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Thread: Until 2050

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    Cool Until 2050

    Part I

    I just ended my season with Atletico Madrid and i have to confess...It was a hell of a season I am finally the top manager of the World and my long career makes me really proud.

    Today, 13-06-2033 i am a very happy man with all my achievements but i still have some goals in my career. I really want to retire at 2050, when i turn 69 years old. Before explaining what I've done so far, here are some of my numbers as a manager . Some purely statistical data

    Leagues won - 12
    Cups won - 10
    Awards won - 10
    Games played - 811
    Games won - 487
    Games drawn - 146
    Games lost - 178
    Goals scored - 1722
    Goals conceded - 965
    Players bought - 188 ( total value € 141.000.000 )
    Players sold - 87 ( total value € 120.000.000)
    Teams managed - 15 ( As you will see later, i ve been in 9 different leagues across Europe )
    National squads managed - 2

    An interesting detail that proves all my competence as a top manager ... in about 18 years I did not even once know the bitter taste of the whip, I was never fired
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 26-07-17 at 05:16 PM.

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    Part II

    When i arrived at Vicente Calderon to take over Atletico Madrid i found a very decent squad with some good players, some U21 spanish internationals and even two very reputated strikers, one from Argentina ( international A ) and the other one with more than 30 games with Netherlands. Inexplicably in the previous season this team finished the La Liga in the 20th place of the classification.It was precisely the challenge of recovering Atletico to the place where it belong which made me leave the always exciting Premier League.

    I made some adjustments to the good squad that I found and I knew that promotion only with a great catastrophe would not be obtained at the end of the season. And that's really what happened 42 Games 32W 9D 1L 114 goals scored (league record) - 25 goals conceded and 105 points !!! But the cherry on top of the cake was the spectacular achievement of the " Copa del Rey " Against the almighty Barcelona we somehow manage to win that game 2-0 after extra time. I confess that in long periods of the game, we suffered great pressure and being 100% honest, they did more than us to win the trophy ... but what is certain is that after 120 minutes ... we took the Cup to our Museum.

    I'm going to tell you here, my whole career as a football manager, but I'm talking about my present now, because I really have doubts about what to do next, that is, my future is still unknown.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 26-07-17 at 05:16 PM.

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    Part III

    So, what should i do from now on !?

    In this 2033 year, a lot of things happened and of course I'm very aware of what's going on in the world of football. Some good managers decided to end their career, Paulo Bento finished and left the place open in Genoa after winning the scudetto, Paulo Sousa retired at Betis after winning the Uefa Cup, Frank de Boer also retired from the game after an incredible year at Chelsea ( both Premiership and Champions League conquered) and even Luis Enrique after more than a decade winning throphies after throphies with Barcelona decided to put an end to his career. In addition to this, there were also some manager changes in some important european clubs.

    It hurt to see my beloved Benfica relegated (what a nightmare !!! ) and to tell you the truth, if the manager spot opened ... of course I would not think twice about my future. I'm building a great career and I have an incredible reputation, but Benfica will always be Benfica. I'm shocked at what happened, but unfortunately it's not an option right now.

    The greatness of Barcelona impresses anyone, and coaching Barcelona is a dream that all managers have, but for me it is not an option. Speaking only of La Liga (yes, they also won many cups and supercups, both in Spain and in Europe) they manage to win 15 La Ligas...in 18 years !!! The other 3 Real Madrid won, but always sporadically. They ended the year losing both the Copa del Rey and the champions league, but still once again they conquered the La Liga. Still, I did not even apply for the job. The inheritance is very heavy and I do not want to expose myself to unnecessary risk.

    Of course being manager number 1 in the World allows me to choose whatever i want, so in my mind and given the open possibilities , I have 3 career choices.

    Option 1 - Stay at the Vicente Calderon and follow up on the good work developed. The team is very good and it`s even better with the signings I`ve already made.

    Option 2 - Accept the invitation from A.S Roma and return to Serie A. A very competitive team that after two consecutive Serie A titles has not won anything in Italy for two years. A beautiful stadium, fanatical fans, lots of money available and a city that I personally really love..all things that make me thoughtful. There is also the factor Miguel Angel Carranza, an outstanding 26 years Argentine forward who is one of the world top players. Last year was considered the 3rd best in the world. It makes me proud to know that it was i who brought him to Europe when he was only 20 years old. Awesome player really.

    Option 3 - I've already won a lot and I'm very pleased with the career i've been building over the years, but ... i'm still thirsty for victories. Accepting this invitation from Chelsea, automatically implies the presence in many competitions and as such, the obvious possibility of enriching my vast curriculum. Of course it will never be an easy job for me. The pressure is at the highest level ,they are currently the holders of the Premier League and the Champions League so the minimum that i can do if i accept the challenge...is to win more titles. Remember that I spoke about the 3rd best player in the world ?! Plays for Chelsea the best player in the world today, a phenomenal striker who is authentically the Alan Shearer of modern times. Tom Moss 27 years old, the entire career with Chelsea (a youth product) 521 games, 312 goals , 75 assists and 7.91 Av Rat. By the way...for England 77 caps and 61 goals. Training this extraordinary player is a challenge that pleases me, i must confess.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 26-07-17 at 05:16 PM.

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    The Roma and Chelsea jobs are appealing but I like to stay at a club till the job is done and that would mean at least winning La Liga with Atletico.

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    Indeed the Roma and Chelsea jobs are very appealing, and im also thinking in a second year with Atletico just to at least try to conquer the La Liga. And because i won the Spanish Cup, i will play Spanish Supercup and also the Uefa Cup if i stay in Madrid. However talking about the possibility of winning more trophies...i cannot deny that if i choose to go to London i will be closer of adding more and more titles to my manager career. Im still thinking of what i will do

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    Hullo there, Rodrigo

    Love the style of your writting. It's great to read about how the world of football is in the 2030s. Show us some screenshoots of those legends (Moss, Carranza...)

