South Africa is my home, says Par­reira

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

with very good feel­ings.

“That’s why, what the play­ers did to­day was un­be­liev­able. What they did in the seven months’ prepa­ra­tion, I just have to thank them for,” the coach said af­ter Tues­day’s win.

The vic­tory was Par­reira’s first at a World Cup with a coun­try other than Brazil — with whom he won the world ti­tle in 1994 — de­spite hav­ing coached a record six na­tions to the tour­na­ment.

The coach was also a fit­ness trainer for the 1970 World Cup-win­ning Brazil team, re­garded as that coun­try’s best-ever side.

On Bafana’s per­for­mance, Par­reira said he does be­lieve luck can play a role in a team’s chances at the World Cup.

“[Liver­pool man­ager] Rafa Ben­itez once said that to suc­ceed in foot­ball you have to be tech­ni­cally sound, well or­gan­ised and have a bit of luck.

“And I think that was there for ev­ery­one to see from South Africa at this World Cup. There were two shots [by Katlego Mphela against Mex­ico and France] that hit the post and if they had gone in we would have been in the last-16.

“I amafirm be­liever that luck does play a role.

“But I’m proud of these boys. When I ar­rived in Novem­ber, South Africa were ranked 90th in the world and since then we

only lost one game.

“These boys to­day showed the work has paid off, and that they have an iden­tity now. Of course weare dis­ap­pointed we did not qual­ify, but I don’t con­sider this a fail­ure.

“And life goes on. There is a lot of work in front of [South Africa]. There is the 2012 African Cup of Na­tions to qual­ify for and the 2014 World Cup. I said to the boys, ‘I want to be your guide in Brazil in 2014. Keep work­ing’.”

Par­reira said he be­lieves the SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion has al­ready made a de­ci­sion on who his suc­ces­sor will be, and the coach’s as­sis­tant, Pitso Mosi­mane, is be­lieved to be the cho­sen can­di­date.

PHOTO: IAN CARBUTT

Bon­gani Khu­malo has a mas­sive fu­ture with Bafana.

PHOTO: AP

Car­los Al­berto Par­reira has re­stored pride in the

Bafana jersey.

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