We spoke to the former Brazilian striker, today 45 years old, who played for the US-RN and Guarani in 2004 before being the European champion for Porto. He was then Abel Ferreira’s teammate for Sporting in his post-Portuguese football career.
UOL: The two years you played with Abel in Sporting between 2007 and 2009, did you already show interest in studying football?
Like this: Abel was always very attentive, he was young, a right back who always did a great job, an excellent professional, he never missed training, he suffered some injuries. He always loved to focus on strategic issues, and being a coach is the subject of a profile that he has. He loves to study, he already had a profile of the leader at the time.
At the time, you, Abel, Toenail and Marco Caneira, other sporting players, met to analyze training methods. Can you explain how it works?
Abel, Toenail and Caneira were the most experienced Portuguese on the team, with goalkeeper Tiago, who was no longer playing. With me, Lidson and Anderson Polga, too, we were the oldest group on the team with great responsibility, and we happened to talk about training sessions and games together. The coach does his part, prepares the strategy and we have to analyze the coach’s job, but what does he want to help the coach to know what we are going to do as an athlete. It did not want to change, because then coach Paulo Bento knew what he was doing. It was to know what we could do better to fit into the system we already knew. Football is made up of details, which often make a difference.
When Palmyras announced his signing, did you ever think he would be so successful? Since?
I have doubts in talking about Portuguese coaches, as they have developed the most in the last 15 years. This is the result of a job that grew with the study, mainly after Jose Mourinho. He took details from Barcelona and Dutch school to Portugal and was a success. Each tried to evolve with his style, and the result was the work of George Jesus in Flamengo. There were Paulo Bento and Jesulo Ferreira, who did not have the same success, but we must keep in mind the team they worked with. Abel was very willing to capture Palmeiras, even working in Greece, fighting for the title. He is a young man whose head focuses on development. He is football. It worked, he spoke the language of the players, he understood what he wanted and was a success.
How do you see Abel’s moment in Palmyras, reaching two important finals in less than three months in Brazil?
This is a great opportunity, he knows that Palmyras is everything he always dreamed of. Work in the big, top clubs fighting for the title, regardless of the country. Even more in Brazil, which is basically a national title, with more respect, than in many other places. And he is fighting for the international title, Libertadores, the equivalent of the Champions League in Europe. So after getting an opportunity to do this work, he thought about it and just congratulated him on his decision to come to Palmiras. Certainly his outstanding work naturally always has its way of returning to Europe in big clubs, if he decides to return like George Jesus. But I believe that Abel can stay here even longer, not only because of the work he does in Palmyras, but it is only natural that the club can value his work.