    Regarding your future, there is only one option: stay in Atlético until Benfica's managerial spot is vacant. I can't bear to hear how bad Benfica is doing, even in a fictional world it hurts. Don't you long to seat in the mytical Luz dugout, 65 000 cheering the red and white sun-bathed shirts?

    Que lindo é vermelho e branco...
    Que lindo é vermelho e branco...


    Cheers!

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    Really liking this. What data update and patch are you using my friend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psmith View Post
    Hullo there, Rodrigo

    Love the style of your writting. It's great to read about how the world of football is in the 2030s. Show us some screenshoots of those legends (Moss, Carranza...)

    Regarding your future, there is only one option: stay in Atlético until Benfica's managerial spot is vacant. I can't bear to hear how bad Benfica is doing, even in a fictional world it hurts. Don't you long to seat in the mytical Luz dugout, 65 000 cheering the red and white sun-bathed shirts?

    Que lindo é vermelho e branco...
    Que lindo é vermelho e branco...


    Cheers!
    You are right, seeing Benfica on a situation like this is very painful and most of all...shocking And yes, i will be running to my beloved Benfica if the opportunity appear. I will try to show you some screenshoots ( i had a little bit trouble doing that some time ago )

    Cheers !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tierney-LFC-1990 View Post
    Really liking this. What data update and patch are you using my friend?
    Thanks my friend. Im using the October 2016 Data updated and the Tapani 2.21.1 Patch.

    Cheers

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    Nice one mate and I agree with the others, stay at Atletico for one more season then move on to a new team

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    Part IV

    The beginning

    July of 2015 i was appointed the new manager of Caldas Sport Clube. A very small club of Caldas da Rainha a city that is roughly 58 miles away from the capital Lisbon. Just out of curiosity my first signing was Jonathan Woodgate. He came to play and also to be part of my coaching staff.
    The team only had 3 effective players and as a result I needed to hire many new players. Because I actually found a club without any money avalaible for hirings, i was forced to sign many young players of questionable quality at zero cost and i brought some loaned players. I remember of bringing a brazilian striker from Farense ( on loan) Fabio, a very average player but that in my humble ( and weak) team really made a difference. Second division B in Portugal is divided in 3 zones, north, center and south. Each division has 20 clubs and at the end of the season only 1 team in each zone ( the first classified) reach promotion. Therefore, in a poor team like mine and faced with these facts, I knew that it would took some time to even dream about climbing to second league. We were playing in division center to be fair, in my opinion the least difficult of the 3 zones, yet the task would always be very complicated. We started the season well and although we were kicked out early in the Portuguese Cup, our perfomance was well above my optimistic expectations.
    In March 2016 against all odds and sensationally we were in the 2nd place, 7 points behind the leader Mafra (a much stronger team and clearly the main candidate to go up) and although I knew it would be a matter of time before we fell on the table, everyone was happy in the club.

    Normally I'm a patient person, but when the Mafra manager embraced a project of a 2nd league club and abandoned his place ... i was not able to resist the invitation to take over the club. So i left Caldas in 2nd place and i took over Mafra It was in this way a little opportunistic( i must confessed) that I conquered in my first year as football manager my first title. Obviously from March to June it was only 3 months and as such i may not have great merit in this achievement, but still at the end of the season ... I was the champion manager
    .
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 01-08-17 at 04:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodrigoazevedo View Post
    Part IV

    The beginning


    Normally I'm a patient person, but when the Mafra manager embraced a project of a 2nd league club and abandoned his place ... i was not able to resist the invitation to take over the club. So i left Caldas in 2nd place and i took over Mafra It was in this way a little opportunistic( i must confessed) that I conquered in my first year as football manager my first title. Obviously from March to June it was only 3 months and as such i may not have great merit in this achievement, but still at the end of the season ... I was the champion coach.
    ahahahha you will never be able to show your face in Caldas da Rainha again after pulling that stunt!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psmith View Post
    ahahahha you will never be able to show your face in Caldas da Rainha again after pulling that stunt!
    Eheheeheh, surely they understood the decision I made. I've been back a few times with different teams and I've always found the stadium full of people. And I'm sure it's an honor for Caldas to know that it was there that I started to take my first steps as a manager. And a curious fact, only in season 2030/2031 Caldas finally reached the 2nd division

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    Part V

    The fastest way

    In Mafra I found a squad with some value, but a little short in terms of valid solutions. I made the adjustments that I understood necessary and above all that they were possible (some deals at zero cost and some loaned players joined us). In the 2nd division, there are 3 teams that are promoted to the top tier, I had the perfect notion that despite having set up a competitive team, the climb was out of our reach. In the Portugal Cup, we managed to reach the fifth round but in the league things did not run especially well, in the first 22/23 fixtures, we have always been there in the struggle to escape the dangerous zone. I was frustrated and upset with my team and also with myself, I just did not realize what was going wrong. However, our luck somehow changed and a spectacular sequence of 10 consecutive victories in the final part of the season made us finish in 8th place.
    Of course the board was absolutely delighted with this feat. From escaping to relegation to a very comfortable place in the table, it was good for the fans, for the team, for the city and especially ... for me, because it caught the attention of other clubs.

    Cova da Piedade finished the second league in 3rd place, which meant that they would be the last promoted team. Their coach was hired to another team (I can not remember which one) and the place was vacant. I applied for the job but i honestly did not even think I could be chosen. What is fact is that on May 20, 2017 I was announced as the new Cova da Piedade manager.

