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Burkina Faso Coach Hails Jose Mourinho and is Among the Last Four Foreign Coached AFCON Teams

Burkina Faso faces Egypt in today’s first semifinal clash. However, while the latter is in search of a record-extending eighth Africa Cup of Nations, it is a career enlightening moment for Paulo Duarte who has managed to lead Burkina Faso out of the limbs of doubt, to actual title contenders.

The Portuguese also holds a special place for fellow countryman and one of the top managers in football, Jose Mourinho who he says is “like a father” to him.

“He is like a father to me. He is someone who completely changed the mentality of Portuguese football,” Duarte said at a recent press conference on Tuesday.

“He is a friend and he called me yesterday (Monday). The last time I spoke to him I was here in Gabon and we had played against Portugal.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Gabon always brings me luck when it comes to having Mourinho on the phone. We have spoken three or four times in the last three years.”[/perfectpullquote]

47-year Duarte who previously had a coaching stint with Gabon before reuniting for a second time with Burkina Faso is among the last fleet of foreign-based coaches, in the AFCON Games in Gabon.

Ever since the late Stephen Keshi’s feat in 2013 when Nigeria last won the title, African coaches have since been elusive to any achievement close to the former Nigerian’s.

Callisto Passuwa of Zimbabwe, Baciro Cande of Guinea-Bissau, Florent Ibenge of DR Congo and Aliou Cisse of Senegal were the only four local coaches at the tournament, with the last two highly favorites to win the trophy.

Now with their elimination, Hugo Broos of Cameroon, Hector Cuper of Egypt, Avram Grant of Ghana and Duarte are the four remaining coaches and only one of the foreign picks will earn continental bragging rights.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”AFCON is a tough tournament and the caliber of coaches needed are those of high standards.[/perfectpullquote]

“It was nice seeing local coaches giving their best shot and it will be encouraging to see more get opportunities and also learn more from their European counterparts,” legend Roger Milla told

Ibenge (DR Congo) and Cisse (Senegal) were the only two successful Africans to progress past the group stages but lost out to Ghana and Cameroon, respectively.

Featured photo: Paulo Duarte has helped Burkina Faso prove critics wrong. (AFP)

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