Joel Santana says he will replace Brazilian compatriot Carlos Alberto Parriera as coach of South Africa. Santana's club, Flamengo, have also claimed the 59-year-old will take charge of the 2010 World Cup hosts.
"Joel is transferring to the South African national team after the final of the Carioca championship," said Flamengo's vice-president Kleber Leite.
Parreira, appointed in February 2007, announced his decision to resign on Monday to spend time with his ill wife. Santana said he was unhappy to be leaving Flamengo but delighted with his new job. "These things happen once in a lifetime," he said. "Quitting here is difficult. I'm heartbroken, but I am a professional."
Leite added: "He (Santana) told that me that he will earn in 30 months more than he has earned in the last 30 years. "His dream is to coach a national team at a World Cup." Santana is recognised as a journeyman professional with a good track record in Brazil. He has little international experience, apart from brief stints with clubs in Saudi Arabia and Japan. Parreira, 65, had been hired to prepare South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.
He put together a young and inexperienced team, which suffered a series of poor results and was eliminated in the first round of the African Cup of Nations in Ghana earlier this year. As a result, they slumped to 71st in the Fifa rankings, but they beat Paraguay 3-0 in a friendly last month. Parreira, whose resignation takes effect from 2 May, will continue as technical advisor, while his two assistant coaches - Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane - will remain part of the set-up.