    I had only done two full seasons as a football manager , but my 3rd would be in the 1st league

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    Part VI

    Sometimes we have to take a step back to move on

    For the debut season of Cova da Piedade in the 1st league, I tried to strengthen the team as much as possible. Finally I found a club that had some considerable money to spend. Unfortunately I failed some deals but still i managed to bring some players. I mostly hired players who were on the layoff list of other clubs and some young players who were quite promising, and who needed minutes of game to grow even more. The start of the season was very good and we achieved some surprising results (I remember for example the draw in the F.C.Porto stadium, the home draw with the great Benfica) We were indeed playing good football, the results were exciting and we were comfortably installed in the top5 of the league table. What happened next was precisely what no one was expecting ... a big break in our shape and the bad results that began to appear reflected that. The team went into a negative spiral and from a comfortable place to the dangerous places on the table was an instant. The most serious thing was that I felt incapable of reversing this negative situation, suddenly and for the first time in my short career I felt that the players were not on the same " wave" as me. I dropped again in the fifth round of the portuguese cup, but I was only focused on keeping the team from falling into the relegation zone.

    What i did next is not something that I'm proud of in this career of more than 15 years, but I'm sure that if I went back in time ... I would do the same again. Vitória de Setúbal, a historic portuguese club with a few Portuguese cups in the curriculum and with some presences in the Uefa Cup competition, was now in the middle of the 2nd league table. When the invitation came up (after i applied for the job, it's true) I still reflected a bit on what to do. Five minutes later I informed the board of Cova de Piedade that I was on my way to take charge of Vitória de Setubal. I know that you guys are thinking that i run as a rat and you are right in some point But it is not so linear. The truth is that I saw in this historic club the momentum I needed for my career. Vitória has conditions of work that honestly the 3 clubs where I had worked previously do not have. I returned to the 2nd league, but paradoxical as it may seem I knew that I was taking a step forward in my career. I was hired in February and in the remaining months of the season, I made the team finish in 6th. When I got to my new club the promotion places were already almost impossible to attain.

    Cova de Piedade was relegated at the end of that season. I do not remember now who was the incompetent and stupid manager who could not save them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodrigoazevedo View Post
    Part VI

    Sometimes we have to take a step back to move on



    Cova de Piedade was relegated at the end of that season. I do not remember now who was the incompetent and stupid manager who could not save them.

    ok, so now you can't show your face in Caldas or indeed go to the beach at Costa de Caparica. At least you'll be enjoying some proper fried squid while in Setubal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psmith View Post
    ok, so now you can't show your face in Caldas or indeed go to the beach at Costa de Caparica. At least you'll be enjoying some proper fried squid while in Setubal
    In Setubal as you will soon find out, i am even better than José Mourinho ( a son of Setúbal ) They just love me

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    Part VII

    Happy years

    From February 2018 to June 2021 i was V.Setúbal manager. When i think about my years in Setúbal, I always get a big smile on my face It was truly happy times and it was in my opinion my consecration as a top manager. I wrote earlier that I finished the season in 6th place. In 3/4 months you can not change much, but I prepared and planned very well the next season in order to attack the promotion immediately. A historic club like Vitória belongs to the elite division without any doubt.

    Season 2018/2019 - The cup of Portugal is a competition loaded with tradition and value but for some reason, I just could not get into the decisive stages. This particular season did not break the rule and my team was eliminated in the 5th round. However, in the league ... we had an absolutely brilliant season. The team gave me full guarantees and the promotion more than a wish, it became a must. Of course, my speech to the media pointed above all at the objective of reaching the 1st league. But my speech to the team ... was far more ambitious, anything that ended up below 1st place would be bad for what I had planned so thoroughly.
    We won the league title (10 points of advantage over the 2nd) at the end of the season. 72 points , 22 W, 6 D , 6 L , 80 GS and 42 GC ( the only thing that made me feel not so happy).

    Season 2019/2020 - The squad I had chosen was already quite reasonable, but I further strengthened the team to face the new season at the top league.When a team get promotion, normally next year it is expected that the same team will fight to stay in that division but believe it or not, I always knew that my team was destined for another type of fight. I'm not going to talk about the Portuguese cup, because it's been another year "watching ships go by" But The 3rd place I got this season, is something that surprised the football people in Portugal. The best in the world Benfica was in 1st place, followed by Sporting and in 3rd place the sensational newly promoted...Vitória de Setúbal. What a season !!! 19W 8D 7L, 62GS and 35GC.

    Season 2020/2021 - This time we went to last 8 of portuguese Cup, which was an improvement, but it still left me a bitter taste. I would like to have played a Cup final with Vitória but unfortunately I didn`t have that luck/opportunity. In the UEFA Cup we had a very discreet participation, perhaps for lack of experience but still I believe that we could and we should have gone further in the competition. As for the league, what we achieve is still remembered nowadays in the beautiful city of Setúbal, with great longing. We fought until the last round of the league, a fierce fight with Sporting but unfortunately we lost the battle. Sporting ( 73 points , 23W 4D 7 L 52-20 ) V.Setúbal ( 71 points, 22W 5D 7L 72-42 ) We lost only by two points and at the time I was very frustrated, but I recognize that it was a sensational season and against all expectations V.Setúbal achieved the highest classification ever. To this day. The second place meant that next season ... the Champions League would be played in Setubal. However, I would not be the leader of the team ... I had already decided that I would not stay for another year. They did everything to convince me to stay, but I felt that the time had come and it was the right moment to embrace new challenges.

