President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday asked Colombia’s soccer coach, the Argentine Jose Pekerman, to stay on after leading the national squad to and through the most successful World Cup in history.
Ever since taking on the job in January 2012, Pekerman helped Colombia’s national team to climb the FIFA ranking from #35 as high as #3, qualified for the World Cup and led the team all the way to the quarter finals of the ongoing tournament, an unprecedented performance by Colombia.
In a televised speech, Santos — wearing the national soccer jersey instead of a suit — praised the coach’s work and said he had asked the national soccer federation to renew Pekerman’s contract so that the coach can “continue this process he has carried out with success, superiority and professionalism.”
Santos, like most Colombians, lamented the lost quarter final against Brazil, but stressed that Colombia lost to “the five-times world champion in their home country with the minimum difference.”
“Nobody can deny that it was Colombia that added joy and good soccer.”
“Nobody can deny that it was Colombia that added joy and good soccer” to the world’s biggest soccer event, Santos added in one of numerous praises of the performance of “Los Cafeteros.”
According to the soccer federation, talks with Pekerman about a possible extension of his contract were already scheduled to take place after the World Cup.
“He asked us to postpone the conversations and to continue them once the World Cup had ended. Our wish is to come to an arrangement again,” federation director Luis Bedoya was quoted as saying by Spanish news agency EFE.