Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

One Coach Will Be Toasted, the Other Roasted at Home

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

One Coach Will Be Toasted, the Other Roasted at Home

Article excerpt

You watch and wonder when Carlos Alberto Parreira will get up. You watch and wonder when Arrigo Sacchi will shut up.

Their bench demeanor couldn't be more different. Brazil's Parreira rarely leaves his seat to shout directions or exhort his players. Italy's Sacchi almost never sits down.

Yet, they have much in common:

Both World Cup coaches have been maligned by the media back home for nearly three years.

Both have altered their team's style just enough to bring more criticism than praise.

Both have had disagreements with players, yet have not lost any of their power.

Both have won.

That last similarity is the most important. Say what you will about Parreira and Sacchi - and much has been said since they took charge of their national teams - but they have guided their squads to the edge of a historic achievement.

On Sunday, either Brazil or Italy will become the first four-time World Cup champion.

"We have come here to win a world championship," Parreira said. "Now, we are ready to play the one game to do that."

And if Brazil fails to win that game and take its first World Cup crown since 1970, how much will that take away from his accomplishments?

"Being a football coach is my life, a pleasure," he said. "But being the coach of the Brazilian team in the World Cup is something else. It's a compromise, it's a commitment. You cannot have fun in this. You can have fun only if you succeed in winning the World Cup."

Sacchi faces the same pressures, and has the added worry of perhaps going after title No. 4 without star striker Roberto Baggio, who has a pulled hamstring.

Baggio said Friday he expected to play despite twinges of pain in his right leg. Team officials still listed him as questionable. He skipped practice to rest the leg.

Just getting this far should provide utmost satisfaction for Sacchi, his players, and all Italians. …

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