Dely Valdés Promises to Work as Coach to Take Panama to the World Cup

By Dialogo
September 23, 2010

I wish you the best in your obligations and may almighty God bless you and give you wisdom to humbly and conscientiously work hard…may God bless you… Julio, I know that you are capable to share all your knowlege that you gained in all the clubs that you been, and that you wish for Panama to participate in a world cup as a player and did happened, so now as the coach you going to make sure it happen.
Good luck and keepup the good work. Pa' lante, se puede.
The new coach of the Panamanian soccer team, Julio César Dely Valdés, did not promise championships during his introduction as head coach, but rather “work” to take Panama to the World Cup for the first time.

“I’m not promising championships to anyone. I’m not promising wins; instead, I’m only promising everyone that, together with the coaching staff, we’re going to work hard,” the former international forward from Panama said during the signing of his contract and his introduction to the media.

“This was a long-awaited moment. It was something that I was eager for, and I’m very happy to sign my name as head coach,” the former forward for Málaga (Spain) added.

The president of the Panamanian Soccer Federation, Ariel Alvarado, stated that “the fact of having Julio (Dely Valdés) in Panama, ready to take on responsibility for the national team, facilitated things a great deal.”

The Panamanian federation has been looking for months for a coach to take the reins of the Canal Zone eleven in preparation for the qualifying rounds for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, discarding the options of Argentine Alfio Basile and Colombian Luis Fernando Suárez (former head coach for Ecuador).

Nevertheless, the federation decided not to offer Dely Valdés control of the team for the World Cup qualifying rounds, because the organization will hold elections at the end of this year and the current directors do not want, they say, to tie their successors’ hands.

For now, the new coach will lead the Canal Zone squad in the upcoming Central American Cup, to be held in Panama in January, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, in the United States in June 2011.

“I’m going to start the process heading toward the 2014 World Cup (…) but the chief thing now is to work to strengthen the team so that when it comes time for the qualifying rounds (in 2012), there’s a competitive team, independent of whether I’m the coach or not,” Valdés said.

The new Panamanian coach previously played as a forward for Nacional (Uruguay), Cagliari (Italy), Paris Saint Germain (France), and the Spanish teams Oviedo and Málaga.

Panama has never been to a World Cup and is a country where soccer has been gaining fans at the expense of baseball and boxing, the traditionally most popular sports.

Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli has said that he will pay five million dollars to the future head coach if the country qualifies for the Brazilian World Cup, something disavowed by the Panamanian federation.