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Ferreira: Ukraine came as a surprise to me

Thursday, September 1, 2016



Today, 1 September, Shakhtar goalkeeping coach Antonio Ferreira marks his birthday. He turns 38. We wish the birthday boy many returns of the day and wish him sound health, family bliss and new professional and life achievements

- Happy Birthday, Antonio! You joined Shakhtar not so long ago, but you must have a certain idea of the club and the team already?
- Of course, I immediately realized what kind of club and team I’ve joined. During the three months, I have had the most pleasant and positive experience at Shakhtar. When I was leaving my native city, I thought that I would face major adaption issues. But here, they have all conditions for our quality work. The club boasts excellent organization of the whole process. Even in such difficult conditions, when we cannot play at our home ground, continuously having air trips, all employees of the club are trying to help us in achieving every success.

- What are the main components of a successful goalkeeping career.
- First of all, the goalkeeper should be athletic and have great technique. His physical strength and being tall are important, but equally important is his intelligence. Previously, it was enough to have just great reflexes, power and proper choice of position. But now the goalkeeping requirements are changing: you must be very clever, read and understand football at the level of outfield players, not only controlling the penalty area, but also being able to act beyond it. And then, when you are a Shakhtar keeper, you must be better than anyone else. Our team spends a lot of time on the opponents’ half, with the goalkeeper frequently participating in the initial attacking phase, giving it the necessary depth. I think for the team like Shakhtar, that’s really important.

- You played and coached just in Portugal, with Shakhtar being your first overseas experience. How is going your adaptation to the new country and culture?
- In fact, Ukraine came as a surprise to me. When I was signing the deal, I realised only that I would reside in the capital. I know that there are lots of Ukrainians in Portugal, but I’ve never crossed paths with them. In general, I like staying in both Kyiv and Lviv. However, from the communication with the players and the club staff, I have realized what the home city of Donetsk means to Shakhtar. For all of us it would be a great honour to play at the Donbass Arena.

- How do you see your perfect coaching career? What would you like to achieve in this field?
- For me, the best goalkeeping coach is a mentor who can fulfil the potential of his charges. It is necessary to activate all the knowledge and skills in everyone. I try to help the players with everything: to become stronger, more technical, more intelligent. When we win, then we rejoice together, but if one of the guys makes a mistake, I will always support him. We shouldn’t forget that we are one team. Any player, including the goalkeeper, should work hard, fight and show constant progress. This will make us successful and lead us to victories.