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Thread: Until 2050

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Just catching up on this mate, as far as you leaving Benfica, a big call that even with three consecutive league titles, I always like to make a mark in Europe before moving on.
    True,the lack of European titles with Benfica is something that haunts me. I thought about it a lot, but the possibility of trying new leagues outside Portugal ended up weighing my decision. That and the fact that I won the double in my last year in Benfica, I wanted to leave in style and beauty.

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  3. #27
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    You are certainly getting about a bit. Three years at Benfica must be your longest stay so far.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  5. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    You are certainly getting about a bit. Three years at Benfica must be your longest stay so far.
    In fact, my longest stay was in Setubal. I've had 3 full seasons plus a few months. However it is true that in my international career, I have not stayed for a second season.

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    Part XIII

    The italian job

    I was in my office in Lisbon, analyzing the Portuguese performance in the previous Euro and also working in the future, watching potential players for future calls when my phone rang. A sports agent was on the other end of the line, and he questioned me about my willingness to travel to Rome. He had something very interesting to offer me. With the proper permission of the Portuguese federation, I traveled to Italy, more specifically to Rome to see what awaited me. Napoli had lost the manager to the Spanish team. In the previous season they had reached the 3rd place in the Serie A. What meant that they would be present in the European competitions, more concretely in play-off access to the champions league. The team had potential, money was available for new signings and the idea of working in Serie A pleased me a lot.They praised my methods of work and the results I had already achieved and without further delay, they offered me a 2-year contract. I declined immediately and said that I would sign a contract with them shortly thereafter, if only for one year, arguing that no one would be compromised or stuck on a longer contract. They accepted, and that was how we came to an understanding and two days later on 22 July 2028, I was announced as the new manager of Napoli.
    Since the days of a certain boy named Diego Armando Maradona, that this club did not know what it was to win a league. As I mentioned above, the team had good players and potential. Of course something was missing, otherwise they would not have seen AC Milan have been crowned champion the previous year. I quickly conclude what was needed, I thought to myself whether the secret of success in the late 80's resided at the feet of an Argentine player ... why not bring two instead of one?! To be totally honest, I have to say that when I arrived, there was already a player from the albiceleste country, Maximiliano Romero, a fine striker which in my opinion had not yet shown what he should and could do it. Hired in the season 26/27 from Lazio by 16M had in 63 games a record of 27 goals and 13 assists. With me he would do better as you will see next.

    Just two days after I was announced, I managed to sign Damián Monzón for 4.5M from Ajax. As I was looking to strengthen the team with new players, I also got the green light from the board to remodel the technical department. I remember that I hired a new physio, two new coaches (Nocerino and Bonaventura who knew the reality of Italian soccer as former players) and a new assistant manager...Nick Kuipers, that I had already signed from Fortuna Sittard to work with me at Ajax ( just out of curiosity later returned to Ajax as an assistant, then went to Heerenven as manager, in 2032 he jumped for Real Madrid and is currently in Stuggart).
    In addition to the Monzón signing that I mentioned, I also went to sign Dele Alli (at 34 years old free from West Ham), Alexander Isak (also at zero cost from Real Madrid where he played a minor role) among other entrances. On the last day of the transfer market, I managed to bring an excellent attacking midfielder from Feyenoord by 8.25M, Guido Grootfaam. As for the second Argentine to bring to the club ... Miguel Angel Carranza that forced us to pay 12.25M to River Plate.

    The first official game of the season would be played on 9 August, the pre-qualifying round of access to the group stage of the Champions League which would be played against Maccabi Haifa. With not so much time to prepare the team in the best way, I managed to schedule a few days to go to Egypt to make two friendly games. I also organized a tournament at Sao Paolo (which we won after defeating Benfica 1-0 and then Boca Juniors 5-2). But without further delay, I will now report what happened in this particular 2028/2029 season that I spent in Italy.

    Champions League - 64 975 people in our home stadium ready for the first match of the new season. Against one theoretically weaker opponent, favoritism was on our side, but still in the first 20 minutes a straight red card due to a harsh tackle from our central back changed the history of the game. Romero made 1-0 even with one man down, however Maccabi Haifa established the 1-1 in just 5 minutes. In the second half they pressed and taking advantage of playing with one more man than us,they managed to make the 1-2 and even a disastrous 1-3. Fortunately just 7 minutes from the final whistle, Carranza scored a very important goal that softened our defeat. The second leg in Israel would be complicated, but I was fully confident in the turnaround. So 15 days after the home game, we traveled to Haifa. We made a good match and two goals from Romero solved the game and stamped our ticket to the next stage of the competition. We were drawn to a group with Real Madrid, Lille and Dynamo Kiev. It was not an easy task but we managed to move on to the second group stage where we met Eintrach Frankfurt, Lorient and the powerful Barcelona ( who won the trophy at the end). The gap in my career to achieve relevant results in the European competitions ... continued and unfortunately Napoli fell out of the champions league in the second group stage.

    Italian Cup - We were very successful. Here are the results ( always 2 legs, even in the final ) 3-0 and 1-1 against Siracusa, 3-0 and 2-1 ( defeat) vs Palermo, 1-0 and 2-1 ( we made a confortable 0-1, but when they made 2-1 we were in danger ) against Hellas Verona. Having reached the semi-finals, we faced Roma, in a very tough match at Olimpico. We lost 3-2 ( two from Romero)but we left everything open for the home game. In one of our best perfomances of the season, we crushed 4-0 (with two more from Romero, one from Monzón and one from Dele Alli) and so we were in the final against the black and blue side of Milan.
    A 1-1 home draw took the decision to Giuseppe Meazza. We did everything to win and the final numbers of goal shots prove that (15-7) but a portentous display of the Inter keeper ( rated with 10) frustrated us.
    There were 78957 people in San Siro attending to a exciting final game. It was really a crazy match ... 0-1 ( Carranza) , 1-1 , 2-1 , 3-1 , 3-2 ( Monzón) and with few minutes to play, in the 89th minute, a fine volley from Isak (he went to the pitch as a subsitute) made the final 3-3. The trophy belonged to Napoli.

    Serie A - I think we were the most regular team throughout the competition, which in my humble opinion justified the final outcome. Our second half of the season was very solid and we were too strong for our main opponents. Our team had a spectacular sequence of results, 8 consecutive victories from January to March helped to launch us definitely to success, 0-3 Cesena, 3-0 Carpi, 0-4 Entella, 4-0 Hellas Verona, 2-5 Pescara, 5-1 Inter ( 2 goals from Monzón) 1-2 Lazio and 4-0 Juventus( 3 from local boy M.Albarella). Later in the decisive stage of the league, a 2-0 against Udinese and a hard 2-3 vs Milan ( hat trick from Romero ) made us play the match that could give us the so desirable and dreamed title, just 3 games from the end, in our own stadium against the always tough Roma. Pushed by an enthusiastic audience,we produced yet another brilliant and very competent display and as we did in the italian cup, we trashed Rome by a fantastic 6-1 !! ( 2 from Alli, one from Monzón and the final goal by Isak). After so many years of waiting Napoli won again Serie A. 34G 22W 7D 5L 83GS-36GC and 73 points. Unfortunately, and interestingly enough, my first game with Napoli started with a home loss vs Maccabi and my last game commanding the napolitan team would also end with a home defeat against Genoa by 0-2.

    I know that the success of a team depends a lot on its game ideas and on the collective strength, but I cannot fail to highlight the fundamental contribution that my three Argentinian forwards gave to our team. Let`s take a look at their global numbers and achievements...

