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Personality of the week - Ricardo Giovanni Mannetti

2020-09-17  Staff Reporter

Personality of the week - Ricardo Giovanni Mannetti
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Date of Birth:         24/04/1975
Place of Birth:         Windhoek
Marital Status:         Married 
Nickname:         Bucksy
Car/s:             Jaguar XE
Previous Clubs:         Civics FC,  Santos and Bush Bucks (Both SA)
Position:         Midfielder

Career achievements as a footballer and as coach: Winning the South African Top-8 Cup, Absa Cup and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with Santos.  As coach, I also helped Civics win the 2008 NFA Cup and also won the 2011 Metropolitan Bayhill Cup in South Africa with Namibia’s U/19 Komesho FC team.  

Favourite local or international footballer: The legendary Brian Isaacs. 

Favourite football club: Civics FC

Your most memorable match as a footballer? Beating a star-studded Bafana Bafana side
3-2 at the Windhoek Independence Stadium and also when we qualified for the 1998 Afcon after holding Gabon to a 1-all draw. 

Your most memorable match as coach? The 2015 Cosafa Cup final against Mozambique, we beat them 2-0 to lift Namibia’s first ever Cosafa trophy. 

Biggest career disappointment as a player? Not signing for Sheffield United as they couldn’t agree terms with Santos.

Biggest influence on your career? Brummelda Mannetti 

If not football, which other sport would you have chosen? Athletics, I was a top sprinter at school hence the okaMannetti…Lol

Be it at national team or club level, which player did you most enjoy playing with during your heyday? Mohammed ‘Slice’ Ouseb.

How difficult has your journey been getting to where you are today, both as a player and coach? It was very tough, from convincing my dad that I wanted to play football and then to sacrificing teenage life to pursue my career and love for football. Also, the many multiple trials I attended that flopped and moving on to pick yourself up again. It has been a journey for me. As a coach, the building process was tough as myself and coach Norii Kaanjuka started with the now core of the Brave Warriors. The transition for all of us was next level and it came with growing pains, I’m just glad it’s running like a well-oiled machine now.

You are widely considered Namibia’s most successful coach, having steered the Brave Warriors to the historic 2015 Cosafa Cup triumph, helping the country qualify for the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) and for generally transforming the face of the national team. To what do you attribute that success to, did you have the right players at the right time of your coaching career or the NFA’s unwavering support made your job easy? It’s both I would say, when then NFA president John Muinjo brought me in the vision was clear that the Warriors technical team and the NFA secretariat under the leadership of Barry Rukoro must break the 10 year curse (Namibia qualifying for Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) every 10 years). So we had to build a new team with age and depth on its side as that was going to help keep the momentum over a lot of years. We were also blessed with players that were hungry to make history, who possessed exceptional talent and match intelligence.

How would you describe your time as head coach of the Brave Warriors, how big of an experience was it for you? Awesome and breathtaking...will never exchange this experience for a million bucks. To see my players grow from 18 year olds to the mega African football stars they have become, that is just priceless. And my technical team, I have never experienced that kind of quality and knowledgeable people both as a player and as a coach. I’m forever indebted.

If you had to advise any incoming Brave Warriors head coach, what would that one piece of advice be to help him/her succeed? Very simple...just for him or her to add their personal touch without compromising on discipline and to keep the conveyor belt going so we never have to start from scratch again as a nation.

Last year July you parted ways with the NFA under what some termed unceremonious circumstances, did you feel that it was time to go or maybe you felt you still needed some time to accomplish more with the Brave Warriors? Perhaps depositing the last missing parcel, which is qualifying Namibia to her first ever World Cup? I felt that it was time to call it a day as I have played my part from scratch to taking the Warriors to Afcon. I really believe we can qualify for the World Cup one day but it will never be done by a coach alone. Everyone must be on board and sing the same song, from the Parliament to the sports ministry, to the corporates and the football association itself. There are only five spots for Africa at the World Cup, so we have to work our way towards that goal the same way worked our way up from the Cosafa Cup, to Chan and then Afcon. It’s a mammoth task and we can only achieve it in harmony.

You had the honour of guiding the Brave Warriors at last year’s Afcon in Egypt. How would you describe that experience? It was a very emotional ride for all of us, the players and technical team. We worked for years on this and to have finally made it that was just awesome. 

Comparing experiences, what does Namibia need to do for football to catch up with the rest of the world? Let’s first talk about Africa. The most abused word comes to mind...Development. We all talk about it but we do so little about it. We don’t have a big representation of Namibians that live in Europe like the West Africans. Europe help young West Africans develop at a high level. When they reach the age of 18 or 20, then our West African brothers go for them and that makes their teams very strong. So for us to stay relevant we have to quadruple our efforts so that we can compete pound for pound with an African who got developed in Europe. Now that takes a lot of investment in infrastructure and in well-tailored programmes because we have the raw talent!

Are we likely to soon see you back in football or it’s a closed chapter for now? I really don’t know...God will dictate my journey.

Now that you are no longer occupied with duties of a fulltime coach, what has been keeping you busy? My wife and kids...hahahaha

Your ambitions for 2020 and beyond? I would prefer to keep that card close to my chest, my next move that is.


Quick Quiz!

Zinedine Zidane, Paolo Maldini or Clarence Seedoff? Zinedine Zidane
Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard or Paul Scholes? Paul Scholes
Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger or Carlo Ancelotti? Alex Ferguson
Jürgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho? Jürgen Klopp
Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?Lionel Ronaldo...Hahaha. I will never be able to choose, so sorry.


2020-09-17  Staff Reporter

Tags: Khomas
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