Mircea Lucescu: It’s very difficult with Brazilians
Head coach of Shakhtar talked about those who just returned to the club and how the team are settling in Kyiv.
- We decided to stay in Kyiv. The players had a day to try to find an apartment. We checked the sports facilities, at which we will train, the field. So far, we’ve been training at the training complex named after Bannikov. We are not very happy with the conditions. The training process should be closed. While there everything is open: everyone who wants - watches. That’s bad. Therefore, we will look for some other options. In the meantime, organizational procedures are underway.
- What’s your first impressions of the league season start?
- I'm happy with two victories: in the Super Cup and in the first league match. I like how the players have reacted to the current situation. I’m happy that the players returned and realized their mistake. I am sure they will reconsider their views, knowing about their significance for the team and its prospects.
- Are you generally pleased with the first days of your stay in Kyiv?
- Yes, there is no problem in Kyiv. At the meeting, the president reiterated that he would do everything possible for the team to feel good and remain at the level they have risen to. Shakhtar is a European brand now. It represents not only Donbas, but all of Ukraine in the international arena. We cannot afford to track back at least for one step. The president will do everything possible for the players to be safe, he will create all conditions for the training process, for Shakhtar’s accommodation. Therefore, it is essential to integrate into the team those players who for some reason were afraid to come back, came under the influence of agents and the people who wanted to use the situation to their advantage. We hope that these players will quickly rediscover their form. Yesterday, they trained in the general group. We are waiting for two more players - Bernard and Nem.
- Is it difficult to work with Brazilians?
- It’s very difficult with them. I love them and appreciate Brazilian football a lot. But their professionalism leaves a lot to be desired. When the contract is signed, they must understand that this contract must be observed. Shakhtar has risen to the level at which it cannot have non-professional players. Because the only thing required of Shakhtar is iproving their results. And I draw the attention of our Brazilians’ agents to the following fact: when they conspire to get the players away, this is incorrect. They work against their players! Agents, unfortunately, primarily think about their professional interests, and not about the fact that Brazilians are not just sportsmen, but also people. Just people! By pulling the players, they affect their lives, their families. After all, there is not only talent, but also the moral criteria by which an individual is assessed. Coaches often express criticism to the Brazilian footballers. They say it’s difficult to keep more than two Brazilians in the same team. It’s very difficult to work with them. They are just as talented as they act relying only on their instincts. And they often take decisions hastily. Therefore, we, the ones who are around, must help them learn to behave professionally.
- That is, all clubs have issues with Brazilians?
- All of Europe complains. Even Alves in Barcelona once said that he cannot, like the rest of the Brazilians, always leave the club with some conflicts. “I respect my club, my concluded deal, I respect everyone around,” – these are Alves’ words. Many things are simply inexplicable. They do not have, unfortunately, such education: to comply with their contracts and perform the duties they have been tasked with. But there are exceptions. Much depends on their agents. One can say only good words about the agent of Luiz Adriano. But there are people, who have no life principles, and they are just exploiting their charges. It's not just about our specific Brazilian players, but in general about Brazilian footballers in Europe. We had problems some time ago with Matuzalem, with Elano. But never with Fernandinho, Jadson and Brandao. Yes, we love them, we are side by side with them, but as we observe their contracts, they also must follow the terms they signed.
- Does this apply to Bernard?
- The same is true with Bernard: he was six months late after signing his deal. But we understood him: he is young. He's late again, I gave him a two-week break after the World Cup, just as to Srna. In two weeks’ time he had to be here: on the 27-28 the maximum. Today is the 30th, and he’s not here yet. The same thing concerns Nem. They say that Fluminense want him back. Fluminense gave us Nem, when he had problems with his groin for 8 months, without telling us about it. And they want him back as a free agent now. Last year, we paid them a lot of money for him, and Nem signed a good contract. He did not play at all, always being injured. By and large, I do not even know his skill level! They want to get him back, as a free agent, and put pressure on the footballer – so that he stays at Fluminense. In these conditions, they only complicate the situation for him: the relationship with the coaches and club partners. The impression is that they take us for fools. They sold the player and create pressure to get him back as a free agent a year on! I'm also not surprised by the behavior of some players, if their former management behave like that! They just send talented players to Europe without thinking about instilling the professional approach in them. As well as the obligations regarding the contract they sign. In this regard, I, of course, am very dissatisfied. The more so, because I like Brazilians very much and appreciate their talent. However, they are surrounded by the people who are not high profile at all. So I will do everything I can to save our team. And I wil try to reach their hearts: after all, they benefited from all the years they spent as Shakhtar.
- How are you going to convince them?
- Let’s not forget who they were when coming here. Douglas and Teixeira – the 18-19 year-olds. The rest - Fernandinho, Jadson ... Where are they now, what level they reached. And provided for the future of both themselves and their families, for many, for many more years. I want them to understand it very well. So that they do not forget: in addition to the rights, they still have a lot of responsibilities. This concerns more the young players who are prone to be influenced from outside and, without knowing the situation, not realizing many things, act just instinctively. As a coach, I was put in a difficult situation. Many of those who left us, were already almost introduced in other clubs in Europe! They are top-level players. They must have a good future. But those who are in need of those players, should address the club in a civilized manner and solve their issues correctly. Daily, European press write about one or another player. They are young, reading it ... Therefore, we wanted to ensure that these players feel calm. Though personally, I will find it very difficult to find a common language with those agents who make use of the situation and put pressure on our players.
- If you were asked by a player who had escaped from another team to sign him up, would you hire him?
- Never! I would not be confident in this player. Just as presidents of big clubs would never pay attention to such players and agents, who try to steal players by doing so.
- But what do they expect then? What guarantees are given by the coaches who promise them to find a place?
- It is not discussible at all, because the players have contracts, there are transfer fees. Especially as some players have signed new contracts just last year with an increase in their wages and so on.