Pirates will play like Man City under Riveiro, says a Finnish journalist


The moment Orlando Pirates announced Jose Riveiro as their new coach, the reaction from most people was ‘Jose who?’

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Most moved quickly to Google to check the Spanish mentor but not much could be found. 

The only notable entry on his profile is that the 46-year-old was formerly with Inter Turk in the Finland league for three years. A Finnish journalist named Mikko Knuuttila told SAfm’s Thabiso Mosia that he is a typical Spanish coach.  

“What I can say is that he is a coach with a good tactical nous, very gifted tactically,” said Knuuttila. 

“He is also not afraid to change, he started with a 4-3-3 and then changed to 3-4-3. He plays passing, possession, attacking football with the ball. He doesn’t like his teams to rush the ball.

“When he came to Finland, he brought a striker along and it worked well at FC Inter. They would get the ball wide and in the box to him and he scored. But this doesn’t mean he likes to play the ball in the air, he actually likes to build slowly.

“Actually he’s like a typical Spanish coach, you can expect a similar kind of football played at Manchester City (under Pep Guardiola). 

“I’m not saying he is on that level but it’s just an example of how he wants to play. He’s from the North of Spain, maybe a bit more reserved than other coaches from Spain.”

On his character, Knuuttila said he is a reserved person who lives football and it is a topic that is always on the tip of his tongue.

“He’s very calm with the media and doesn’t lose his temper easily. He likes to talk about football. But the pressure here is not the same as in other countries. 

“I think South Africa will be different, he must adapt to media pressure, fan pressure and the culture.

“His assistant, Sergio Almenara was here with him at FC Inter, it’s his trusted person. They qualified the team for Uefa Conference League but didn’t play in the competition. They left to seek other opportunities and now they’re in South Africa. But I don’t know the fitness trainer.”

Knuuttila also revealed that the Finish media feel this is a big job for Riveiro because of the pressure and size of Pirates. 

“My colleagues here in Finland say this is a big move for Jose Riveiro. We all agree that this is the biggest move that a coach has made from our league in Finland because we know how big Pirates are.”

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