    Monzón - 34(6) games 16 goals, 9 assists, 7 MoM and 7.80 rating ( In the following season he went to Inter for 20M )
    Miguel Angel Carranza - 26(5) games 11 goals, 10 assists , 4 MoM and 7.87 rating ( He was rewarded with his 1 ever cap for Argentina in this season at 22 years old of age. Later in 2030/2031 he was transfered to A.S Roma for 12.75M )
    Max Romero - 41(4)games 33 goals, 5 assists, 6 MoM and 7.84 rating. Talking only about his numbers in Serie A...24 goals and 8.03! rating Serie A top goalscorer, Serie A player of the year, Serie A foreign player of the year, Serie A team of the year, and obviously Napoli player of the year voted by our own supporters.

    Another player who was absolutely crucial throughout the season, was the dutchman I mentioned above. He made also the Serie A team of the year ( we had 4 players with that distinction). In the two seasons he had played for Feyenoord, he had reached quite interesting numbers... In 63 games, 32 goals and 9 assists.
    I know that my 3 argentine forwards were very important, but the relevance of this playmaker (fantastic left foot) was also extraordinarily decisive.
    Guido Grootfaam - 34(8) games, 13 goals, 18 assists 5MoM and 7.93 rating. Like Carranza,he was called for his national team for the 1st time in this season at age 24.

    After winning two titles in Italy, I considered briefly staying in the club, but the desire to explore new leagues and above all my will to add new achievements to my curriculum ... made me leave Napoli (as Italian manager of the year)on 20 June 2029.My next adventure would be in the country where the fans are extremely ...fanatical.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 04-08-17 at 08:01 PM.

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  8. #30
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    A great solo season with Napoli and a domestic double, shame that the Champions League weren't as successful.

    I'll go with Turkey as your next destination.

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  10. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    A great solo season with Napoli and a domestic double, shame that the Champions League weren't as successful.

    I'll go with Turkey as your next destination.

    I have the perfect notion that the lack of results in european competitions is directly related to the fact that I am constantly walking from club to club. Achieving european trophies requires a number of factors, one of which is stability. ..and my stays are only for short term projects and the search for immediate results.

    As for my next destination ... you're absolutely right

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  12. #32
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    Part XIV

    Bittersweet feelings

    I seriously considered taking a year ( not managing any club) to work only with the national team. In a season that would end a World Cup, it made perfect sense to devote myself wholeheartedly to my country. But one thing is what we plan and another quite different is what really happens. When I came across the possibility of going to take care of a big club in Istanbul, the challenge and the money (I confess) were too appealing for me to refuse.
    In the previous season (28/29) Goztepe had won the Turkish title (after an incredible 4 consecutive years as runner up !! ) As if that were not enough, Goztepe also tooked Fenerbahce`s manager. With the vacancy open, the invitation came and on 5 August 2029 my name appeared on the front pages of the Turkish newspapers announcing my engagement with Fenerbache. News that corresponded entirely to the truth, i must added.
    The day after the announcement, the madness I witnessed at the Istanbul airport was something surreal.I was received as a true rock star, the crowd of people waiting for me was immense. My reputation had increased a lot with my work in Italy and of course the expectations of those supporters were very high. In the possibility of things going wrong in this adventure, I remember thinking that either I would run out the back door or I would be a dead man.

    Arriving in August to any club, condemns all your desire to organize the pre-season conveniently. Time was running against me and in the short time I had at my disposal, I was able to hire a new scout, a new coach (Veríssimo, a compatriot) and 4 new players. A turkish central back, Salomon Obama (free from Benfica) Carlos Marinelli,a U21 international striker from Argentina who i signed from Toulouse by 1.4M and that had also worked with me in Benfica, where it was rarely an option for the first team, also because of his youth and Asier Carrión, a spanish left foot midfielder that cost us 1.8M to Ajax. It was I who took him to Holland and curiously it was I who took him to Benfica, still at a very young age. A reference also for one of my players, John Stones who was at 35/36 years my 4th or 5th central back, he made that season the last of his career. Moving forward, let's see what happened...

    Uefa Cup - With due respect for the remaining Turkish teams, Fenerbahce's place is in the main European competition, but if this was where we were, then it was here that we would do everything to win. In the first round the opponent to eliminate was Panathinaikos.A solid 2-0 at home, made us travel to Athens with confidence in high. I was very well received, they were very nice with me when I was in Trikala (Panathinaikos lent me 2 or 3 players) and I did not forget that. I was grateful to this club and made a point of showing it with local press statements.Unfortunately for them, a 0-0 draw served my pretensions and we were in the next round. At the reception to Excelsior, we played a good game and even with a good performance from the opponent's goalkeeper (Jan Oblak) the final result of 1-0 left good chances for the trip to the Netherlands. In the away game, when Obama scored in the 5th minute, everything became more complicated for them.They still established the 1-1, 10 minutes from time ... but they could not do anything else until the end. We were now qualified for the next phase and for our misfortune ... the opponent that would follow was neither more nor less than ...A.S Roma. Once again, we started the tie in our home stadium,a well contested game that ended in a fair 1-1 ( they scored first but we managed to equalize in the 2nd half). I knew that the journey to the eternal city would be anything but peaceful. They were eager to see me suffer in that stadium,in the memory of the Roman team and their supporters was well present the two massacres they had received from my previous team. And I knew that only a perfect game from our team, could make us move to the next phase. The Italians were stronger and were clearly favorites. After 90 minutes of play, the final result of 4-1 left no doubt about what happened. The revenge had been served, very cruel and cold ... and we were out of the competition. Just out of curiosity, Roma lifted the trophy in a disputed final with Crystal Palace.

    Turkish Cup - We entered in the third round and step by step we were winning until reaching the final. 3-0 vs Karagumruk , 0-1 vs Boluspor, 2-2 ( 4-3 penalty shootout) against Kayserispor, 1-1 ( 3-2 again in the penalty shootout) vs Trabzonspor. They were better than us, even playing in our stadium. They made 0-1 and they were always closer to 0-2 than we were from 1-1. But a goal from Marinelli in the 77th minute, relaunched the game and was crucial to the final outcome. Still, we were the ones who qualified for the final and decisive game. At the Turk Telekom in front of an almost crowded stadium, the opponent was Karabukspor. The game did not start in the best way for us, they opened the score and made us have to reverse the result if we wanted success. Their goalkeeper made a very good game( Man of the match) and hampered our task...but we played well, we created chances and we were rewarded with 2 goals that reversed the result. The cup of Turkey, was now owned by Fenerbahce

    Turkish League - Honestly, it went better than I expected. Maybe we had the best starting 11 in the league (better squad is more debatable),yet i did not expect to win with such comfort. We finished the league with 24W 5D 5L, 87GS-46G(a shame, i know) and 77 points.Our toughest opponent and runner up(Goztepe) finished with 20W 6D 8L, 74GS-45GC(better than us) and 66 points. If my southern Italian adventure had started with a home defeat, my first official game in Istanbul was also marked by an unexpected defeat at the hands of Elazigspor in our own stadium 1-2. Fortunately for me and the team, 5 days later we received and won the scorching derby against Besiktas by 3-1 ( Carrión twice and another from Marinelli). Here are some of the results we obtained ... Galatasaray 0-1 Fenerbache ( decided with a powerful header at min 93) ; Goztepe 2-3 Fene ( losing 2-1 we were able to equalize and another late goal from Marinelli gave us the victory) ; Fene 6-4 Ç.Rizespor; 6-0 Basaksehir ( 3 from Marinelli); 4-0 Gaziantespor ( 2 from Carrión) ; Besiktas 0-3 Fene ( hat trick from Carrión) Trabzonspor 4-1 Fene(A heavy defeat, but as they showed in the cup,they were really a hard nut to crack) ; Fene 5-1 Galatasaray ; 3-3 Goztepe , 1-1 Bursaspor (a late goal from Obama saving the point) and finally the decisive game that crowned Fenerbahce as the new champion, 3-1 Kasimpasa. After the title won, we decompressed a bit and we had two defeats in a row that still made me very angry Balikesirspor 3-2 and 1-3 Adanaspor. I did not want to finish the league with a defeat (as in Napoli) and with the strong contribution of Carrión, we won the last game by 0-2 against Ç.Rizespor with two goals from the spanish player.

