We’re hav­ing Brazil for Fri­day night din­ner

Colom­bia’s Jewish man­ager shares his thoughts (well, sort of) DIARY

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - JOSÉ PEK­ER­MAN

I THINK some of you were not ex­pect­ing to see my punim again in the JC. Af­ter all Uruguay was pow­er­ful op­po­nent even with­out di­ablo Suarez and Los Cafeteros (the Cof­fee Mak­ers as we are known) are a small coun­try with lit­tle pre­vi­ous suc­cess in the Mon­dial.

But we have El Nuevo Pibe — the new kid, James Ro­drigues — a boy who makes Chris­tiano Ron­aldo look as grace­ful as Andy Car­roll on ice.

My predi­ción that we will tri­umph over Uruguay and pro­ceed to the quar­ter-fi­nals has been re­alised. It seems I am not just fut­ból coach, I am also the new Paul the Oc­to­pus.

So now we face the might of the hosts Brazil and I have one more predi­ción — the team fa­mous for the yel­low top will win (muy in­teligente, huh?)

But se­ri­ously, my boys must have an opor­tu­nidad to make to the last four of the com­pe­ti­tion. For a start we are play­ing at For­taleza in the north of the coun­try, which has two big ad­van­tages for us. Primero, it is hot and sticky like much of our beau­ti­ful coun­try. Se­gundo, if we lose it is pretty short flight back to Bo­gota from there.

But we are not ex­pect­ing to lose. Our se­cret weapon is the hair of David Luiz — he thinks his Kevin Kee­gan perm looks muy bueno but when the wind blows, hair gets in his eyes and Cuadrado nips past to lay on an­other gol for James (this is my team talk so do not tell the Brazil­ians).

The boys have been prac­tis­ing some new cel­e­bra­ciones for when we score against Júlio César. Maybe this time I join in. Then again, per­haps no.

Un prob­lema para mi is the lo­cal time in For­taleza is 5pm, so Shabbat will come in dur­ing the game. If you see me mum­bling and drink­ing wine dur­ing the first half, do not worry — not go­ing crazy, just mak­ing kid­dush.

Not that I am think­ing yet of my re­turn home, but I am ex­pec­tante of a hero’s wel­come not only from the Jewish­com­mu­nity(about4,000hom­bres), but from the en­tire nación.

This makes me muy happy be­cause I want to spend my de­clin­ing years in Colom­bia, where I can be top banana in a coun­try where ev­ery­one is ba­nanas. I think I will end my ca­reer in Colom­bia — un­less Inglaterra de­cides they want a man­ager who gets his coun­try to the quar­ter fi­nals ev­ery time he goes to the World Cup. Just say­ing.

Vamos Colom­bia!

As imag­ined by Si­mon Round

“Pre­dic­tions? I’m bet­ter than any oc­to­pus”

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