Pinto’s spell as coach of the Colombian national team hasn’t been particularly successful, despite a few remarkable results at the end of 2007.
The manager, Born in San Gil, Santander, was appointed with the task of leading Colombia to success at the Copa America last year.
But Colombia lost their opening match to Paraguay 5-0, and their second game 4-2 to Argentina. Only the final group game was won versus the United States, but this was not enough to make it to the quarter finals.
Pinto kept his position as coach though and Colombia actually made a good start to their World Cup qualifying campaign. A win over Argentina in November was definitely Pinto’s highlight and Colombia seemed to be a good candidate for a World cup ticket.
But things quickly went down hill and including friendlies, the Colombian team haven’t won a single game in their last nine! encounters. This unfortunately includes two draws and two defeats in World Cup qualifying, thanks to which they’re now placed sixth in the group of ten.
It did not come as a surprise that the Colombian football federation unanimously decided to sack Pinto, who is to be temporarily replaced with youth coach Eduardo Lara.
Lara is expected to lead the team for their qualifiers with Paraguay and Brazil next month, while giving the FA time to choose an adequate successor.
One name mentioned is that of Argentinian Gustavo Alfaro, former coach of Arsenal de Sarandi and currently working as commentator at Colombian channel Caracol.
Pinto meanwhile, will have to look for something else to do. Experience isn’t an issue, having been a coach since 1984. Since then, he managed Millonarios, Santa Fé, Union Magdalena, Deportivo Cali, Alianza Lima, Atlético Bucaramanga, Alajuelense (Costa Rica), Junior, the Costa Rican national team and Cúcuta Deportivo.
Certain this should give him enough to put on his CV, but the Colombian people will be more worried about their national team’s CV at the end of 2010, hoping that it doesn’t just carry another major disappointment.