopular among fans because of his approach to the game," said Farias, who is fluent in English.

"Just like Parreira, Santana is a result-driven coach and he does not care how his team plays. So fans in Brazil are not only happy with the results, they also want to see an exciting brand of football... I know this is what the South Africans want to see, but with Santana you will only be more defensive minded."

This has been his undoing with Bafana.

But Farias pointed out that Santana was a humble coach who respected his players.

X