Orlando Pirates boss Jose Riveiro what South African football is doing right that Europeans are not doing

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has outlined what SA football authorities are doing right that Europeans are lacking.

Riveiro, who joined Pirates on a three-year deal as a relatively unknown ‘inexperienced’ tactician has been exposed to SA football for more than 10 months.

In a few months in SA, Jose Riveiro, regarded as a ‘plumber’ when he landed the Pirates job has silenced his critics. He won the MTN8 title and Nedbank Cup in his maiden season.

In addition, Riveiro led Pirates to a second-place finish on the DStv Premiership to book a spot in the CAF Champions League.

And while he said that SA coaches are inconsistent in their tactical aptitude most recently, Riveiro, believes players in the country are highly gifted.

This is despite those in power in SA football kicking the can down the road in terms of development and the standard of play unsatisfactory in quality.

According to the Spaniard, Riveiro, youngsters in SA are managed well as they are given the freedom to be ‘children’. He added that young guns in the country also take adequate time away from football, unlike in Europe.

“About South African football, it is different. It is a football full of talent in the Premiership, First division [Motsepe Foundation Championship] and DStv Diski Challenge [DDC] as well,” said Riveiro,

“You can see the individual performances are exceptional. The technical level of the players, from my point of view, from a European coach’s point of view, is so high.

“There is room for improvement; even though I don’t have a huge knowledge of the development, how it works, or where the [coaches] put their focus so far. I can only have a bit of an opinion about things at Pirates.

Riveiro handed teenager Relebohile Ratomo his debut in SA’s topflight in the just-ended campaign.

The 17-year-old Ratomo gave a good account of himself; impressing Riveiro and many lovers of the beautiful game in the handful of games he featured in.

“The technical level, the talent [of SA youngsters],” added the Pirates coach. “It is easy to see the amount of hours that the players expand when they were in the early stages playing football.

“Probably not only in the academies, which is something we are missing a bit in Europe. Players are only playing two, three times a day in the academies. But there is no time anymore to spend time with your friends. There is no time in playing in the streets as I did as a child for example.

“So that’s the main difference that I see. The capacity to solve problems as an individual, the technical level, the skills. However, there are other things that need to be improved as well. It is a long conversation to have, and I have been in SA for 10 months.”


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