An Attack-Minded Devil
From the very outset he had a very clear idea of how his teams would play: “I have very positive thoughts and dreams, I will never be defensive. If Argentina or Brazil are going to beat me, then they will have to do it against a Bolivia side that is trying to dominate the game. It is not in my nature to have teams retreat into their own area. In the qualifier away to Brazil in 1993, we lost 6-0, but Bolivia had the first three chances to score. That’s how my role model, the Spaniard Xavier Azkargorta, taught us and that’s how we felt and I still feel today as a coach. It wouldn’t be difficult for me to transmit that in Bolivia, although my country’s mentality is very different. Once, a coach asked me to mark Cafu and I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be better for him to worry about what I’m doing?’ I was in the team that beat Argentina on the way to winning the 1986 South American Under-16 Championship, which earned us a place at the World Cup in Canada. You have to feel important and not bow down to big-name rivals.”
Whether in Bolivia or the USA, El Diablo is still a formidable character.