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Parreira: Mandela was ´a god´ to South Africans

Carlos Alberto Parreira has reflected on his experiences with Nelson Mandela during his time as South Africa head coach.

Parreira led South Africa for four years over two separate stints, including at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and met Mandela on three occasions during his time in the African country.

With news of Mandela’s death on Thursday sparking sympathy from all over the world, Parreira added his personal experiences of the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

“He (Mandela) was one of the great leaders of the 20th century and the whole world will be worshipping him because he was really a man who makes a difference for the world,” the 70-year-old Brazilian said.

“If South Africa today is a country that has peace then everything is due to him because he kept the country alive and he was kind of a god for the people there.

“We are going to miss him, the world is going to miss him.”

Parreira also paid tribute to Mandela’s role in South Africa 2010, which Brazil’s technical director believes was a ‘very good’ tournament.

“I think that South Africa did a very good World Cup and that the memories are still very alive,” Parreira said.

“The world appreciated what they did and I think it was a success. Mandela was all the time behind that.”

Fri 6 December, 2013
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