    Following what I have been doing lately, I will also mention 3 players that I consider to have been very important to the success of Fenerbahce in season 29/30.
    Carlos Marinelli - 26(8) games 17 goals 6 assists , 4 MoM and 7.82 rating ( Fene player of the year for our fans)
    Asier Carrión - 29 ( 4) games 21 goals 5 assists , 7 MoM and 7.48 rating.
    Junior Lopes a brazilian international defensive midfielder but playing as central midfielder with me - 40 games 6 goals 20 assists 3MoM and 7.40 rating ( In season 31/32 he jumped to Lazio by 8M and only 17 games after, Inter signed him paying 13.25M )
    I must also speak of one of the most influential players of this particular season, Philip Roberts a very versatile player who gave everything for the team. A product of the W.B.A youth academy, he had been playing in Turkey since 2020 and was already international for that country !!
    Once again I won also the Manager of the year award and i was feeling very happy, altough not happy enough to wanted to stay in the club. My one-year contract ended only at the end of July, But when Borussia Dormund's invitation came, a frank and honest conversation with the chairman allowed me to embrace the new challenge ... even though it was almost two months before the end of my contract. I was careful enough to hold a press conference and I debated some beautiful tricks and words(blablablabla) to please the fervent Fenerbahce supporters and explaining the reasons that led me to leave Istanbul. With crocodile tears and full of bullshit, I regretted having to leave such a big club.

    2030 SPAIN WORLD CUP

    Regarding my job with Portugal, we had achieved the qualification with some tranquility and it was time to prepare the 2030 Spain World Cup. As soon as I signed for the german club I mentioned above, my focus turned completely to the task with my national team.
    Group F along with England, South Korea and Mexico.
    17/06 - Vicente Calderón, Madrid - Portugal vs England. We did not make a bad match but they were more competent and in the decisive moments, Tom Moss with two goals made the final result. Luckily, the other group game ended up with an optimist (for us) 0-0
    23/06 - San Mamés, Bilbao - Portugal vs South Korea. Not being the level opponent of the previous one, we considered the game very seriously and ended up doing the job well done as the final 3-1 shows. In the other game of our group, Mexico was unable to counter the English power and was punished with an enlightening 3-0.
    27/06 - Benito Villamarin, Seville (It would be strange to be in Spain and not playing here ) - Portugal vs Mexico. With the second place open and the consequent passage to the other phase of the competition at stake, the game would never be easy for both teams. When they scored first, I saw our lives walking backwards. Fortunately we canceled their advantage at the start of the second half and until the end of the match we were always closer to the 2-1 than they(the opponent's goalkeeper was the MoM) The other game of the group, which was just a formality for the English team, saw Tom Moss decide the game with two goals without response.The important thing was that we were in the next phase.
    30/06 - San Mamés, Bilbao - Portugal vs France. It would have been difficult to catch up with a more complicated opponent. They scored 0-1 in the first half. In the 64th minute, Renato Sanches established the 1-1. None of the teams managed to overcame each other after 90 minutes. At the 96th minute and already in extra time, we made the momentary 2-1 that qualified us for the next round. However, a cold pail of water in the 120th minute ... suddenly ... 2-2. An exciting and thrilling game that would have to be decided by the penalty kicks. I had been through this (twice) in my club season and had run wonderfully well. There is a saying in Portugal that there are no two without three. After much suffering and much anticipation ... we prevailed and the final 8-7 fell to our side.
    05/07 - Benito Villamarin (The portuguese federation can only have some contract with this stadium ... this is ridiculous),Seville - Portugal vs Argentina. Already without the Messi-CR7 rivalry on the table in this quarter final match, we expected a very intense and balanced game. I was pleased to see that on the opposing bench were 3 well-known guys, Carranza, Romero and Monzón However, it was no time for good memories and both of us had a job to do. We scored very early in the match and in minute 3 we were already ahead. Curiously we also made a goal with the game about to end in the 90th minute. The big problem for us ... is that between our two goals, they scored 3 !! We were out of the World Cup
    In the final of the tournament, the home team surpassed the historic Brazil by 2-0 succeeding Germany as the new world champion. I want also to highlight the 7 goals of Tom Moss that consecrated him as the best scorer of the competition (Already had been in 2026 with 8 goals) I have already spoken about this great player, and I will speak a little more in the future.

    The federation expressed its satisfaction at having reached such an advanced stage of the WC. In an informal conversation right there in Seville, I was asked to stay. I was hurt and upset that I did not get anything else, but I decided to stay and try to improve our performance in the next big competition.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 01-08-17 at 01:45 PM.

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  14. #33
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    Cracking season with Fenerbahce. A domestic double makes them undisputed kings of Turkey. Tough meeting Roma so early.

    World Cup semi final is also a great effort. When it gets down to the later stages there are always problems with squad fitness/suspensions/injuries, so the semi final is a good effort.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  16. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Cracking season with Fenerbahce. A domestic double makes them undisputed kings of Turkey. Tough meeting Roma so early.

    World Cup semi final is also a great effort. When it gets down to the later stages there are always problems with squad fitness/suspensions/injuries, so the semi final is a good effort.
    Thanks,
    Cracking domestic season with Fenerbahce indeed I know that competitions like the World Cup are never easy to conquer. Not even that was my primary objective,obviously it would be fantastic to reach the final gold with Portugal, but we were always realistic and we knew that a feat of this dimension would be extremely complicated to achieve. However, after passing the group stage and being able to topple the powerful France, I confess that I began to dream of a presence in the last 4. Unfortunately Argentina proved to be more capable and strong than us.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 02-08-17 at 11:23 AM.

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    Well done on the Turkish double mate, and a new job in the bag already with Dortmund.

    Hard luck in the World Cup, as Kingsley has said International Competition can be a bit of a lottery with such a small squad to work with and battling suspensions, injuries and fitness. Hopefully you'll have better luck in the Euros now you're staying on with Portugal.

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    Part XV

    From a disastrous start to a miraculous end

    The main german title had fled from Borussia since 2023. In 2029/2030 they had only reached 5th place in the table (the champion in title was Schalke 04). I knew the Bundelisga is one of the toughest and most competitive leagues in Europe, yet when they proposed me the job at Borussia, I promptly decided to accept it with enthusiasm. Whenever I arrive at a new club, I am careful to study attentively not only the players available, but also the technical staff. In Dortmund it would not be any different. I was duly authorized by the board to make any changes that I felt were necessary. That's how I remodeled the prospecting department, kicking out the services of the scouts that I thought were not accurate for the club and hiring 3 new scouts who met my criteria.I also brought in a new coach to assist me, a Portuguese who had already worked with me in Italy. As for the squad, despite having found some quality players,I realized there was a need to bring more players. The squad was really too short and although there was money available to bring in new players, the sports director was very clear when he informed me that there was a spending limit. It was a job that was not easy and took me many hours of sleep, but in constant contact with my scouts and with our financial deparment, it was possible to bring many new players. If the memory does not fail me, about 24/25 players came to Dortmund in that year. And another one in January (a brazilian central defender). Of course there came many players still very young, who went directly to our reserves. With the financial constraints and even taking into account the failed deals, I think we were able to complete good signings, João Silva from Ajax (3.3M) Carlos Marinelli from Fenerbache (3.3M) Mauro Albarella from Napoli (1.8M) and the new " Adriano " the very powerful striker, Márcio Lira from Ponte Preta (2.3 M) who was already playing for Brazil since he was only 20. Moritz Held was the main figure of the squad when I arrived, an international german goalscorer who had the excellent record of 46 goals in 119 games. When AC Milan arrived with a 15.25M suitcase ... I did not hesitate to finish the deal. Adolfo Rojas a spanish left winger also went to Villarreal in exchange for 14M.
    I publicly expressed my indignation when I became aware that the German league cup would still be played during the month of July . In World Cup year, they could only be fooling around with the Bundesliga clubs. It did not make any sense ,we had no choice but to accept this reality. Already after having been run from this competition that I mentioned, I organized a tournament in our stadium with the presence of my former teams, Ajax, Fenerbahce and the BESTTEAMINTHEWORLD Benfica Fenerbahce beat Ajax 2-1 and we did exactly the same score against the Portuguese team. In the final the Turks after a 2-2 draw, won the trophy after beating us by 2-4 on penalties. Even before the start of the league, we went to Napoli to face the local team and again a 2-2 draw was the final result. But pre season apart, I will now report what happened in my year in Germany.

