Although I was not there for long, it was in England that I experienced one of the most beautiful things in football – the respect for and from everyone. I had invitations from rival coaches to come to their houses before or after a match so we could talk about football, about life.
It was an experience that taught me to respect my colleagues even more than I already did. From the kick-off to the last whistle, it’s important to appreciate the managers of the other teams.
From then on, wherever I went, I did the same. It’s all about welcoming your colleague. They must understand that we are rivals on the pitch, but never off it.
Furthermore, living in London was wonderful. It’s a spectacular city, a special place to live in – as I did for almost a year.
I also learned how the fans have affection for their local clubs. We would play in the countryside, and the stadium would be packed with local supporters. They really support the club of their city. They don’t all support Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United. No, no. They support the team of their city.
This is beautiful, and I will never forget it.
“I used to observe Sir Alex’s manner, and tried to study his methodology. I still use it now”
Perhaps I would work in Europe again at some point. Why not?
At 70 years old, it’s a bit more difficult – the clubs and national teams are looking for younger professionals with a different approach, but perhaps I could do another function for them.
I don’t consider myself old. I still want to work for much more time.
I learnt how to do that from Sir Alex Ferguson (below). You know, I’m a disciple of his, and we had a nice relationship. We were in touch when Cristiano Ronaldo was coming to play for the national team, and Sir Alex was Manchester United’s coach. And then again, during my time at Chelsea.
I used to observe his manner. I tried to study his methodology, and I still use it nowadays.
It taught me to delegate more to the people who work with me. They can conduct things until a certain point, where I come to action. I believe that I do now something similar to what Ferguson did at Manchester United with Carlos Queiroz.
So, I keep working. I don’t see myself as useless. I see myself as someone capable of sharing my knowledge with those who are 30, 35 or 40 years old. They might be full of energy, but they do not have my experience.