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    Part VIII

    The new challenges

    On June 20, 2021, I left my position as manager in Vitória Setúbal. I confess I felt a tightening in my heart, but I consciously felt it was time to change.I've only been on holiday for a month (which was good anyway) because on 27 July of the same year, and following an invitation that made me think a few days, I was appointed as the new coach of Senegal. My idea was really a club outside of Portugal, but when this opportunity came, the chance to lead this African country in the African Cup of Nations and also in the World Cup, competitions for which Senegal was already qualified, after considering a little bit, I decided to accept the challenge.
    After some time getting to know the selectable players and after two friendly games, I chose my 23 for the African competition.We had Congo, Cape Verde and Gabon in our group.I do not know honestly if our squad was the best in ACN, but we had some very good players like Sadio Mané, Kalidou Koulibaly (although physically limited) Kouyaté, Henri Saivet, Diafra Sakho, M`Baye Niang, Idrissa Gueye, Moussa Konaté among others.The first game was much more disputed than what I had originally planned, but in the end we prevailed 3-2 against Congo.The 3-0 applied to Cape Verde in our second game allowed us to secure passage to the next round.Despite the fight for the first place still open, I took advantage of the last game to give minutes to the less used players. It went well and after a scoreless match against Gabon, i started thinking about the next stage. Tunisia as host would never be an easy game, however we did our job well and the final 1-3 threw us straight into the semi-finals.An intense battle against Algeria was what awaited us. That's exactly what happened, the final 3-2 proves that. We were in the final.The possibility of getting Senegal to win for the first time ever the African Cup of Nations made me very enthusiastic
    In the final we found Gabon again.Unfortunately the game that was very well disputed and very well played from each team, fell to their side. In the extra-time, a goal from the decisive Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang destroyed my dream and the hopes of Senegal to win something unprecedented.

    Meanwhile in that same month, I received in a hotel in Tunis, the visit of two people linked to a club in the north of France.I proceeded correctly and went to ask permission of the president of the Senegalese federation to accumulate functions.As soon as he gave me carte blanche, after I ensured that the planning for the World Cup was still at my top priorities...i took control of Valenciennes of the French 2nd division.The club sailed in calm waters in the middle of the table and in four months I did not change much. The squad was short in quantity and also in quality. We ended in a common 9th place in the league table. But while the second half of the season was taking place, I was already planning the next season.I closed some hard deals(with not much money available) and I managed to convince 3 good players that i had in Setúbal to join Valenciennes, although in the 2nd division. Unbelievably, the board invalidated those 3 transfers from my former players that I had already agreed to, with the season in progress. Apparently the agreed value for those deals according to the board was completely unreal and inadequate. Of course i ran in conflict with the board after this episode, I was really angry with them and only 4 months after I got the team, I submitted my resignation request on June 13, 2022.

    Back to Dakar, Senegal, i was really expecting a good World Cup for us. Unfortunately, perhaps because of the weather in England, we had a competition to forget.
    1st game - St James Park, Newcastle against the always hard Uruguay we scored the first goal. However, catapulted by a devilish Suarez, they reversed the result and won 3-1.
    2nd game - Villa Park, Birmingham we face Austria.Once again we scored the opening goal of the match, but they pushed us hard and were rewarded in the end with two goals that made it 2-1 for them.After two games, the World Cup ended for Senegal.
    3rd game - Stadium of Light, Sunderland. Game without history that served only to meet schedule. Natural defeat by 1-0 against a Germany already qualified.
    Out of curiosity, Switzerland came as a surprise and amazingly they reached to the World Cup final, however Spain was stronger and took the gold in the end.

    Disappointed by the failure, I decided to terminate my contract with Senegal. Suddenly I was back in the job market and again looking for new challenges.

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    Part IX

    The return of the opportunist

    Before you judge me, do not forget that I am from the same country as José Mourinho. My desire for titles, for achievements is very similar to the desire that a vampire has for blood Without employment and without immediate prospects, I took advantage of the second half of 2023 to relax a bit and leave the football aside.I went to travel with the family, I went out with friends, I spent some time fishing in the beautiful Rio Sado For those who don`t know, this river will flow into Setúbal. So as you have to calculate, this fishing activity was something that I started doing during my stay in the city i mentioned.
    My agent has given me four concrete proposals during the period I have been without coaching. Two from Sweden, I believe that one of the 1st division and another of the 2nd division (As if I really wanted to leave my sunny country to go get me in the cold of northern Europe) , one from a turkish club and even an invitation from a portuguese club. I thanked them for the confidence they were giving me, but I declined the 4 job offers. My agent was really mad at me, but since I'm the one who decides my own future, I decided to give him a kick in the ass.He argued that I was getting used to the good life and doing nothing, but I simply told him that I would not go back to work unless a good project that would get me closer to the titles.

    It was in the last days of the year that I received a phone call from a man who wanted to meet with me.We arranged a meeting in a hotel in my hometown, Lisbon.Once there, two men were waiting for me.The two guys, having made the proper introductions, went straight to the point.In a very good english (it had been in greek language and we would still be there looking at each other today) they presented me with a interesting project, a club situated in the center of Greece, with good facilities and whose immediate objective was to ascend to the Greek 1st division.In a 30 game competition, 15 fixtures had already been completed and this club led the league with 5 points ahead.Hummm, i cannot deny that when they mentioned this, I automatically felt tempted to accept the invitation. I asked for a few days to think (to look good) and on January 7, 2023 I was officially presented as the new manager of AO Trikala.
    When I arrived in Greece I found a medium-weak short squad. The club had little money, despite good working conditions.The solution found to give more depth to the squad, in order to consolidate our position in the table was to establish a series of contacts with clubs of the 1st division. I put my hands to work and with some effort I got loans from some young players which helped to strengthen the team.Panathinaikos just for example, helped us with three young players.
    On March 12 we achieved the much-desired promotion.A week later and still in festive atmosphere, we became champions.It was not an impressive record and I remember that we even had a compromising defeat at home. However on the following fixture an enlightening victory in the stadium of our main rival to the title, gave us the necessary momentum. 19W 1D 6L 55GS and 33GC

    Two months later, in May, I was preparing the next season when I got a phone call from Portugal.The Paços de Ferreira (second league club) manager had gone to an already relegated primodivision club. I will never understand these options of giving up the fight for a title to go to a doomed club. There were only two games left until the end of the season and everything was still to be decided in the second league.Paços de Ferreira were in 3rd place, but the title could still be achieved. I was the man wanted to ensure at least the promotion. The trick was now to untie myself from Trikala!! When I went to speak to the board already with this proposal in hands (although they did not even dream of it) i claimed homesick. They tried at all costs to keep me there, even wanted to do a wage review just to convince me. I argued that I really missed home and that I had many problems adapting to the country.They finally accepted my bullshit, and the next day I was flying to Portugal. I dont want to imagine their faces when they saw me signing a contract with Paços de Ferreira, only one day after I had said goodbye to them.