    German League Cup - quarter final played in a neutral city, Freiburg ... Bayern rightfully won 2-0. We were out ( The winner was Stuttgart )

    German Cup - 1st round Pfullendorf 0-4 B.Dortmund ( 2 from Lira and 1 from Marinelli ); 2nd round B.Dortmund 0-2 St.Pauli shocking home defeat and we were out !! The old say...if you don`t score, they will. We were severely punished with two goals in the final minutes ( (At the end of the competition, it was Leverkusen who smiled)

    Uefa Cup - 1st round, 1st leg B.Dortmund 5-0 Cska Sofia ( 2 from João Silva, 1 from M.Lira ) with 82 844 people on the stands. 2nd leg Cska Sofia 3-4 B.Dortmund ( hat trick from Marinelli). 2nd round 1st leg 86320 people in Signal Iduna Park B.Dortmund 2-0 Platania (1 from Marinelli) We were always the better side and with 15-4 in goal shots, we should have scored more goals. Even so, we traveled to Greece with a comfortable result in the luggage. At least that's what we thought.
    In a small stadium with a crowd of only 1488 people (we have training sessions with more people in Dortmund) 2nd round, 2nd leg Platania 3-0 B.Dortmund !!! In a game where everything that could have gone wrong went even worse, we were harshly penalized for the lack of effectiveness in the set of both legs. I left out my Brazilian pair (J.Silva and M.Lira weren`t even in the bench), I made many changes in the initial 11 but still we were clearly favorites for a positive result. Platania scored twice in the first half and when they made the third in the 65th minute they went all to their defense, " parking the bus" (they were already from the beginning of the match playing only in the counter attack). We dominated all the chapters of the game, including the goal shots (10-13) but what matters is that they scored 3 goals and we were unable to overcome the extraordinary performance of their goalkeeper. So...another participation in European competitions to forget in my career !! ( by the way, again Bayer Leverkusen took the throphy against Chelsea)

    Bundesliga - Despite being the most important competition, it was also the most complicated.However it was the only title I was able to reach after our premature exit of all other competitions. Anything that ended up below 1st place meant that I had to stay at least one more year in charge of the german club. Since joining a career outside Portugal, I had promised myself that I would only leave the clubs after winning titles. And I wanted to win desperately to be able to go to new places (mainly England or Spain). Borussia Dortmund is a huge club don`t get me wrong, but my ambition always requires new challenges.
    Once again, like my previous two seasons...we had a nightmare start. Again in Freiburg, we were clearly beaten in the first fixture by a heavy 4-1. A city that clearly does not bring me good memories. Despite the bad start, we soon improved our performance and we achieved good results as the competition progressed.
    3-1 vs E.Frankfurt ( 2 from João Silva) ; 3-1 vs Wolfsburg ( 2 from J.Silva) ; St Pauli 3-3 B.Dortmund; 4-2 Schalke 04 ( 1 J.Silva, 1 from M.Lira) ; 5-1 Hoffenheim ( 1 from J.Silva, 1 from Marinelli); 0-2 F.Dusseldorf ( 1 M.Lira, 1 Marinelli); with 93063 watching the game in our beautiful stadium 4-3 Stuttgart ( 2 from M.Lira, 1 from J.Silva we were winning 4-1 at half time, but i have to say that maybe they did everything to took a deserve point); 2-2 HSV ( 1 from J.Silva another from Marinelli) a awesome 2-3 away win at Leverkusen ( 2 from J.Silva and a awful display of their goalkeeper); With 120 837 people watching, one of the games that goes directly to my career top5 best-performances 5-1 Bayern Munich ( 3 from M.Lira and 1 from J.Silva, maybe they didn`t deserved such punishment, 13-12 on goal shots but i was delighted); 4-2 Koln ( 2 from Marinelli and 1 M.Albarella); 3-2 Hannover96 ( hat trick from Lira); Stuttgart 0-1 ( J.Silva scored the only goal with a not so clear penalty in the 17th minute and was later sent off with a double yellow at minute 57. We suffered a lot to take the 3 points and given that they had 10 shots and we only 2, maybe the result was not fair for them) ; With almost 110 000 in the stands 4-2 Leverkusen ( 2 from M.Lira and 1 from M.Albarella); Mainz 0-2 ( M.Lira and M.Albarella) HSV 1-1 ( a late equaliser from M.Albarella saving a very important point) and suddenly only 3 rounds left to complete the league. We have always been between 2nd and 3rd place throughout the season. The scenario missing only 3 games to the end was not the most exciting for us. Stuttgart had 2 more points than us, they had 72 and our team had 70. Let's see then what happened...
    Allianz-Arena - Bayern Munich 2-2 B.Dortmund ( Losing 2-0 in a very tough game, somehow in just 8 minutes Mauro Albarella scored twice and we took the point ) Stuttgart won 2-0 vs Hannover 96. So we were now behind with a deficit of 4 points with only 2 games remaining. We depend more than ever on what happened in the other games.
    Signal Iduna Park ( only 89 307 people) 2-1 Karlsruhe ( Albarella made the opener, almost without knowing how they managed to make the 1-1 and with 15 minutes to play, Eduardo Ruiz made the final 2-1 which as the final numbers of 16-3 in shots shows, was more than fair). In a away match that would have been always unbelievably complicated, Stuttgart lost 1-0 to Schalke 04 and our hopes were reborn. The odds were still on their side, but at least we would fight to the end.
    We traveled to Berlin and we were confident that something good could happen. Union Berlin 1-2 B.Dortmund ( João Silva opened the score, just 2 minutes later we suffer the equalizer and again Eduardo Ruiz scored the decisive goal still in the 1st half. The result remained unchanged to the end). The schedule did not favor our rival, a move to Leverkusen on the last day and with so much at stake, could cause any team to accuse the pressure. And that was precisely what happened, a 2-1 defeat and we climbed to the top spot of the league table. Against all odds, we achieved the conquest of the Bundesliga Stuttgart went much further than we did in the other competitions, even in the Champions League, they have made it to the quarter-finals and that might help explain that they had accused the pressure. The fatigue may have been their biggest opponent at a time when they could not fail. As for Borussia Dormund, it is often said that there are no champions without luck, but if that is true then we are the living proof of that
    Borussia 34 games 23 W 8D 3L 84GS-51GC ( I know, our defense looks like butter) and 77 points
    Stuttgart 34 games 24W 3D 7L 69GS-32GC and 75 points
    The manager of the year award was delivered and in my opinion quite rightly to Daniel Stendel the Bayer Leverkusen`s manager.
    As for my players, here are the final numbers of some that I consider to have been decisive for the team

