Former Shimizu S-Pulse manager Afshin Ghotbi on Friday revealed he will work as an assistant to Curacao national team coach Patrick Kluivert for the team’s upcoming third-round qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.
The 51-year-old Ghotbi, who parted company with S-Pulse last July, said he had responded to a request from former Netherlands striker Kluivert and agreed on a contract for just the two CONCACAF home and away qualifiers against El Salvador next month.
“He (Kluivert) is a fantastic guy and a global star, upcoming young coach. I will do my best to support him. Nobody expects this team to do well, so it would be a Cinderella story,” Ghotbi told Kyodo News.
“Most players are from Europe, and the quality of the players are higher than most people expect. I think Curacao has a bigger chance than most people think. The federation wanted to bring in more experience and professionalism to elevate the players’ confidence.
“For me, it was the first time coming back to the CONCACAF area, so that was a motivation too,” added Ghotbi, who formerly managed the Iranian national team and is an American citizen.