    My stay in Paços de Ferreira lasted a mere 13 days!! I arrived, we got a draw in the first game, we won the last game and so we reached the 2nd place that meant the promotion. Paços saw me as the ideal manager , I only saw them as a bridge.My intention, although I did not spread it, was never to stay in this northern club. My reputation was growing, and the rumors, fueled by the ever-popular media, indicated that I was preparing to take on clubs from another dimension. And they were right.

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  35. #21
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    Part X

    The dream job

    Since I know myself as a person, I have an immense passion for the great Benfica. I remember being a kid, and living moments of pure happiness in that gigantic 120,000-seat stadium of Light. I know it is advisable to avoid joining professional life with sentimental life. Since I chose being a football manager, I always give 100% for the club I defend. Even when I play (which has happened more than once) against the club of my heart. There is an old saying that ..." the train only passes once." The opportunity to take over a huge club, to win titles and to be able to do it in the club that we love ... it simply becomes impossible to say no.
    When the legendary Rui Costa called me to his office, I knew I was among the names spoken to succeed Rui Vitoria. Of course a club of this size, has always several options to choose from. I knew I was just one possibility among others, but I was hoping to convince the responsible people at Benfica that I was the right person. I believe that the conversation I had with Rui Costa was very productive and although I never hide my ambition to make Benfica recover the titles lost in the last years, I was sincere in my speech. I promised work, dedication and fight until the last drop of sweat by Benfica's holy sweater.

    On June 18, 2023, I was announced as the new manager of S.L Benfica. A 2 year contract plus another year of option was what I signed.At my first press conference, I emphasized the honor I felt in being there. I also said that we (me and my staff) would make Benfica fight for the title in all competitions. When you are in this club, there are only two options...win or win. I also mentioned old Mario Wilson who once said that any manager who leads Benfica...takes the risk of being champion.

    The old rival of always, Sporting was at the time holder of three consecutive titles and I knew that there was much work to do ahead. Of course the goal was to win as much as possible in this adventure, but to be totally honest, I was already satisfied if in 3 years I got at least 1 league. One of my first measures at the club was precisely to bring back former club players who have always been positive references. That's how I hired Luisão to be one of my assistant coaches.
    I did not revolutionize the squad, although for the first time in my career I found a club with lots of money available, the truth is that I found in the squad many good players and I chose to give them confidence. Of course, I also did some signings in order to further strengthen the team. So let's see what happened...

    Season 2023/2024 - It has not been an easy year, especially since there is always that natural suspicion about your work. However, I managed to unite the team and at the end of the season, the hard work paid off. In the League despite strong opposition from opponents, especially from Vit.Guimarães who finished in 2nd place, 6 points beyond us, we won the title with 78 points. 34 games, 24W 6D 4L 81GS-34GC Salomón Obama ( which cost me some money to get him out of the second Atletico Madrid team) ended the season as the best goalscorer of the team with 19 goals. In the league surprisingly the best scorer was Ricardo Horta, an attacking midfielder who netted 18 goals. Ricardo Horta was also considered the best player of the season by our own supporters. A mention also for the excellent contribution of Bernardo Silva who was the king of the assists of the team. In the cup of Portugal our way was interrupted in the quarterfinals. A 3 goals tie in Madeira against National, forced to a new game in our home. After extratime, they left victorious by 2-4. Curiously, it was also for the quarter finals that we stayed in the Uefa Cup. We still won in the Sporting stadium for 1-2 in the second leg of the tie but was insufficient to reverse the shameful 0-3 of the first leg.I also won the Manager of the Year award. Deservedly in my opinion.

    Season 2024/2025 - The year began with a thunderous clash between the last two champions of the league in a frenzied Super Cup match. Sporting won the Portuguese Cup and won the right to play this competition with us. In our heads was still that humiliating defeat in the Uefa Cup. The game was electrifying and the uncertainty lasted until the last minute, but in the end we won 3-2 and the cup went to our museum. In the portuguese cup, once again we went down in our own home. A painful defeat 0-1 at the hands of Braga in the 6th round ended our dream of winning the trophy.The return of SLB to the millionaire Champions league was reasonable. We passed the first group stage with some good results, but unfortunately we were not able to get past the second group stage.The image we left was positive, for instance even today people still remember a thunderous 7-0 on Galatasaray.
    Fortunately in the Portuguese league, we have once again achieved success.Braga fought bravely to the end, but it was us who emerged victorious, 75 points against 69 from Braga. Our stats: 23W 6D 5L 82GS-42GC. Landry Dimata (came at zero cost from Anderlecht and still with me at Benfica, I sold it for almost 12 million to Ajax) a Belgian striker, was our best goalscorer of the year. 23 in the season and 17 in the league.The prize for best player of the season for the fans, was of course also for him. As for the assists for goals, the featured player was Neto Moura, a Brazilian defensive midfielder, very strong in the set pieces. I don`t need to mention who won the Manager of the year award.

