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The toughest job at the World Cup (part 2)

June 23, 2010

SOCCER-WORLD/Chile’s 1-0 win over Switzerland, with a controversial goal and a dubious red card for their opponents, may have been highly controversial but there was no contesting the words of their coach Marcelo Bielsa afterwards — simply because it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying.

After our first excursion into the mind of Bielsa, here are some more gems from the spectacularly verbose Argentine, whose team need a draw against Spain on Friday to make sure of a second round place.

On his team’s chances against Spain: “In football, it is never convenient to interpret something which has still not happened. The sport’s great appeal is that the things which one expects to happen before the game are rarely confirmed by what happens on the pitch.”

Chile’s performance at the World Cup so far: “The World Cup qualifiers were a step which the team resolved in favourable terms and the next step is reaching the second stage of the World Cup. As the objective has not been reached, the evaluation will have to be made at a later stage, because for me, one always has to make the evaluation when you have at your disposal the totality of the elements which the team has offered. The first evaluation is not opportune, because one of the things which you are chasing has still not been obtained. Football is unexpected and offers nuances which one does not imagine.”

His view of the match against Switzerland: “We counted with the advantage which having an extra man at this level presupposes. But, the most eye-catching thing was that even in such conditions, they still had a chance to level the match. The Swiss tactics were legitimate in my view. It is a system which has some important successes amongst its assets.”

There will doubtless be more classics from the “Madman” when his team play Spain on Friday.

PHOTO: Chile’s national soccer team head coach Marcelo Bielsa attends a news conference at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth June 20, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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