We're having Brazil for Friday night dinner

Colombia's Jewish manager shares his thoughts (well, sort of)


By Jose Pekerman, July 3, 2014
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I think some of you were not expecting to see my punim again in the JC. After all Uruguay was powerful opponent even without diablo Suarez and Los Cafeteros (the Coffee Makers as we are known) are a small country with little previous success in the Mondial.

But we have El Nuevo Pibe - the new kid, James Rodrigues - a boy who makes Christiano Ronaldo look as graceful as Andy Carroll on ice.

My predición that we will triumph over Uruguay and proceed to the quarter-finals has been realised. It seems I am not just futból coach, I am also the new Paul the Octopus.

So now we face the might of the hosts Brazil and I have one more predición - the team famous for the yellow top will win (muy inteligente, huh?)

But seriously, my boys must have an oportunidad to make to the last four of the competition. For a start we are playing at Fortaleza in the north of the country, which has two big advantages for us. Primero, it is hot and sticky like much of our beautiful country. Segundo, if we lose it is pretty short flight back to Bogota from there.

But we are not expecting to lose. Our secret weapon is the hair of David Luiz - he thinks his Kevin Keegan perm looks muy bueno but when the wind blows, hair gets in his eyes and Cuadrado nips past to lay on another gol for James (this is my team talk so do not tell the Brazilians).

The boys have been practising some new celebraciones for when we score against Júlio César. Maybe this time I join in. Then again, perhaps no.

Un problema para mi is the local time in Fortaleza is 5pm, so Shabbat will come in during the game. If you see me mumbling and drinking wine during the first half, do not worry - not going crazy, just making kiddush.

Not that I am thinking yet of my return home, but I am expectante of a hero's welcome not only from the Jewish community (about 4,000 hombres), but from the entire nación.

This makes me muy happy because I want to spend my declining years in Colombia, where I can be top banana in a country where everyone is bananas. I think I will end my career in Colombia - unless Inglaterra decides they want a manager who gets his country to the quarter finals every time he goes to the World Cup. Just saying.

Vamos Colombia!

As imagined by Simon Round

Last updated: 12:17pm, July 3 2014