    Season 2025/2026 - The season that gave me more pleasure, but still, it was very grueling and I lost many hours of sleep. My reputation and above all my competence as a manager have reached very high levels in this particular season. Paradoxically, we even started badly, with a 0-2 defeat against our old Lisbon rivals, Sporting in the portuguese Supercup. In Europe, our performance was not much better. We fell in the first group stage of the Champions League and as consolation we went to the Uefa Cup.In the third round we were lucky to travel to Rotterdam. At least, that's what I thought. The results proved that I was wrong. After a fine game at the Feyenoord stadium that ended with an unfavorable 4-3, we did everything to go around the tie, but we were penalized with a frustrating 0-0 home result that sent us out of the competition. In the league, we found a very strong Porto, which made us sweat like never before, but luckily we smiled again at the end. For the 3rd year in a row, Benfica was crowned league champion We ended just like our first season, with 78 points, 5 points ahead of F.C.Porto. Our numbers : 24W 6D 4L(again, just like our 1st season) 96GS-46GC. Our defensive performance really made me angry. Luckily our offensive power made all the difference in the end. Strange as it may seem, our defensive performance in the Portuguese cup was simply brilliant. An incredible four clean sheet in a row were essential to our cup victory. 2-0 vs Porto, 3-0 vs 1º Dezembro, 5-0 vs Académica Coimbra and in the final match a 3-0 against Marítimo.
    The magician Bernardo Silva has made a fabulous season. He spread magic and class on the pitch with that fantastic left foot and once again was the king of assists for goal.The player of the year for our supporters was however Michel Sidibé ( He was the most talented player of Valenciennes at 18 years. I threw him in the first team when i was there. It was an intense fight that I had with the board of the French club, but fortunately I was able to bring him to Lisbon). He scored a total of 26 goals, 19 of which were in the league.

    Obviously everyone in Benfica wanted me to stay in the club, from the most common of supporters to the highest leader ... the chairman.In three years i broke the hegemony of Sporting, I changed that very same hegemony to our side, i won 3 consecutive leagues and i also won a supercup and a portuguese cup.To do this in the club of our heart is something I can not even describe. An immense pleasure, an extreme happiness and an unparalleled satisfaction.I can`t deny that i had never had such a grueling job. Every defeat we had was synonymous of a nervous breakdown for me.I do not like to lose anywhere i'm working, but in Benfica ... i was sick and blinded with rage every time it happened. I experienced moments of pure joy in Benfica and a tremendous honor in helping to win trophies, but i felt it was time to leave.I can not say i did not feel a bit of bitterness when I decided not to renew the contract with Benfica, but still, i leave with my head raised and with the feeling of mission accomplished.Maybe someday I will return to the GLORIOUS best in the world.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 05-07-17 at 07:12 PM.

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  37. #22
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    A decade as a football manager

    In addition of winning the national title and the portuguese cup, i was also celebrating my first 10 years as a manager. Maybe I did not always make the best career decisions, yet I had many reasons to be proud of my career. In Portugal I won everything there was to win, 1st league, 2nd league, 2nd Division B, Cup and Super Cup,i was three time in a row the Manager of the year. I got 2 promotions and a half (the one from Paços de Ferreira although I counted in my resume, I only really did two games! In Setúbal I got the best classification ever for the club, at the debut of Cova de Piedade in the 1st division, it was i who was in charge of the team. In Caldas and even in Mafra, ok maybe some people do not like what happened, but still i came back many times in pre-season games just to leave some money at their ticket office.I`ve been some months in France, I also spent some time in Greece where I won the 2nd division, I competed in an African competition that I unfortunately lost and I had the opportunity to play in a World Cup. In just ten years, I think it's not bad at all.

    I know that football is a collective sport and I also know that in the eyes of any manager, the group is always in 1st place.Once someone said that all players are equal, but there are some players who are more equal than others. I do not really like to individualize, however it's only fair to mention some players who were absolutely crucial in my career. I apologize if I forget anyone, yet I leave here some names that were very important to me.

    Caldas - Fábio a brazilian forward who was loaned from Farense and who honestly looked like Maradona among his teammates. Never in his life would be a starter in my subsequent teams. Very average player who helped me a lot in this club.

    Mafra - Some interesting players in the squad, although nothing special. The best of them were undoubtedly Rafael Lopes, a nice striker who i took for free from Chaves and Francisco Ramos a young defensive midfielder, who came from F.C.Porto on loan.

    Cova da Piedade - Rafael Lopes which I bought for 40 000 euros from Mafra. Emanuel Hackman a Ghanaian central who came from Boavista for 55 000. I also highlight the important contribution of João Carvalho,a youth product from Benfica that I managed to bring for free.

    Vitória Setúbal - In 3 years, I have provided many good players to this club. Victor Andrade a brazilian forward who was on loan from Benfica(later in his career he spent some years with Sporting). I got Eder ( yes, the Euro2016 hero) loaned from Porto.At first I even gave him a place of prominence in the team. Very hardworking and very supportive,however he had a difficult relationship with the goal. Believe it or not, Rafael Lopes also came to Setúbal I also remember Bruno Fernandes a portuguese U21 international, who was initially loaned by Sampdoria, but was later hired for free. Mauro Cerqueira that cost me 80 000, a good left back that came from Nacional.

    Senegal - In my time with Senegal, I found some interesting players with some status. God damn it, I really should have won that damn game with Gabon, if it were not for that brilliant Aubameyang and I'm sure we would have won the game. It should have been the match for Sadio Mane to appear in style. The speed of this player was really impressive...he was in fact a very good player.

    Valenciennes - Michel Sidibé with only 18 years was by far my best player. Later when i was in Benfica i took him for 1 million.

    Trikala - I always wondered how they were ranked 1st in the league when I arrived. A short and low quality squad where one particular player stood out. Ahmed Hassan Eldenawy a cold striker from Egypt. I lost count of the times his goals have taken us from more complicated situations.

    Paços Ferreira - It's even shameful to admit it, but I can not remember the players names. Give me a break...it was only 13 days

    Benfica - In this kind of club, the difficult thing is to find players with poor quality.Currently unfortunately they even have some ( how the fuc****they fell to 2nd league ?!?! ), but in the years I spent there ... that was unthinkable. Ederson who regained confidence in his game with me, Victor Lindelof who was a central defender with a lot of class and very solid, Nelson Semedo a very consistent right back defender, the magician Bernardo Silva with his immense technique and excellent ability of doing death assists, all these players were already at the club when I arrived. Every season i reinforced the squad and spent some money doing it. I like to think it was no coincidence that even after I left, they continued to win trophies. I brought to this club, Stefan Velkov(bulgarian central back from Schalke 04 by 9.5M) Salomón Obama ( 2.5M from At.Madrid) Billy Buxton (a 15.5 M english defensive midfielder from West Ham) João Silva (a 1.2M brazilian playmaker from Coritiba) Sidibé who i mentioned before, a certain guy called Harry Kane ( 2.2M from Tottenham) and Fede Valverde( 3.6M from At.Madrid) a awesome uruguayan player. In the only season that I had him at my disposal in 25/26,Valverde finished the season with 8.00 of rating in 36 games !!

