Pinto Gets Sacked
By unanimous vote, Colombian national team coach Jorge Luis Pinto was given his walking papers. The former Cúcuta coach who took over the national team last year had a decent start in friendlies, but saw his national team crash out the Copa América with 5-0 and 4-2 defeats to Paraguay and Argentina respectively.
His team started out rather well in the South American World Cup qualifiers going unbeaten in their first six matches. The Colombians had the fewest goals conceded, but there were other defects that slowly began to emerge. Pinto´s dictatorial demeanor could be attributed to his downfall.
After Copa América he asked that players like Iván Córdoba and Mario Yepes be removed from his list. Córdoba excluded himself from the list as he did not get along with PInto. In a Colombian radio show, El Pulso del Fútbol, the hosts recalled an instance when Pinto looked at Inter Milan´s pre-season training regiment and said, ¨They don´t know what they are doing.¨ Córdoba came out and said, ¨They are the two-time defending champs of Italy. I think they know a little bit more than you do.¨ That signalled the end of the Inter defender in Pinto´s scheme.
It was also his stubborness to use players that were not in top form or using in-form players in the wrong function. The most recent case was that of Fabián Vargas. The Colombian international is in one of his most briliiant moments as a professional. Under Carlos Ischia, he found his true calling as an attacking midfielder on the right. Pinto misused him on the wing.
The vote was at 4-3 prior to the federation meetin withe coach. He came in with a list of players that were to not be called up ever again. Among the list was River´s Radamel Falcao García, who was his perennial whipping boy, and Boca´s Vargas. As his regime progressed players like Jaime Castrillón, Juan Bustos, and a host of others were erased because of inactivity, injury, or tactical differences with the coach.
All signs point to the FCF to look for a foreign coach. Among the ones available are Daniel Passarella, José Pekerman, Américo Gallego (who was previously considered), and Gustavo Alfaro. Colombian U-20 coach Eduardo Lara will be given the most uneviable of interim tasks as the Cafeteros will host Paraguay and then head to Brazil.
Tags: National , Coach
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