Soccer News of Thursday, 7 March 2013
Former Black Stars head coach Mariano Barreto says he has unfinished business with the team he left almost eight years ago.
The Portuguese coach, who is currently working with Al-Qadisiyah in Saudi Arabia, told footy-ghana.com in an exclusive interview that he misses the times he worked in Ghana, adding that he would jump at the opportunity to coach the Black Stars again if offered the opportunity.
“If I receive a call from the Ghana Football Association, I will be in Ghana immediately. I always remember the good times I had in coaching the Black Stars and I always felt at home in Ghana because Ghanaians are very nice people.”
Barreto, who masterminded Ghana’s 3-0 victory over South Africa in a 2006 World Cup qualifier in Kumasi, also told footy-ghana.com about his pride at the strides that some players he worked with have made in their careers.
“I am very proud to see that some of the players I worked with went on to play in the World Cup and became big stars. Some are still playing now and I am always happy to see them in action.”
The Portuguese coach, who has had spells in Russia and Cyprus before his present job in Saudi Arabia says the victory over South Africa and coaching the Black Meteors during the 2004 Athens Olympics proved the highlights of his time in Ghana.
“That 3-0 win over South Africa was a really big moment for me and taking the Black Meteors to Athens was really great. Even though we couldn’t make it out of the Group stages, it was a good time for me.”
Barreto hinted at his reasons for leaving the Ghana job midstream, noting that he is older and wiser now.
“At the time, I didn’t have much co-operation to do my work and I allowed myself to be used against the GFA. I made a lot of mistakes then which led to my departure but I am older and wiser now.”
He also told footy-ghana.com that even though he might have played a small role in Ghana’s qualification for the 2006 World Cup, Ghanaians would also need to remember the late Alhaji Maikano, who according to him, also played a major role.
“Alhajo Maikano was a wonderful person who worked behind the scenes to ensure that Ghana made it to Germany. Ghanaians must never forget his contribution to the Black Stars’ success and I will soon visit Ghana to pay tribute to him.”
Barreto is an outsider for the Black Stars job with Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac rated as the favorite to replace Kwasi Appiah.