    Márcio Lira - 31(2) games 21 goals 10 assists 4MoM and 7.91 rating. Also the Bundesliga top goalscorer with 18 and our player of the year. Later that year he won Copa America with his national team.
    João Silva - 31 games 17 goals 9 assists 6MoM and 7.87 rating. First international call up with 27 years this season and like his teammate also a Copa America`s winner. In 2031/2032 ( i think it was i who made the deal at his request ) sold to Stuttgart for 8.75M.
    Carlos Marinelli - 13(15) games 12 goals ( 7 in the league) and 7.39 rating
    Eduardo Ruiz - 29 (4) games 3 goals 9 assists 3MoM and 7.33 rating. It cost a bargain, only 900K from River Plate. Good midfielder with a nice left foot. It was also for the first time called to his Argentina with 24 years old in this particular season.
    Mauro Albarella - 13(10)games 10 goals 2 assists 4MoM and 7.65 rating (talking only about Bundesliga, 10 goals 2 assists , 4MoM and 8.00 rating ). He was a U21 italian international, a youth product of Napoli , was a very useful forward who had already helped me in Napoli (37(9) games, 16 goals, 6 assists 2MoM and 7.35 rating) I love when this happens, he practically forced me to give him a place in the starting eleven(instead of Marinelli) and his contribution in the last third of the league was priceless.

    An absolutely exhausting season that took a lot of energy, it was time to rest. I chose not to renew (as you should have guessed) and in my mind, the following year would only concentrate on my work with Portugal. But as so many times in my career, things do not sometimes go the way we planned ... and my next destination would be in the country that says it rains a lot and the sun does not appear many times
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 04-08-17 at 08:12 PM.

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  21. #37
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    Part XVI

    An almost perfect season

    After leaving Germany, I went to my home country to rest for about 15/20 days. I went to Algarve with my family and I took football of my mind during this period. When I returned to Lisbon, I focused my attention on working with the national team. Our walk in the Euro qualifying group was going well, but it was still imperative that we stay concentrated on the goal. As before, although I was working with Portugal, there were rumors and even real invitations from some clubs. I was refusing all the approaches that were coming to my office. The press here in Portugal begun to talk about the potential interest of a big English club in my services. At first I did not care much about these rumors, but when I got a phone call from an agent who told me that he represented a historical London team i realized that the possibility of finally heading for England was quite real. The negotiations were intense and there was a moment when the agreement was almost falling, once again the disagreement was about the number of years of my contract.While they wanted me to sign for 3 years + 1 (of option) I only intended 1 year + 1 (option). I understood their arguments, since the retirement of A.W in 2016/2017 that they had only had two managers, Massimiliano Allegri and Didier Deschamps ( who had also retired meanwhile). After a few days of some suspense as to the outcome of the negotiations, they finally agreed to my pretensions and on July 27, 2031 my name was announced as the new Arsenal manager. The challenge was quite exciting and I was eager to start my adventure in London.To mention also that in the previous year Arsenal had won the Premierleague and also the Charity Shield which in itself added even more responsibility to my shoulders. No problem at all...i was ready
    The squad was very strong and there were valid solutions for all positions. Even so, I signed two players who would later prove very useful...Miguel Ángel Cabello a 31 defensive midfielder from Liverpool by 5.5M. He had few appearances in the main Spanish national team, but his 6 years of Liverpool playing in a good level, made me not even hesitate to pick him up. The other guy signed was a familiar face to me...Guido Grootfaam who came from Napoli in exchange for 13.25M.
    I also brought 6 new scouts (including Wilfried Zaha from WBA) 3 new coachs and even a new assistant manager, Stephen Purches who was in Bournemouth.
    In the beginning of August and already prepararing our first official game that was also the first title in dispute, we played Emirates Cup and we won with a concluding 4-0 to Borussia Dortmund and a 2-0 vs Ajax. So let's see what happened in this particular season...

    Charity Shield - A crowd of 89 964 in the mythical Wembley. Arsenal 5-0 Sheff Wednesday. One-way game as the score shows, we crushed them without any mercy at all. The season would be long, but starting this way ... I could not ask for better.

    League Cup- The advantage of having a large squad is to allow rotation in this type of competition. 3rd round 2-0 Rochdale; 4th round Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal ( returning to Anfield, Cabello netted one goal ) ; Q.Final Arsenal 2-3 Stoke City, In a good football game, analyzing coldly I have to recognize that they deserved to move on. It was not what we wanted or expected, but we were out. Stoke was only stopped in the final by Middlesbrough by the way.

    FA Cup- Without neglecting the other domestic cup, playing the oldest competition in the world, gives an extra motivation.I knew that Arsenal have some tradition in this FA Cup and we would do everything to honor that glorious past. 3rd round - Leeds 3-4 Arsenal ( 1-0, 1-1 by Montgomery, 2-1,3-1 and from the 76th minute to the 90th minute, 3 goals from our French striker, Bergougnoux) 4th round- Arsenal 2-2 Sheff Wednesday. In a game that had nothing to do with the Charity Shield final, we got very close in our own home stadium of saying goodbye. We were 0-2 down at half time. With a lot of effort we manage to do the final 2-2 that forced a new game. In the replay game, in Sheffield the 1-1 remained until the minute 83, when Montgomery made the goal that qualified us. 5th round Without leaving London, we traveled to The Valley to face the local team. Charlton 0-3 Arsenal ( 1 from Mongomery and 1 from Grootfaam) ; Q-final. Against a 2nd league English team, a defeat in this match would cover my face with much shame. It would be unforgivable to slip in this game. Aldershot 0-1 Arsenal ; semi final wich took place in Villa Park. Everton 1-3 Arsenal ( The blue side from Liverpool even scored first, but we reacted well and we managed to win, with another Montgomery`s goal) ; Wembley with 89 961 watching the decisive game. Swansea, who played in the championship, made an absolutely remarkable campaign, which included an extraordinary victory at Stamford Bridge. However, we were favorites and we had the obligation to take the trophy to our museum. Arsenal 4-1 Swansea (1 from Montgomery and 1 from Bergougnoux). I did not facilitate and showing a lot of respect to our the opponent, I took our best possible team to the pitch and the final score markedly mirrors our natural superiority. I celebrated this huge feat a lot, winning the FA Cup, honors any manager.

    Champions League - In 2025 with Allegri, Arsenal took the silverware. So I did not know what success was in the Champions League, but Arsenal knew it. In the first phase of the competition, we were in a group with Bayern, Nice and Temse (Belgium). We were competent enough to move forward to the 2nd group stage. Just to mention our two meetings with the powerful Munich team. In the away game we were clearly outclassed and they won 3-0. In the home game in the Emirates, with 60 312 people in our stands, another almost perfect game of a team under my command. Arsenal 6-0 Bayern Munich ( We only scored one goal in the 1st half by Bergougnoux, but in the 2nd half we absolutely trashed the poor German team. 1 goal from Grootfaam and a poker!!!4 goals from the local boy Montgomery ) Unfortunately, we wouldn`t able to keep producing this kind of results in the next phase. A tough and balanced group with A.S Roma, Sevilla and Stuttgart. With only 4 points in 4 games (including one more defeat at Olimpico in Rome) the last two games would be crucial for our future. When Roma came to the Emirates, we were only interested in victory. Arsenal 1-2 Roma ( Montgomey opened the score with just 5 min of game, but unfortunately we accused the pressure and could not handle this precious advantage. 1-1 in the 74th minute and just 2 minutes later, my former player Carranza killed us with the 1-2 ). We traveled to Spain desperate for a victory and even if we won, it might not be enough in order to get through. Sevilla 2-1 Arsenal ( Once again we opened the scoring, and shamefully for us, even playing from the 14th minute with one more player on the field, we were unable to win the game.With only 10 men on the field, the Spanish team managed to reverse the result) The press was hard with us and with our exit from the competition, and I felt exactly the same. We were kicked out when we had all the conditions to do better. Surprisingly at the end of the Champions League 2031/2032, PSV defeated Barcelona.