    Above all these players I mentioned, two men I had the genuine pleasure to lead.

    LIONEL MESSI - I don`t know if you've heard of this guy ! Seriously, what a phenomenal player. I am suspicious to talk about it, because I am part of the large number of people who think this genius is the truly GOAT. I still do not know how the hell i got him to Setúbal. I have read here a few times about the CM Gods, maybe that will help explain the arrival of Leo Messi to Setúbal. Either that or the quality of the fish in this city helped to convince him. He arrived at age 34/35, and I was always careful to manage his physical condition, but i'm sure he was the key piece that made us fight for the title until the last day of the season. Messi was of course the team's top scorer with 21 goals but the most important was the impact he had on his teammates. It elevated our game to another level.

    Komnen Andric - Now, you may think that my fetish player was Rafael Lopes ( it's true that i signed him 3 times ) but the reality is that my fetish player in the first 10 years of my career, was this Andric. He was my player for a few months at Cova da Piedade, he played for two years under my command at Vitória and in my last season at Benfica, he was on my team. On July 7, 2017, I signed him from Belenenses for 75 000 when he was only 22 years old. Later in 2019 i paid 65 000 to Cova de Piedade and took him to Setúbal. Finally in 2025 when his contract expired, he went to Benfica.
    When I say that I consider him my fetish player, it is because I believe that I am responsible for his career. However, if I always trusted this player, it was because he always responded well in the grass. Take a quick look at his numbers:
    He was international for the first time at age of 23 and finished his career with 29 goals in 51 caps for Serbia.
    1x player of the year at Cova de Piedade ( no matter if i played with a single striker or with two, he was the main man)
    2x player of the year at Setúbal
    3x third best goalscorer of the league(always with Vitória)
    3x in the 1st league team of the year
    1x best goalscorer of the league ( season before joining Benfica)
    2x third place concerning the best player of the league
    1x the most man of the match league award

    From 2025/2026 to 2029/2030 he played for Benfica winning 3 league titles, 3 supercups and 2 portuguese cups. Today (2033) he`s still the best goalscorer of V.Setúbal`s history with 115 goals.

    Awesome striker indeed
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 01-08-17 at 04:42 PM.

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  39. #23
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    Part XI

    The globetrotter

    Having completed my work on the giant of Lisbon, where i recognize without problems only lacked better results at european level, I was in the eager to see what was next.My main objective was really to go to other places, try other leagues and above all try to enrich my list of trophies. I was prepared for any project that eventually came up, i had already proved my competence and my value as a top manager, which undoubtedly benefited my reputation and would allow good teams to emerge on my horizon. At least, that's what I expected. I left Benfica at the beginning of July and that same month, an invitation appeared that I sincerely did not want.At the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Argentina, which consecrated powerful Germany(What a surprise! ),Portugal did not even make it through the group stage. They fired the man of the command and the place was available. When the members of the Portuguese football federation came and talked to me, I knew exactly who had been chosen to take the job. Myself I made it clear that despite my desire to go to a foreigner club , my patriotic sense would not allow me to turn my back on my own country. However i added if I had an invitation from a good club, i would accept, i would accumulate functions. Evidently they protested and asked for total exclusivity, i stood firm in my pretensions and made it clear that if they really wanted me for the job they had no choice...take it or leave it.
    Only 18 days after leaving Benfica, i was announced as the new Portugal`s boss. The qualification for Euro 2028 that would take place in Spain was the primary and immediate goal.

    I must say that the work in the national team kept me busy and focused. At least that was what happened until the beginning of February 2027. Fernando Hierro left the project in Toulouse and the board of this french club proposed to me the position. Interestingly enough, the club was sitting in 1st place in the league table and was still in contention in both French cups. Naturally I accepted the challenge. Luckily for me, the squad offered all the guarantees to fight for success in the competitions we were involved with.
    In the league,a compromising home defeat with Lyon and a away defeat in Bordeaux,threw our aspirations to the ground. PSG took the chance and became french champion. It was a pity we lost that battle, but talking about the french cups the results were different...for much better. Since taking over the team,this was the record we had

    French Cup -0-0 against PSG(In the lottery of the penalties,we were the ones who were smiling in the end) ; 5-2 against Saint-Etienne; 5-1 vs Caen ; 4-1 on Niort and finally a tough match against Cretéil in Stade de France, Saint-Denis which fortunately we managed to win by 2-1.

    French League Cup - 4-3 vs Nice(very struggling game that we solved in the extratime) ; 2-0 against Bordeaux and in the final of the competition once more a hard game that we won 2-1 against a tough Lorient.

    I could say that my intention would be to guide Toulouse the following season but i would be lying. Even with the appeal of playing in the Champions League, in my mind the idea was truly to leave for a new team. In just 4 months, i won two more trophies, it was time to go on another adventure, to another country.
    After France, the next destination would be a little more to the center of Europe. A country that like Portugal has 3 great teams. It was in the Netherlands that i continued my career.

    Meanwhile my work with the national team was doing well and we were in the tracks on the way to the proposed goal.

