Pinto says he won't coach Panamanian national soccer team
Jorge Luis Pinto poses for photographers during his introduction as manager of Millonarios FC on Nov. 14, 2018, in Bogota, Colombia. EPA-EFE FILE/Leonardo Muñoz
Bogota, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- Jorge Luis Pinto, who has been at the helm of the national squads of Honduras, Costa Rica and Colombia, said Sunday he had no plans to leave Colombian club Millonarios to coach the Panamanian national soccer team.
"Many thanks to the Panamanian Soccer Federation (Fepafut) for the offer to coach Panama, I appreciate the confidence in me, but I will continue with Millonarios," Pinto said in a Twitter post.
The coach said that he still had several goals to achieve with Millonarios, which he began leading in the first half of this year.
"(I still have) joy to bring to the best and biggest fan base in Colombia," Pinto said.
The tweets put an end to rumors making the rounds since last week that Pinto planned to leave Millonarios.
The soccer coach told reporters during a press conference last Friday that the Panamanian federation's president, Manuel Arias, had contacted him.
"Yes, the president of Panama's federation, Dr. Arias, called me. I had a long talk with him, he explained some things to me, I explained some things to him, I told him 'we're suddenly talking, let's look at this, let me look at it, let me think about it,'" the coach said during the press conference.
Pinto replaced Argentine manager Miguel Angel Russo at the helm of Millonarios, which finished the Apertura tournament with 39 out of a 60 possible points.
The club, however, played poorly in the semifinals against America de Cali and missed advancing to the final.
Pinto is on his third go-around with Millonarios, a club that he managed in 1984-1985 to a runner-up finish and also led in 1999.
The 66-year-old Pinto coached Honduras from 2014 to 2017, guiding the team through World Cup qualifying.
After Australia eliminated Honduras, Pinto stepped down from the job.
Pinto led Costa Rica to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, advancing to the quarterfinals and losing to The Netherlands on penalties.
Under Pinto, Costa Rica had its best-ever World Cup performance.
Pinto won a Peruvian league title with Alianza Lima in 1997; Costa Rican league titles with Alajuelense in 2002 and 2003; a Clausura tournament title with Colombia's Cucuta Deportivo in 2006; and a Venezuelan league title with Deportivo Tachira in 2011. EFE