The players understood that tactical change easily. There was also a great dynamic in midfield. I never liked to play with a single defensive pivot – Mineiro and Josué would alternate in these positions. They would come out to play.
We also still had Danilo, a player with a tactical understanding of the game beyond the average player. They were a winning, talented and intelligent group. Their success was well deserved.
Having qualified for the Club World Cup, in Japan, I made a controversial decision. I would even call it bold.
The directors didn’t agree with me, but they accepted my position. I decided to rest many players during the final stages of the Brazilian championship.
“You need to understand the mentality of your rival coach”
We didn’t have any chance of winning the domestic title, but nor were we at risk of relegation. We also didn’t decide randomly.
We evaluated which players were more physically tired. Rogério Ceni (above), Fabão, Diego Lugano, Júnior, Danilo, Mineiro, Josué – those guys had played the most matches over the course of the season. Necessity dictated that we give them some rest. Not only physical rest, but mental rest too.
The preparations for the Club World Cup happened in different phases. We invited the members of the sleep laboratory of the São Paulo University to talk to the players.
Our trip to Japan had a layover in Frankfurt, Germany, and they advised us against sleeping during that first leg of the trip. They also told us to wear sunglasses all day and in the plane. The idea was to get our bodies prepared for the light changes.