I have had coaching spells in Greece, with OFI Crete and Atromitos; in Serbia, with Red Star; and with Standard Liège in Belgium. At each, we managed to achieve positive results. I took charge in difficult situations and transformed the teams into challengers.
In Poland, at Legia Warsaw, we also did a job that was rewarding – but I found there was a lot of resistance to ideas from overseas, and I couldn’t put my philosophy into action at all times. I mean, with timings and routine rules at the club. We eventually climbed the table into second place, but I believe that incompatibility cost us the league title.
In Saudi Arabia, at Al-Fateh, the situation was even worse. The environment wasn’t really professional, and the issues were enormous.
But every experience has its value, and I was still able to grow in that less professional environment.
“In La Liga, I faced phenomenal players: Zidane, Rivaldo, Ronaldo”
Back home in Portugal, I have had some interesting experiences. At Belenenses, a traditional club in my home country, we managed to qualify for the Europa League group stages for the first time. Both in terms of football and financially, it was a very good period for the club.
In my most recent job at SC Braga, I believe we did an outstanding job in a demanding context, with games basically coming every three days during a five-month period. We had an unbeaten run in the Europa League, enjoying better results in the competition than both Porto and Sporting. I thought we were the best team in the group stages.
When I left the club, we were climbing the Primeira Liga table and in the semi finals of the League Cup. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to finish that job.
All of these experiences have made me a more mature professional, though. I feel ready to manage any team in the world.