Yepes: Pekerman right for Colombia
Colombia captain Mario Yepes believes the appointment of seasoned Argentinian coach Jose Pekerman can give the national side the lift they need to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Pekerman, 62, was hired in January as the replacement for Leonel Alvarez, who was sacked in December after guiding Los Cafeteros to a win, a draw and a loss in their opening three CONMEBOL qualifiers.
The campaign to reach Brazil in two years' time is still in its infancy but Yepes believes Colombia were in need of a change and that former Argentina coach Pekerman has all the credentials necessary to be a success.
"I can assure you that Pekerman enjoys a big reputation in South America and that he always demands attractive football," Yepes told FIFA.com. "Pekerman isn't so well known in Europe because he's only ever coached in South America.
"[But] when I was playing for River Plate, he was coach of Argentina's Under-20 side. Lots of the players he picked at the time were playing alongside me at River and they told me good things about him, especially his desire to play really polished and technical attacking football.
"He did a good job with Argentina. He has the quality and the experience to do something with us. I think that, as an Argentinian, he'll be under less pressure from the media and fans.
"Things will be calmer for him in Colombia than back home. I hope he'll be able to lead us to the next World Cup and I'm really optimistic that he will."
The AC Milan centre-back will get his first taste of action under Pekerman when Colombia take on Mexico in a friendly on Wednesday night.