Parreira: "It was a very painful decision" to leave South Africa
The decision to resign as coach of the South African national team was "hard, very painful" for Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira, the dpa reportd.
"I really wanted to play that World Cup (South Africa 2010). This is the first time I have failed to fulfil a contract," Parreira said in an interview that the Brazilian daily O Globo published Thursday.
The coach denied that his resignation - officially announced Monday - was due to a serious illness allegedly affecting his wife, Leila.
"Leila is fine. She had problems, but she is fine now... The problem is something else... I am far away from everyone, from my grandchildren I could not stand it any longer," he said.
Parreira insisted that the decision to leave the position was "painful."
"I did not come here (to South Africa) to earn money. My dream was (to play) my eighth World Cup. The money was secondary. (But) I could not stay here two more years," he explained.
Parreira stressed that his successor - fellow-Brazilian Joel Santana, whom he himself recommended - will find a team that is better prepared than it used to be, and a good structure to support his work.
"Joel will lead a national team that tries to pass the ball, to keep possession of the ball with a formation of four defenders, two defensive midfielders and two other midfielders. We did not have any lateral defenders, and we adapted to those positions two midfielders who can play there. (Santana) will be able to do here everything he does in Brazil," Parreira said.
He noted that his successor's first great challenge will be getting a good performance out of the Bafana Bafana in the qualifying round towards the 2010 African Nations Cup.
"In our group, we have Nigeria, which is traditionally strong, and Sierra Leone. But (Santana) will find a support structure that works well," Parreira said.