José Pekerman's World Cup Diary: 'We win, but I use teffilin for next game'

Colombia’s Jewish manager shares his thoughts

June 19, 2014

Hola, my friends in Great Britain. So, a magnificent weekend for my players, for Colombia and for my chances of making it home in one piece — 3-0 victory over Greece. ¡Olé!

In last week’s diary I said I walk to the stadium because it was Shabbat on day of el gran partido. It was joke of course, but I wish now I did.

Was a big shlep and we get stuck in mucho tráfico. I worry that we gonna be late for the kick-off. Is ironic because everyone think that Greece was gonna park the bus and it turned out we could not park the bus even if we want to.

But in front of huge crowd of people in yellow we, how you say, done the business much more efectivamente than the Brazilian organisers who left out the last verse of our national anthem — the fans sung it without a band in the end, just like in shul.

I was proud of my players, particularly Armero, Gutierrez and Rodriguez who scored the goles against Greeks. It was like they were my sons (actually even better than having sons because I not have to pay for their barmitzvah and I not care if they marry out).

For Greece, if it carries on like this through group stages unemployment problem there will get worse — manager Fernando Santos will be out of work soon I think.

We return to hotel to enjoy victory and nice cup of mate (Argentinian tea which foreigners think like sucking grass) and we watch Inglaterra against Italia.

Despite I come from Argentina I have mucho respect for los Ingleses so for me Inglaterra losing not revenge for Malvinas.

I think Roy is, how you say, jolly good chap, but if I was the coach I give Rooney the important job to sit on the bench with Nintendo DS and I play Lallana instead (good player, possible Argentinian blood).

I also watch Argentina el Sunday. Happy that Messi score his first World Cup gol since 2006 — the last time he put ball in the back of the net I was coach of Argentina national team and he was practically in nappies – is funny game football, no?

Now I look forward to big partido with Ivory Coast — you will know the result when you read this column but I do not yet.

They have big players like Drogba and Toure so I think I put on tefilin a couple of times just in case the Big Guy can help us out (I mean Hashem, not Blatter).

Until next time, hasta luego mis amigos.

As imagined by Simon Round

Last updated: 1:34pm, June 30 2014