Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Captain Alex's Interview with Zico

Captain Alex's Interview with Zico
Translated and Edited By Ozgur R. Nazilli

Our midfield maestro, Alex, has interviewed manager Zico for his website. Here it is in English for Fenerbahce Worldwide audience:

Alex: What do you think of your performance in Turkiye?
Zico: It is hard to evaluate myself right now. A lot of gears were in motion when I took over this position, and I was expected to perform flawlessly. Now, when I look back, I can see that I have mistakes. But I also need to say that my achievements surpass my mistakes. For example, we won the title in our 100th Anniversary. Also, I'm content with the position we are in right now.

Alex: Does the fact that there are Brazilian players on the team make your life easier?
Zico: Yes, it is very helpful. They help me with getting the know the other players on the team, and understanding the Turkish way of thinking in matters related to futbol. Also, my assistant manager, Moraci, has worked in Turkey 10 years ago, so his experience helps too. Finally, the fact that I have worked in a culture foreign to the Brazilian culture, in Japan, helps me adapt to new cultures.

Alex: What differences are there between the Brazilian, Japanese, and Turkish futbol cultures?
Zico: There are immense differences. You can write a whole encyclopedia on this topic. In Latin American style, creativity is the foremost factor. The players do not feel under pressure to do specific things, so they are more relaxed in their ways. In Japan, discipline and following commands is the key, which I think creates problems from time to time, since not all the players have the same physical capabilities. In Turkiye, the players like to play a futbol based on strength, pressing, and also supported by technique. Turkish style has the characteristics of both the European and the American styles. However, the Turkish players still need to improve their tactical side to reach the level of the some higher-tier European leagues.

Alex: Who is the Turkish player you most admire in the Super League?
Zico: I love Arda's style (from Galatasaray). He has all the characteristics of a star Brazilian player. His technique, skill, and futbol intelligence are all very strong. He is a really good passer, and can get results in the game too. However, he still needs to work on developing himself. He is still very young.

Alex: What do you think of the Brazilian commitment and the Turkish commitment to the game?
Zico: It is hard to compare them. The Turks have a fanatical love for futbol. They almost adore it like a religion. This sometimes scares me. They are involved in futbol as much as the Brazilians. This of course is a nice thing, but it also carries the risk of getting out of hand and being dangerous.

Alex: Do you plan on continuing your career as a manager? Is managing the Brazilian National Team amongst your goals?
Zico: I do not have very long term plans. I believe in the beauty of this sport, and will strive to improve myself and learn everything that I can. Right now, managing the Brazilian Team one day is not amongst my goals. Right now, the only thing on my mind is doing the best I can for Fenerbahce and help them get to the utmost point that they can. Also, I am in debt to Fenerbahce. I owe them, because they allowed me to enter the European stage and manage a European team.

Alex: In your opinion, who is the best player and who is the best manager in the world?
Zico: Kaka is "the" player in the world. In terms of the manager, I admire Mourinho. I have been watching him since his days in Porto.

(Photo courtesy of internetspor.com)


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