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Orlando Pirates coach Riveiro is no plumber - Sebola

7:22 AM EST 12/21/22
Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates
Former Orlando Pirates striker Andries Sebola has backed Jose Riveiro, saying the Spaniard has already proven he is not a backyard football coach.
  • Riveiro was appointed Pirates coach in June
  • It was his first job in Africa
  • Five months down the line, he won the MTN8

WHAT HAPPENED? Riveiro was appointed as Pirates coach in June, 2022 and arrived in the Premier Soccer League as an unknown figure. The Pirates job is his first on the African continent, having previously worked in his native Spain and Finland.

In Spain, he was a development coach while he worked as a backroom staffer in Finland, before assuming a top job but could not win any silverware. Arriving at Pirates with no track record of winning trophies, Riveiro was branded a “plumber,” a term commonly used to refer to Europeans who come to Africa with no requisite coaching experience or without a proven record of success.

But Sebola is convinced Riveiro can help Pirates break Mamelodi Sundowns’ PSL dominance.

WHAT SEBOLA SAID: “They said he [Riveiro] was a plumber when he arrived, but look at what he's already done within a short space of time,” said Sebola. “I believe this is the coach who can help Pirates challenge Sundowns for the league title this season. Pirates can also not be ruled out of winning the Nedbank Cup.”

AND WHAT MORE? Sebola is now urging Riveiro to make bold decisions and advises him on how to win the PSL title.

“He mustn't be afraid to attack because that's the best form of defence,” Sebola said. “We cannot win trophies if we're hesitant to play the kind of football we dished in that game against Sundowns in the MTN8 semifinal. That's what every Pirates fan associates Pirates with.

“If you want to win the league you definitely have to beat a strong team like Sundowns, a team that has won this championship in the last five years. There's no other way for Pirates.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Five months after being appointed Pirates coach, Riveiro guided them to the MTN8. The Buccaneers are now chasing log leaders Sundowns in the league race and trail the Brazilians by nine points. Pirates had last won the league title a decade ago and are looking to end that long title drought.


WHAT NEXT FOR RIVEIRO? The Spaniard is preparing his team to resume their league campaign on November 30 when they visit Mamelodi Sundowns. Pirates would be trying to collect three points in Tshwane and close in on the log leaders.

Riveiro also faces the task of leading the Buccaneers' bid for South Africa's premier knockout competition, the Nedbank Cup.