    Premiership - In my humble opinion, we were undeniably better than all the opposition. We showed a lot of security, confidence and were without any doubt the most regular team.Leeds who also made a wonderful season, ended up with 11 points less than us !! Our final numbers prove what I say...38 games, 28W 7D 3L 79GS-27GC( Leeds scored more goals with 83 but on the other hand conceded 55) and 91 points. What a great season indeed Here are some results that we did...3-0 Liverpool ( F.Boisseau and 2 from Bergougnoux) ; 1-1 Chelsea ( Montgomery in the 75th min, but they equalized in the last minute); Man Utd 0-1 Arsenal ( Crazy game, in min 18 Cabello saw a straight red card,min 24 Grootfaam missed a penalty and 20 minutes from the end our French striker, Bergougnoux found the way to score and solved the match); Southend 3-6 Arsenal ( 2 from Montgomery, 1 from Cabello and 1 Boisseau) Leeds 2-3 Arsenal ( Boisseau, Montgomery and Bergougnoux); 2-0 Man City ( Grootfaam and Cabello); Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal ( After 1-0, we reversed the score); Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle ( 2 from Grootfaam and 1 from Bergougnoux); 3-0 Man Utd ( 2 from Montgomery and 1 from Cabello); Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal; Arsenal 4-1 Leeds ( 2 Boisseau, Montgomery and Grootfaam) and the match that made us champions, with 60 344 in the Emirates, Arsenal 4-1 Charlton ( 2 more from Montgomery). During the season I was honored 2 times with the manager award of the month, and when the competition was over, I also won the prize for best manager of the year. Four of our players also appeared in the English players team of the year.
    In such a successful season crowned with 3 titles,i like to mention only a few names that were fundamental ...

    Conor Woodhouse, with only 20 years of old, a nice goalkeeper who grew up in the club.He was already at such a young age, a regular presence on England's national team. 50(1) games, 45GC and 7.41 rating

    Luis Gonzaga, a player who played equally well as central back or as defensive midfielder. An important member of the Brazilian national team, he had been a Champions league winner the year before joining Arsenal, with Lille( By the way, he was hired even before my arrival at the club and cost a modest 46.5M!! ) 45 (1) games, 5 goals, 4 assists, 1MoM and 7.48 rating

    Miguel Ángel Cabello 42(1) games 4 goals, 7 assists, 1MoM and 7.63 rating

    Franck Boisseau, An experienced midfielder who at 30 years old gave immense consistency to our midfield. He had more than 30 caps for France and was in his third season at the club. 46(3) games 11 goals, 16 assists 5MoM and 7.71 rating

    Guido Grootfaam, He had already helped me a lot in Italy and in good time I bought him for Arsenal. Absolutely precious left foot. 39(5) games 16 goals, 17 assists 6MoM and 7.73 rating

    Vincent Bergougnoux, Another player who played often for France.Curiously, this striker (who played with his left foot like old Giroud) had also been my player at Toulouse.He has grown a lot as a player since then. By the away when he was signed in 2029/2030 for the London club, he had a fine record of 131 goals in 263 matches for the French club I mentioned. 40(6) games 22 goals 8 assists 4MoM and 7.78 rating.

    Steve Mongomery, He was at 21, one of the stars of the English national Under 21 team. Robbie Fowler of modern times, a striker that like his French teammate played mostly with his deadly left foot. He was in Arsenal coming directly from the youth squad since 2026/2027. He had in 4/5 seasons of sporadic use a not so bad record, even considering his young age, 29(20) games and 22 goals. Needless to say, when the season started he wasn`t in my starting eleven. I already have many years of career and if there was really a player who surprised me in a positive way, then that player was this one. He started playing frequently because as soon as he started scoring goals, he did not stop. 38(10) games 36 goals 11 assists 14MoM and 8.13 rating !! Talking only in his Premier league numbers 26(5) games 22 goals 5 assists 11MoM and 8.19 rating !! He lost the league Topgoalscorer award to Chelsea's fabulous Tom Moss but was the player with the most MoM awards and was also the league's highest rated player. He was also 3 times the player of the month throughout the season and the player of the Year to our fans.

    I never expressed it publicly, although I also never hinted that there might be a 2nd season at Arsenal's command, but when I joined my national team Portugal (in order to prepare the Euro for which we had qualified) I knew that my decision to leave London was taken. But now it was time to think only of the Euro2032 that would be played simultaneously in the Netherlands and Belgium.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 06-08-17 at 05:11 PM.

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  23. #38
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    It is a very impressive CVof domestic success that you are building, but it has to be said that the European campaigns need to improve a bit. Lets hope that you can sort that with the next job
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  25. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    It is a very impressive CVof domestic success that you are building, but it has to be said that the European campaigns need to improve a bit. Lets hope that you can sort that with the next job
    You`re right. In fact, you're even being nice when you talk about improving a bit my European campaigns, i need to improve a lot !! Right now, i really suck in these competitions, for various reasons, I just can not seem to get close to what I've been doing domestically.

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    Part XVII

    A sad farewell

    I felt our team very well prepared and loaded with confidence for the great competition ahead. Consequently, our hopes for a successful performance were very high. Although I was careful enough in my speeches to the press, talking only about getting as far as possible and honoring our flag, in my mind I was aiming for the final victory. Anything that would end below silverware would be bad for me and seen as a failure. So let's see what happened ...

    Euro 2032 Co-hosts Netherlands and Belgium

    Group 3 - Portugal, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland
    June 6 , De Kuip Rotterdam(61 647 people) - Portugal 1-0 Italy. Best debut would be impossible, winning against the defending champion was a good injection of morale. The Italian captain, Donnarumma, made a portentous display, but we did enough to justify the final result. In the other game of the group the Nordic team massacred the poor Switzerland by 4-0

    June 13, Philips Stadion, Eindhoven(49 014 people) - Portugal 2-0 Switzerland. Again, we were always better and dominated the game as we wanted. In some players that feeling of revenge was well present (by the painful defeat of 2028), but I did not even want to remember the past, my focus was only the future and win. In the other game of this group, Italy defeated Sweden by 2-0 confirming all their favoritism.

    June 16, Philips Stadion, Eindhoven(49 087 people) - Portugal 4-3 Sweden ( 2-0,2-1,2-2,3-2 half time, 3-3 and 4-3) - The 3 points came to our side, but our defensive performance left me really upset, especially after two games where we didn`t concede any goal. Anyway, we won and we ensured the passage to the next phase. In the other game, Italia joined us in the qualified teams, beating Switzerland 3-2.

    Quarter Final
    June 19,Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels(45 168 people) - Portugal 2-1 Russia. In just 30 minutes we got a two-goal lead. Still in the first half the Russians reduced the score. Until the end of the game we suffered some pressure and it was not easy to hold the precious advantage, but luckily everything went well and when the referee whistled for the last time, Portugal was in the final four.

