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I played with weak footballers and the good ones. I know today's and tomorrow's stars. And all footballers are the same. A coach without a football career can build respect, sure. But the game, the career, just makes it easier.

We know him as the star of world’s pitches. The hero of World Cups. He was brilliant when he played in the best teams in the world, and he brought crowds into the stands. Now this football icon, one of the best players in history, will try to achieve success as a coach.

Read more in the interview below.

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Football Legend

I played with weak footballers and the good ones. I know today's and tomorrow's stars. And all footballers are the same. A coach without a football career can build respect, sure. But the game, the career, just makes it easier.

We know him as the star of world’s pitches. The hero of World Cups. He was brilliant when he played in the best teams in the world, and he brought crowds into the stands. Now this football icon, one of the best players in history, will try to achieve success as a coach.

Read more in the interview below.

Coach, no one questions your status in the history of football. You are a football icon, one of the best players of your generation…

You were supposed to be qualified, editor. And right off the bat, a disappointment. I was the best.

Opinions are divided.

I don't listen to rumours.

Don't you have respect your peers that also achieved a lot? To mention only…

They did achieve a lot. Don't worry about throwing names around. I know them very well, just as the people behind them. They've just had fun on my birthday party, something you probably know from your paper that sent a whole bunch of paparazzi to a modest celebration for 1200 people in the Carribbean. But editor, the facts are what they are. Do you know that one Portuguese sports magazine counted that if someone wanted to see all my trophies, medals and awards, I'd fill a whole wing of a medium-sized museum? Do you know that right after I've received an award for the best player in the World Cup, the English press did a special piece where they were looking for someone on this planet who wouldn't know me?

I remember, it was a whole thing. A bit of a PR move, though.

PR or not, let me know how that ended since you've heard about it.

Well, they've found someone.

Where?

Papua New Guinea. After two weeks.

You see.

Coach, but your rival won't bow to you just because he might have had your poster over his bed. He won't give away three points just because, even at your age, you will probably score after a free kick from 30 metres.

Let me tell you a story that one famous French trainer who never played football used to say. In his biography he wrote that he, in order to get his respect in the locker room, needs to prove a lot. He needs to win over their hearts and minds for weeks. Play a clown a bit, if you excuse me. But he has to do that, because the coach WON'T DO ANYTHING, even with the best skills, if the group won't follow. 

So, if he won't be the authority figure. They are his tools. If he doesn't have their respect, he doesn't have them. This coach gave an example - he had a solution for problems of some difficult locker room in a famous team of Ligue 1, but he couldn't win them over and, after a month, he was finished. And then a rookie coach who used to be a world champion entered. And these boys worshipped him. Because the secret of each locker room, editor, is that the footballers always look at their coach from the football perspective. And even if they don't realize this, unconsciuosly they're asking - what did you achieve on the pitch? You can't kick the ball straight and you want to tell me how I should play?

Coach, I think that's in the past. Today there are more and more coaches who don't have a football past at all, and yet…

And God bless them, let there be plenty of them. I don't have anything against them. I will gladly face them in an important game. But I've been a footballer my whole life, I've spent my whole life among footballers. I played with weak ones and the good ones. I know today's and tomorrow's stars. And all footballers, editor, are the same. A coach without football career can build respect, sure. But the game, the career, just makes it easier. And do you know what the players think when they hear I'm supposed to work with them?

That they can take a picture with you that will go viral on Instagram?

Good one, editor, I respect this putdown. But you're wrong. They're not thinking about me attracting people to the stadium. They couldn't imagine that a player as good as me couldn't teach them something important about the game. Think about that, editor: I've won everything there is to win in football and I wouldn't know how to do it?

Coaching is something completely different.

Then look at who I worked with. I know that I was the best - this is not a boast, it's simply what it was - but I wouldn't get there without teammates and a coach. At the top where I was, I worked with the best. The others may know the theory better. True, I don't have the book knowledge. But I have twenty years of everyday practice with the best of the best. And you know what, I wouldn't switch at all.

Football Legend

Once a star of the pitches around the world, now the manager of a team that has utmost respect for him.

The remarkable past of this coach will make the journalists turn a blind eye to the series of your failues. The stands filled with banners that cheer for the players? Not here! You are the real star of the team and the fans fill the stadium to see their idol at least once - the hero from the low-quality compilation of goals from the World Cup sometime in the '70s.

Seeing a real Football Legend by their bench, the players will catch wind in their sails and fight for their trophies.

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