On the one hand Mexico, Costa Rica, the United States, Nigeria and China . On the other, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and South Africa . No, they are not two groups of who knows what para-exotic competition between national soccer teams, but they are the teams that participated in the final stages of a World Cup coached by two authentic globetrotters. If it is true that football is known on average in every latitude and longitude of this planisphere, Bora Milutinovic and Carlos Alberto Parreira wanted to experience it on their own skin: the Serbian and the Brazilian are in fact the only two coaches to have led five different national teams . in as many World Cups .
In addition, Parreira, who brought the verdeoro to the top of the world in 1994 by winning against Italy, resuming the leadership of Selecao in 2006 , thus participated in six World Cups, an absolute record, while Milutinovic holds the record as the first coach to have led four teams. different after the first round, before failing with China in 2002.
Balloon globetrotters , emissaries of tactics and experience in football peripheral countries, the two coaches lived with their suitcase always closed ready to be embarked towards who knows what destination. Between clubs and national representations, they have literally coached everywhere, on all continents except in Oceania .
Parreira, more linked to his Brazil (he has been on the Fluminense bench several times , but also San Paolo, Santos, Corinthians and Internacional) moved to North America to coach the New York MetroStars, he was in Africa as coach of Ghana , then in Asia and Europe as a coach for Valencia and Fenerbache in the mid-90s . The first nation to ferry to the World Cup and Kuwait to Spain ’82 : on its debut, the Asian country obtained a 1-1 draw against Czechoslovakia and two defeats against England and France. In ’90, in Italy, he tries again with another Asian, the United Arab Emirates, but it is worse, always coming out in the first round, but with three defeats out of three in their group.
The glory he obtained in 1994 , in the United States World Cup, at the helm of Brazil, while four years later and again on another bench, still attracted by the challenge of bringing a national team that does not chew football. Parreira takes Saudi Arabia to France ’98 , but here too he does not go beyond the first phase, obtaining only a 2-2 draw against South Africa, a team that, after the flashback with Brazil in 2006, he will coach in 2010 for the World Cup played at home. The one with the Bafana Bafana and the last experience as a coach: On 25 June 2010, he announced, in fact, his retirement Di lui.
Milutinovic , on the other hand,Yugoslavian by birth , then Serbian after the dissolution of the country and, finally, Mexican by adoption, he began his coaching career here in 1977, in Pumas Unam (his last club as a footballer) before being chosen as the coach of Mexico for the prestigious 1986 World Cup , where they reached the quarterfinals, defeated on penalties by West Germany. Milutinovic proves he knows how to deal with difficult and almost impossible challenges: four years later he tries against Costa Rica , not only bringing the Costa Rican national team to the 1990 World Cup in Italy, but touching the knockout rounds lost against Czechoslovakia.
His style of play and his way of training,they tease the federation of the United States who, for the 1994 World Cup, choose him at home: unlike Parreira, always blocked in the first round, Bora takes his teams beyond the first phase. In the second round, he meets the Brazilian coach, who will then win that edition. Same fate with Nigeria in 1998 even if the 3-2 victory against Spain will remain in the memories , while four years later, he tries the Chinese adventure, but on the Asian bench he fails, for the first time, his access to the next round .
Milutinovic, who in his career also coached Udinese only to be sacked after six defeats in nine games, on his Chinese experience, I tell this anecdote:
Before the World Cup I went into a church to talk to God. He asked me: what do you want, Bora
And I replied: score like France! And God kept His word. France and China were the only two teams not to score goals in this World Cup. Of course I was referring to scoring the same goals as France in 1998