    Semi Final
    June 23, Amsterdam Arena (74 596)- Portugal 1-2 Croatia In a stadium where I personally had been very happy, everything went wrong for our team. In a game full of expectations and nerves at the edge of the skin, the game was intense and very hard. We started in the best way possible when we opened the scoring in the 17th minute. A bad approach from our goalkeeper and perhaps a too harsh referee's judgment resulted in a double punishment, a red card and a penalty( converted in goal, 1-1). I knew we were in trouble.They pushed us a lot until the end, because of the extra man they had, but we managed to took the game through extra-time. Unfortunately we broke a little physically, and they capitalized on our difficulties, scored the vital goal in the 94th minute. We battled a lot, I took all the risks we could to at least get the game to the penalty shoot-out, but we were not able to return to the game. We were out !! Like my players, and all my technical staff ... I was also devastated.I felt the despair and this time it was not only my players crying on the pitch. I myself did not hold back the tears, feeling the pain of the moment. I was really convinced that this Euro was our great chance to reach another historic title for the country. To my big disappointment ... I was mistaken.
    In the final of Brussels, in a match between Croatia and England, favoritism was on the English side. Croatia 2-2 England ( 3-2 after penalty shoot-out)
    Tom Moss scored the first goal of the match (later considered the MoM), in minute 33 the Croats reestablished the tie, in the second half again the English team advanced in the scorer and only 2 minutes after that goal ... the 2 to 2 that lasted until the end, including the extra-time. In the penaltys, Conor Woodhouse did not make a difference and even star Tom Moss was unable to convert his own kick. To tell the truth, England were the best team on the field, the 5-18 on goal shots prove that. But football is not always fair, and as such ... Croatia was the new European champion ( God damn it, this title should be ours )

    From July 21, 2026 to June 28, 2032, almost six years had passed. We were present in 3 major competitions and I had done my best for my national team. Unfortunately I could not turn all my effort and my work into titles. I was very sad, it was a moment that might need more reflection, but I decided it was time to say goodbye. In 6 years and almost always working part-time (maybe it was a mistake) some interesting things were achieved. For instance, many times and taking advantage of the friendly games I would call new players to the team. Some players from average teams( even 2nd league)were called for the very 1st time, sometimes they were veteran players that I decided to call to reward their good careers. Bottom line I do not remember for sure the amount of players who had the opportunity to wear the jersey of Portugal, but surely im talking of a lot of players. My place has never been in danger either, the directors have always been happy and above all, have always expressed their support for the decisions I have made. When I decided to leave the command of the portuguese national team, they did everything to make me stay, but there was no return. It was time for another manager to take charge of Portugal.

    For the first time in a long time and also because i had decided not to return to Arsenal, I was without any work. I had no intention of being unemployed and I confess that there were some interesting options for my career. Once again I turned down some invitations...but my holiday time would not be for long.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 08-08-17 at 06:59 PM.

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  28. #41
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    Just keep on going and going!

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  30. #42
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    Unlucky, but once it went to extra time you were out. There is no way that your boys would have recovered for the final.

    Back to club work and it surely has to be a team with European ambitions.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  32. #43
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    Catching up on the last few posts bit by bit in work

    Well done on the Bundesliga title with Dortmund, some achievement with such a leaky defence (in fact Stuttgart had a better goal difference!). The League Cup is always a lottery in Germany with how early it comes but awful stuff in the German Cup and UEFA Cup, I know on paper Platania sound a weak team, but to make all them changes to your starting line up despite only having a 2-0 lead?! I think you got what you deserved with that decision

    "and my next destination would be in the country that says it rains a lot and the sun does not appear many times "

    Well out of England and Spain I'm not sure where that could be

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  34. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    ... I know on paper Platania sound a weak team, but to make all them changes to your starting line up despite only having a 2-0 lead?! I think you got what you deserved with that decision
    I know it seems that I underestimated the Greek opponent, but even my starting line up scaled to this game, could and should have won, simply because we were better. I believe that the luck I had in the Bundesliga, did not appear at all in this game of Uefa Cup.

  35. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Unlucky, but once it went to extra time you were out. There is no way that your boys would have recovered for the final.

    Back to club work and it surely has to be a team with European ambitions.
    True, as the competition progresses, the lack of freshness and physical capacity of the players is very noticeable. And even if we made it to the final, I knew we would be in trouble. Anyway ... unfortunately we can not get to the final game.

  36. #46
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    So back to part II

    Mission:Rescue a giant

    I was already in my last days in London when the first contacts came. Atletico Madrid was already condemned, sunk in an unthinkable last place in the table and it was more than evident that their manager had the days counted. As I mentioned before, I already knew that I would not be ahead of Arsenal for the next season. But going from English champion to a second division in Spain ... is never easy, especially when you already have a high reputation, as I had. Still, after much thinking and already after leaving also the command of my national team, I decided to accept the challenge and embrace the project to save Atletico from 2nd division. I arrived at the club on July 19 and I started to change some things soon. I went to get Munir El Haddadi for my assistant and I also hired 1 scout and 3 new coaches. The squad offered me guarantees of good results, but still, I made the adjustments that I understood to be necessary with some signings and also with some sales.
    The season went better than I expected and we finished in 1st place as I had already mentioned. Real Sociedad who also made a stupendous campaign, finished with 95 points(10 points behind us). I will however report here our route in the Copa del Rey ... which ended with an unexpected success of Atletico

    Copa Del Rey - 1st round, Atlético 1-0 Sevilla( The saving goal came two minutes from time) ; 2nd round, Atlético 3-0 Barakaldo (one from Steve M ); 3rd round, 1st leg - UCAM Murcia 2-5 Atlético(3 from Gutierrez), 2nd leg - Atlético 1-2 UCAM Murcia (we scored the opener, and even with one man down they still beat us, but we were the qualified team) ; Q-Final,1st leg - Only 26 014 people in our stands against a La Liga team, Atlético 3-1 Mirandés (One goal from Steve M), 2nd leg - Mirandés 3-1 Atlético( Steve M cancelled the opener, but they still got 2 more and the game went to the lottery of penalty kicks, luck smiled at us and we won by 2-3 ); Semi-Final, 1st leg - Again vs a La Liga team much stronger than us, in fact at the end of this season they managed to win the Uefa Cup, and with a 30 253 crowd, Atlético 3-2 Bétis ( Steve M made the 1-0, they made 1-1, Edgar Rocha our portuguese kid scored the 2-1, again Bétis cancelled our advantage, 2-2 and already with one more man in the field than our opponent, they were reduced to 10 men at min 75, Steve M in the last minute of the match, headed for the final 3-2) 2nd leg - With nearly 55 000 people in my well known Benito Villamarin, Bétis 1-4 Atlético ( 2 more from Steve M) ; Final, Almost 93 000 people in Santiago Bernabéu, against all odds facing Barcelona who, in addition to once again being crowned champion, had also reached the Champions League final...Atlético 2-0 Barcelona ( 94min Diego Gutierrez and 104m Edgar Rocha). However, I would like to point out that we won very luckyly and with a solid defensive performance, they were really stronger than us and we suffered immensely during the 120 minutes.

    This time I will only mention two players, many more were the ones who helped me to achieve the goal, but I'll just talk about these ...
    Diego Gutierrez, a very young striker coming from River Plate( I have a special connection with this club, Monzón, Carranza, Eduardo Ruiz) in exchange for 575k. I took advantage of the fact that he was only 19 years old, to convince my board to invest in this player. In fact I had enough firepower in the squad, but still, I soon realized all the talent of this young Argentine. In the early part of the season, he played for our B team and it was so impressive that in December / January I pulled him to the main squad (19 games, 19 goals, 3 assists, 7MoM and 8.05 rat.). It had such a big impact on the group, that once again I was forced to make room for him in my starting line up. His stats after his well deserved promotion
    League - 11(2) games, 12 goals, 3 assists, 5 MoM and 8.54 rating ; Copa del Rey - 3(1) games, 4 goals, 1 MoM and 8.50 rating.

