Q & A: Paraguay coach Cesare Maldini
Posted: Tuesday April 23, 2002 5:56 PM
appointment caused a great deal of controversy in Paraguay. What
attributes do you bring to the job?
I come from a school in which the result is the most important thing.
Italian football receives some fierce criticism, they call us the
catenaccio kings. But our approach took us to victory in the 1982
World Cup, where our strengths were a solid defense with two stoppers
and a sweeper, and a rapid counter-attack.
played most of the qualifiers with a back four. Will you introduce
a sweeper system?
There is so little time available to work before the World Cup that
it is not feasible to start playing around with systems. Besides,
Paraguay did well in qualification -- a competition in which even
Brazil had problems -- so I don't feel inclined to make a change.
you get to know all the players in such a short time?
It is not easy. I think only Paraguay have players all over Europe,
all over South America and in Mexico, and the fixture lists of all
these tournaments all over the world don't coincide.
are your key players?
The defensive unit, with keeper Chilavert plus a back four of Arce,
Ayala, Gamarra and Caniza. And Roque Santa Cruz is fundamental to
us. But the strength will be the team. It has character and force
are you coping with criticism from the press?
It is the same all over the world. The difference is that now with
Paraguay I give press conferences to 15 journalists. When I was
coach of Italy it was 80.
you surprised to be offered the job?
I was honored to be asked. I've always had a feeling for South
America and Paraguay, and that is my main motivation for this adventure.
It's a big challenge, and there is no time to lose. I'm ready for
my fourth World Cup.
Paraguayan coaches association claims you signed your contract while
you were in the country on a tourist visa and therefore legally
unable to work.
It's not correct, there's no worry. I'm calm because I'm assured
that there is no legal problem.
From World Soccer magazine.