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Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 11:17 UK

Santana ready for SA challenge

South Africa's Brazilian coach Joel Santana
Joel Santana is not making any promises in his new job
South Africa's new coach Joel Santana has vowed to not disappoint predecessor Carlos Alberto Parreira, who recommended him for the job.

Santana arrived in South Africa on Sunday to replace his Brazilian compatriot Parreira, who quit to be with his ill wife in Brazil, as coach of the 2010 World Cup hosts.

"I cannot let him down as somebody who has entrusted me with this job," Santana told reporters, adding he was confident language would not be a barrier when working with the South African team.

"Football is a universal sport, it's the same everywhere, be it in Japan, be it in Europe, be it in Saudi Arabia ... I don't have to talk a lot, I need to work a lot. First you listen, then you speak."

Despite no experience with a national side and only a couple of brief stints with clubs in the Middle East and Japan outside Brazil, the 59-year-old has been given the chance to coach the host nation of the first World Cup to be held on African soil.

Santana said he did not want to make any promises when asked whether he would stay in the job until 2010.

"Let's work together and let's have faith in each other," he said.

Santana questioned whether Parreira would suggest a coach he did not believe in.

"He has many friends in football, he knows many people in the industry, he, perhaps, even knows better coaches than myself, but ultimately he believed in me."

Santana is recognised as a journeyman professional with a good track record in his home country, having enjoyed success with Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, and Vasco da Gama.

Santana is South Africa's 15th coach in 16 years.


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