    Steve Montgomery no longer needs introductions. Did we need him? Nope. Our attack was already deadly enough, but when for reasons completely unknown to me Arsenal put him on the transfer list...I could not pass away the opportunity. It was very difficult once again to persuade the directors to invest, but a deal like this does not fall from the sky often. A complex financial maneuver and we only paid 2.9M, leaving the rest to pay which was a lot, dependent on several variables. So in January 1, 2033 Steve M signed for Atlético Madrid. The man was even playing for Arsenal, as his numbers prove...16(5) games, 16 goals, 4 assists, 3MoM and 7.95 rating. You can understand my amazement at seeing him on the transfer list. Anyway ... the truth is that he was in Madrid for the second half of the season and I had no choice but to put him to play. Take a look at this...
    League - 21(1)games 12 goals, 10 assists, 2MoM and 8.50 rating; Copa del Rey -7 games, 7 goals, 3 assists, 1MoM and 8.29 rating.

    After a perfect season, 2 trophies in 2 competitions played, I was already planning the next season. I went to hire two more scouts, made some adjustments in the squad between new entrances and exits (including the signing for free from Asier Carrión coming from Fenerbahce). Everything was coming together for another year in Madrid However like so many occasions in my long career, sometimes the unexpected happens..and we finally arrived again ... to part III.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 11-08-17 at 05:44 PM.

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  38. #47
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    Part III

    The decision

    Option 1 - Stay in Madrid. In a more romantic view, to rise with Atlético Madrid the way I did and then not only consolidate the team but also make impact on La Liga and in the others competitions where Atlético is involved, it would be really exciting. I really thought a lot about staying and I even had a renewed contract for another year but when the job offers started to come up, I knew that my time in Madrid was about to end.

    Option 2- The return to Serie A through A.S Roma. I can not deny that the proposal and the project they presented to me did indeed have very interesting aspects. Putting the star player of the team, Miguel Carranza, calling me and trying to seduce me to go back to work with him, was a master move, I have to recognize I love the city, as I pointed out before, but this would not be the step I would take.

    Option 3-Back to London. Roman Abramovich may already be 67 years old, but he still has very valid arguments when he wants to hire someone. When I met him in Madrid, the only thing he asked me, was to continue the recent conquest of titles that the club was achieving. By playing 4 domestic competitions and another 4 international competitions, the chances of further enriching my list of trophies won, increases considerably And that alone would be quite engaging, but when he spoke in numbers when we discussed my salary ... I knew that my return to London was very close of happening. Of course that with great pity for me, I would probably see my name next to Cesc Fabregas on the Arsenal hated list Don`t get me wrong, I loved working for Arsenal, but I'm a professional and everything I've done and will do, will always be for the sake of my career.

    The choice was made, on July 23, 2033, I was officially presented as the new Chelsea manager.

    I'm looking forward to how the season will go, but I'm confident that some titles will be won for sure. One thing I confess, and do not get me wrong what I'm going to say now, but it's very unlikely that I'll also go to a second year at Chelsea. Since leaving Benfica, my biggest (and perhaps only) concern is to win titles. I think that at the domestic level, I have achieved very good results, my position as manager with the best ranking in the world, is no coincidence at all, it is really the result of my work over the years. I am already planning what will happen after my work in London and if everything goes as I idealize it, until 2050 (which is the last year of my career) I will only accept 2/3 more projects. For the last 15 years, I really want a more stable situation. Things I don`t want (although they can happen):
    -"Never go back to a place where you've already been happy" That said, I will hardly go back to a club where I have already worked ( With Benfica being the only exception)
    -National teams, I`ve had my share of it.
    -Winning clubs, which are often in big decisions.
    -Go back to Portugal (with the exception of the club I have already mentioned)

    Now, things that i do want ( although they can`t happen):
    -Stay at least 4/5 years with only one club.
    -Try to win trophies that I have never won (particularly at European level)
    -Not neglecting the ambition to win trophies, betting on local youth players, developing the club academy is something I want to do.
    -To take charge of teams that have been away from great achievements for a long time.
    -Save historical clubs from very complicated situations.

    We'll talk about the future later, what matters now is the present and I have work to do in this new challenge called Chelsea. I'll give you some fresh news later
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 11-08-17 at 07:29 PM.

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  40. #48
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    Arsenal - What a first game in charge with the Gunners with that demolition of Sheff Wed in the Charity Shield, which you took into the season by winning the Premiership by a clear margin as well as the FA Cup. I wouldn't be too bothered about the League Cup but once again disappointment in Europe. Montgomery looked like he couldn't stop scoring, when you said he was the Robbie Fowler of modern times is he actually his regen or just saying that story wise? Same with Lira and Adriano when you were with Dortmund?

    Portugal - Hard luck in the Euros mate, a great run to the Semi Finals but in an International tournament things can change quickly and that red card turned the game as well as the penalty. No club or international management then, it'll be interesting to see where you end up.

    Atletico Madrid - So to Spain it is, and a big call to drop down to the 2nd Division as well. 105 points showed you romped to the title although Sociedad had a great season with 95 points as well, but the big news was in that Copa del Rey victory! Gutierrez was a bargain at £575k and who knows what Arsenal were thinking letting Montgomery go for just £2.9m!

    Chelsea - Obviously you've just arrived but on paper the chance to win lots of trophies both domestic and international is very appealing, I assume you've been given a big budget too? Nice to see after a season with Chelsea though that you'll be spending more times at clubs and filling in some more gaps in that trophy list for your CV, a return to Benfica for the last few season of your career would be fitting though I feel.

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  42. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Arsenal - What a first game in charge with the Gunners with that demolition of Sheff Wed in the Charity Shield, which you took into the season by winning the Premiership by a clear margin as well as the FA Cup. I wouldn't be too bothered about the League Cup but once again disappointment in Europe. Montgomery looked like he couldn't stop scoring, when you said he was the Robbie Fowler of modern times is he actually his regen or just saying that story wise? Same with Lira and Adriano when you were with Dortmund?

    Portugal - Hard luck in the Euros mate, a great run to the Semi Finals but in an International tournament things can change quickly and that red card turned the game as well as the penalty. No club or international management then, it'll be interesting to see where you end up.

    Atletico Madrid - So to Spain it is, and a big call to drop down to the 2nd Division as well. 105 points showed you romped to the title although Sociedad had a great season with 95 points as well, but the big news was in that Copa del Rey victory! Gutierrez was a bargain at £575k and who knows what Arsenal were thinking letting Montgomery go for just £2.9m!

    Chelsea - Obviously you've just arrived but on paper the chance to win lots of trophies both domestic and international is very appealing, I assume you've been given a big budget too? Nice to see after a season with Chelsea though that you'll be spending more times at clubs and filling in some more gaps in that trophy list for your CV, a return to Benfica for the last few season of your career would be fitting though I feel.
    Thanks mate
    About Montgomery and Lira, im just saying...I made the comparisons because I remembered the players I mentioned.
    With Portugal, maybe I had some hard luck indeed, but I still think I could and should have achieved more. That defeat with Croatia still hurts me today.
    That season in the Spanish 2nd division was absolutely fabulous. But my victory in the Copa del Rey final was based on our good defensive game and I can`t deny...a tremendous luck !
    I do not know if Roman is spending on private jets, on more yachts, or even on large mansions ... the truth is that incredible as it may seem, I found little money available to spend. In a team that has been able to bring together Champions league and Premiership in the previous year, a small budget will not affect my work. If the return to Benfica comes in the last years of my career, it will be like a dream I can not imagine a better way to end a career, but we'll see what happens in the future.

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  44. #50
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    Big decision to leave Atletico. I thought that you might be there for a while and complete the project that you had started. Of the choices, I think that Chelsea would have been the last of mine, but it that is what you want ......
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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