The departing coach of South Africa's national football team, Brazil's Carlos Alberto Parreira, said he had considered resigning from his post as far back as December, South Africa's Sunday Times reported.
In an interview on the eve of his departure from South Africa, where he has quit as coach to the team of the 2010 World Cup host nation, Parreira said he was "heartbroken" at having to leave his job but reiterated that his ailing wife Leila need him, the dpa reported.
"I will never be able to live with myself if something were to happen to her," he said.
Parreira's wife recently underwent a mastectomy in Brazil. The 64- year-old former Brazil national coach had not directly referred to his wife's illness when he announced his retirement to South Africans last week, saying merely "my wife needs me."
Parreira, whose successor has been named as Brazilian top club coach Joel Santana, admitted to The Times he had already had other job offers but said he would take a break until December.
He also has what he called "an understanding" with the South African Football Association to remain on as technical adviser to the Bafana Bafana. But, he stressed, "he (Santana) must make his own decisions."
Of Santana, whose lack of national experience has caused some dismay in South Africa, Parreira said: "He knows how to bring out the best in players.....He is a players' coach."
In a separate interview with the Sunday Independent Santana defended his credentials, saying: "No-one gets as much work and manages to secure four league championships, as I have done here in Rio, simply because of who you know."
"That was achieved through hard work, with great regard for and by the players and, above all, with discipline."