Maturana backs Trinidad & Tobago resurgence

Former Trinidad & Tobago head coach Francisco Maturana (pictuted) at the FIFA World Cup symposium in Panama City, Panama, on September 12, 2014.

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Former Trinidad & Tobago head coach Francisco Maturana believes the Soca Warriors have the tools to return to the World Cup and in the top flight of CONCACAF sides.

From 2008-2009, the Colombian icon guided the Caribbean power to 18 wins in 32 games.

Speaking to at the FIFA/CONCACAF/CONMEBOL Conference for National Coaches and Technical Directors in Panama, Maturana recalled fondly his time with T&T and remains optimistic that it will improve after missing out on a second straight World Cup.

“I would be glad to see Trinidad & Tobago start doing well in the future,” Maturana said.  “I got to know the players and they are good guys, but they have to work very hard.  You see how good other CONCACAF teams are playing, like Mexico, United States and Costa Rica.  It is very competitive, so they have to work very hard.”

Maturana retired from coaching in 2012, his last coaching engagement was with perennial Saudi Arabian powerhouse Al Nassr.

He now sits on the FIFA Football Committee, tasked with inter-institutional relations between the football’s governing body, confederations, clubs, leagues and member associations.

Maturana urged CONCACAF members in attendance to review thoroughly the information presented at the symposium and implement measures to lift their football.

“All the aspects discussed here are quite important,” expressed Maturana.  “The CONCACAF teams have to decide which pieces discussed can be useful.”

In an outstanding coaching career, Maturana led national teams of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Trinidad & Tobago national, as well as top-flight European clubs like Atletico Madrid.  In 1989, he managed Colombia’s Atletico Nacional to the Copa Libertadores title.