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  41. #24
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    Part XII

    The convenient job

    In a season that would culminate with an ever demanding Euro 2028, nothing better than a job that did not make me expend so much effort.When I decided to leave France, I knew that the invitations would come very quickly. It was therefore without any kind of surprise when I received the proposal from the giant of Amsterdam,Ajax. A certain Clarence Seedorf who had managed to win 3 consecutive Dutch leagues had accepted the invitation to go to Lille. It did not take me too much time to respond positively to the invitation, a winning club with a very competent squad, with numerous solutions and with money to spend, was what I needed for my career at that time, Ajax was the ideal club for me. I could hardly find a better situation I am a professional and i have a super competitive mentality, I would never go to Ajax to play around like a kid, but that year I cannot say that I wasn`t focused on achieving success with Portugal either.
    For the first time in my manager career outside of Portugal, I had the opportunity to plan the season from the beginning of it. I signed José Fonte as a coach and among some signings, I would like to highlight three Argentines. Two of them I will speak later, of the best known Paulo Dybala, which I hired for free at 34, I can say that throughout the season it was a player who helped but did not have the preponderance that I expected. In fact, he came more often from the bench than from the starting 11. After taking my team on a 10 day tour to Portugal where we played pre-season matches against Caldas, Mafra and V.Setúbal and after home friendly games against Feyenoord and Tottenham we were ready to start playing the long season that awaited us.

    Dutch super cup - a good 2-0 win vs Oss meant my 1st title in Dutch territory.

    Dutch cup - We died in the quarter finals against an old rival. A disappointing 1-3 against the future winner of the competition, PSV in our own stadium left us with empty hands.

    Champions League - After overtaking a group with Bayern Munich, Goztepe and Olympiacos, we reached a second group stage with Torino, Sevilla and Man Utd. Against the predictions of experts, we managed to reach the quarter finals. After so much work and effort, a good 2-2 in the ever difficult Russia opened us the best expectations for our home game. Sadly CSKA showed more will and more skill than us and won by 1-3.

    Dutch league - 23W 7D 4L 81GS-35GC , 76 points ( 5 more than PSV) Meant the fourth consecutive title for the Amsterdam team. In previous years the final league points was always better, 87, 86 and 86. Of course, the sports criticism of the great majority of the media took advantage to attack our "weaker" year. I only can imagine what they felt when they saw me snatch the Manager of the year prize( awkwardly it is delivered in March!)
    Remember that i spoke of Landry Dimata of my times in Benfica? The previous year he had scored 25 goals. With me he only got a total of 12. It's fair to say that he played a lot of games, but he was by no means a starter. The key to our league success came directly from Argentina, more specifically from River Plate. One of our scouts when we were in the pre-season,brought me a report of two players that attracted me a lot of attention.
    Damián Monzón - 27 years old, left foot forward and clearly one of the stars of that Buenos Aires team. I had a terrible battle to bring him to Amesterdam, i paid 8.25M for his services. But it was worth it, because the man's final numbers speak for him. 34(8) games, 18 goals(15 in the league) , 9 assists and 3 MoM, 7.67 rating ( 7.90 in the league). To our supporters, he was the man of the year. In my opinion, the prize was well delivered because he deserved it ... however i would have made another choice...the player I'll talk about next.
    Miguel Angel Carranza - 20 years old U21 argentine international forward(i already spoke about him in Part III ) Sensationally i brought this talented player on a 1 year loan contract. And what a magnificent season he made in his debut year in European football !! 43 games, 20 goals (16 in the league) 9 assists and 6 MoM. As for his rating, 7.77 overall and an impressive 8.06 in the league in 31 games !!

    I forgot to mention but during the season I had managed to qualify Portugal for the Euro. I was on the stands in Sporting`s stadium in 2004 in the semi-finals against the Netherlands and most recently i was in the stadium of Lyon when Portugal drew 3 against Hungary. Leading the national team now ... was a dream come true. The Ajax`s chairman did everything to convince me to stay for at least another year leading the club. I found it good not to renew and depart in order to focus 100% on the competition that would take place in Spain. That's how days before the Euro, i left Amsterdam with 2 more titles

    I had high expectations for us in this Euro, unfortunately did not run in the best way.

    Group 4 with Switzerland, England and Austria.
    11/06 - Benito Villamarin, Seville with 62 476 on the stands. A very tough and resilient opponent, the mighty England. We started the game very well and completely over them. In the first 50 minutes of game we were already ahead with an unexpected 3-1. The reaction was strong and in just 6 minutes, still within the first quarter of the second half, they reached the 3-3 draw. Until the end of the match the result remained unchanged.
    16/06 - Benito Villamarin, Seville with 62 467 watching the match. A terrible game that I sincerely did not expect after the excellent reply we gave in the previous game (despite the frustration of letting the victory run away). Switzerland was always better than us, and we only managed to reduce by penalty ten minutes from the end of the game. A disappointing 3-1 was final score.
    21/06 - guess where? Benito Villamarin ( go figure ), Seville, a crowd of 62,464 for the exciting and decisive final match of the group stage. Stupidly because of our previous bad game, we had only to win and to hope that Switzerland also defeated England. Austria had made two draws and was ahead of us on the table. Another interesting detail(more on a personal level) i had bad memories of them when i was with Senegal. The game was well played and both teams wanted to win.Fortunately we scored 1st at the end of first half through Renato Sanches and I believe that ended up influencing the rest of the game. In the 2nd half we scored a second goal, they reduced, but we still went in time to establish the final 3-1. The news that came from the other group's game ... made almost all my players throw themselves to the ground in complete despair and sadness.England did their job well and won 3-2. Portugal was eliminated.

    The Portuguese federation was not satisfied with the performance, but they still wanted me to stay on the job. And I wanted exactly the same, had no intention of leaving the national team, even feeling a huge frustration with myself.
    Just out of curiosity the Euro2028 final was won by Italy. An enlightening 3-0 to France gave the title to the italians.

    As my club career, my next step would be precisely in the south of the newly crowned European champion nation.
    Last edited by rodrigoazevedo; 10-07-17 at 09:57 PM.

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  43. #25
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    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.

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