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WATCH | 'My work will speak for me,' says Pirates' new coach Jose Riveiro ahead of first game

06 August 2022 - 11:09 By SITHEMBISO DINDI
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro at the 2022/2023 DStv Premiership season launch at SuperSport Studios in Johannesburg on July 28.
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro at the 2022/2023 DStv Premiership season launch at SuperSport Studios in Johannesburg on July 28.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

After being called distasteful names following his appointment as Orlando Pirates' new coach, Jose Riveiro plans to let his work change the negative perceptions South Africans have about him.

When Riveiro's appointment was announced by Pirates in June there was bedlam, mostly on social media, with supporters referring to him as a “plumber” because he was unknown in SA and his lack of high-profile previous jobs as a coach.

The 46-year-old Spaniard, who will take charge of his first match against Swallows FC in the DStv Premiership at Orlando Stadium on Saturday (3pm), said he wasn’t surprised by the reception as Pirates’ management had prepared him for it.

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“To be honest, I was aware of that and the management of the club explained to me that they were going to announce my name and that this might happen because there's a lot of people following the club,” Riveiro said.

“I understood that would be normal because nobody knows me and I’m not coming from the (English) Premier League, but I’m coming from Veikkausliiga (Finish league). I’m not a famous former player that would get credit because of that.

“But you can still lose that credit if you don’t do things well. Yes, in the beginning people will be positive because you played football, but I was not a football player and I didn’t coach in a big league so it’s understandable that people can have doubts.”

Riveiro, who got his first coaching qualification at the age of 19, has vowed to change what local football fans think of him.

“I don’t know exactly the meaning of those words or sentences that they said about me or what they are trying to express, but if their doubts are about my profession they can be calm,” he said.

“I am a person who is really committed to my job, the club that I have signed up for, by dedicating all of my time in order to achieve all the objectives that they have proposed to me. They can be calm about that.

“Like we said, football will speak for us and what we are going to achieve will speak for us. We are here to entertain the people and if the people get entertained by saying that we are plumbers, it’s fine. No problem at all,” Riveiro said.

“I’m not very active in social media or in googling my name, I don’t do that at all. I just focus on what I will try to do next.”

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