at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Orlando Pirates head coach Augusto Palacios has explained the recent sudden departure from the club of former Portugal, Arsenal and Fulham star Luis Boa Morte, insisting he simply wasn't good enough.
The 34-year-old Boa Morte joined Pirates amid much fanfare on an 18-month contract in mid-January, but left the Premiership champions little more than three months later without any clear reasons given for the sudden and unforeseen departure.
“Luis was undoubtedly a top-class player, and his record at club and international level is proof of this fact,” Palacios said shortly before he penned a one-year contract as the new head coach of the club on Wednesday.
He had previously held an interim role after former coach Julio Cesar Leal was sacked in March.
“But he 1/8Boa Morte 3/8 has slowed down a little bit now and with Pirates having a particularly strong complement of midfield players, who include Andile Jali, Dane Klate, Isaac Chansa, Oupa Manyisa, Thulasizwe Mbayane and Tlou Segolela, among others, there was simply no regular first-team position available for him,” Palacios added.
Boa Morte, who played 28 matches for Portugal and was a pivotal midfielder for Fulham for more than eight years, made only two PSL appearances for Pirates during his brief period with the club.
“I fully understand his feelings and frustration about having to sit on the bench,” Palacios said.
“When you have been a player of his stature, it is not easy to be demoted in such a manner.”
The Pirates coach explained why former Bafana striker Benni McCarthy, also 34, had proved a big success with the Buccaneers after joining the club for the past season.
“There is a glaring absence of goal-scoring strikers in South Africa,” Palacios said.
“And although he might have lost a couple of yards in pace, we needed someone with Benni's special gift for smelling out scoring opportunities and taking advantage of them.
“It was a case of supply and demand and Benni had the ingredients we needed.
“Boa Morte, on the other hand, had qualities which we had in abundance.” - Sapa