Carlos Alberto Parreira, the coach who guided Brazil to glory at the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA™, was in Manaus last Friday to attend the inaugural Volunteers’ Seminar and pass on his insightful views on the subject.
The culture of volunteering is one that still needs to be nurtured in Brazil, and the former coach helped shed light on the tasks performed by volunteers at the FIFA World Cup finals and the qualities they need.
Parreira is well versed on the subject, having taken part in eight FIFA World Cup finals in all. A fitness coach with Brazil at Mexico 1970, he then coached Kuwait at Spain 1982, United Arab Emirates at Italy 1990, Brazil at USA 1994 and Germany 2006, Saudi Arabia at France 1998 and South Africa in 2010, and was also a FIFA observer at Korea/Japan 2002.
One of the warmest welcomes the vastly experienced Brazilian received from volunteers came in the Far East in 2002.
“They wanted to please you every way they could,” he recalled. “When I arrived they asked me if I spoke English and played songs by The Beatles and Elvis Presley on the radio of the car I was travelling in. They wanted me to feel comfortable.”
As far as Parreira is concerned, Brazil 2014 is an opportunity for the people of his home country to show just how warmly they can welcome visitors.
“I think it’s a great chance for us to provide the very best services and to show that there’s more to us than just samba and playing football,” said the former coach. “Volunteers are an important part of that process. They need to have a smile on their faces and be ready to work.”