Vasco Seabra interview: Estoril coach on cup finals, coaching Diogo Jota and why Jose Mourinho remains an inspiration | Football News

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Earlier this season, Vasco Seabra led Estoril to their first cup final in 80 years. Cruelly, they were denied on penalties by Braga. But it was a special moment for a small club. Especially considering this is the second youngest team in Portugal.

“And our goalie is 34 years old,” Seabra says. sky sports.

This is something of a second coming for Seabra, who is now 40 years old, considering he was a manager in the top division at just 33 years old. “I was very young.” He retained Pacos de Ferreira, but tough times ensued. Rejuvenation in Estoril took time. He considers himself much improved.

It made him a better coach.

“When I was depressed, it was a key moment. You have to think about it and prepare for the next challenge, but in that moment it was really difficult to understand what happened. I feel more confident in my ideas with my technical staff.

“Back then, I didn’t understand the players. In this moment, we’re always trying to be better and trying to improve our players, but we also look at them as people. They are human too and we need to be human and be ready to help them as humans.

“They need to feel that their coach understands them. I can now guide them with more empathy. They need to feel that their coach understands them. We need to understand that and reassure them so they can do their best.

“If we understand their struggles, we can help them.”

Expectations at Estoril are not that high. Cup final is not the best. “That was a great moment for the club, but sometimes you go up and sometimes you go down a little bit. We have a lot of young talent, so it’s our job to work with them. We have some really good players.”

Maybe too good. Koba Koinledi moved to Sporting in the winter transfer window. “We will miss him.” Joao Marquez has already agreed a contract with cup winners Braga. “A lot of players are linked to big clubs,” Seabra said. He has no choice but to accept it.

“I’m really enjoying it. Of course we always want to be with the best players and we don’t want to lose them, but it’s very important for me and for them. It’s important for us to see them grow and go to big clubs.” I’m really happy for them. ”

Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring Liverpool's first goal against Chelsea
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Diogo Jota’s attitude is a key part of his success at Liverpool

Seabra is used to this idea. He has followed the career of Liverpool forward Diogo Jota since they worked together at Pacos de Ferreira. “I hope all my players can achieve what they have achieved.” That’s not possible. And Seabra has a theory as to why.

“Really good players wouldn’t listen if you told them to get the ball here and get better. You might think they’re so good that it’s okay to let them play. It’s the opposite. He’s the best player.”The players are humble and want to learn.

“That’s his character. Diogo is a great guy. I’m not talking about him as a player because he’s obviously great. But as a human being. He’s really competitive and he’s a great guy. He is conscientious about his work. He is always challenging himself to improve and become even better.

“For him, it’s never enough. He always strives to improve. If you ask him at the time if he expected to be on this stage, he said it was difficult to expect that. I have to admit, but what he’s doing at Liverpool is great.

“I remember sending an email to the coach of the U-19 national team with Diogo’s report and telling him that he could play in the team.The head coach came to see him. It was a big moment for him because he hadn’t been to the famous academy. ”

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Jamie Carragher says Diogo Jota is a better finisher than Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez

Seabra visited Jota at Liverpool during his time away from the game and spoke to the coaching staff behind the scenes. He said: “I went to Arsenal and Manchester City. I went to Brazil, Holland and Spain. I also spoke to Michel at Girona. He’s a great manager.”

Who is his source of inspiration?

“When I was at university, it was the period when Jose Mourinho exploded at Porto. It was an emotional moment for the Portuguese. Emotionally speaking, he was very important for us. .He always tried to bring about an emotional change in his players.

FILE - Roma coach Jose Mourinho kisses the trophy after winning the final European Conference League soccer match between AS Roma and Feyenoord at the National Stadium in Tirana, Albania, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (right). Roma made the announcement on Tuesday, January 25th.  16, 2024, Jos...Mourinho leaves the club...with immediate effect...The Portuguese coach led the Giallorossi to the UEFA Conference League title in his first year in charge.  (AP Photo/Thanasis Stavrakis, File)
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Jose Mourinho’s early career success inspired Portugal

“Other coaches are also really important when it comes to the game, like Paulo Fonseca, who I worked with when I was in the academy and he was in the first team. I really connected with the idea and the way we do it.”He watches the game.

“And of course there are other great coaches like Josep Guardiola, who is always the protagonist, always trying to find solutions for different systems. When every coach does something different , he creates something new. He has a great mind.”

“Of course Mikel Arteta and Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton, and now we have Xabi Alonso at Bayer Leverkusen. Those are coaches that I really respect. They all love having the ball, And we have ideas on how to destroy the opponent with our movements.”

Estoril wants to play a positive match.

“We always try to be the protagonist. We like to have the ball and create chances with our movements. When we don’t have the ball, we get intense, play with high pressure and try to get as high as possible. Try to win the ball in position. If you can, switch quickly and if you can’t do that, keep the ball.”

ESTORIL, PORTUGAL - MARCH 2: In action during the Liga Portugal Betrich vs. GD Estoril Praia vs. Vitoria Guimaraes match at Estadio Antonio Coimbra da Mota on March 2, 2024 in Estoril, Portugal. Vasco Ceabra, head coach of GD Estoril Praia.  (Photo credit: Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
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Vasco Ceabra’s Estoril team reaches the Taca da Liga final this season

The problem is, given the disparity in resources, it’s not that easy.

Benfica’s average attendance this season is over 57,000. Estoril, a short drive west of the capital, has a population of less than 3,000. Trying to control it is difficult. “It’s really difficult. Sometimes it goes very well and sometimes it goes very badly!”

Seabra added: “At Sporting we lost 5-1. It was a really difficult game for us. We played a really good game with the ball and caused a lot of problems. But we finished at the end. When we lost, they were against Porto, when we beat them, we were able to finish.

“It takes courage. If you don’t have the courage to handle the ball, you’re going to be constantly defending against these teams and the players won’t be able to show the talent they have.”

The challenge for Seabra is to keep Estoril in the top division while developing players for resale. However, home and away wins against Porto proved that some success is possible. “After that, I believed the team could compete with anyone.”

How does he feel now about losing in the cup final? “It was difficult. But it was a great experience. It was the first final for almost everyone, and for me and the players. It was an experience that made us grow. We lived it, and it I feel happy to be living my life.”

That game in January was kind of an ending. The players move on. But the work continues. “Increasing the value of our players is important to us,” he explains. “That’s the club’s idea: this is a platform for the players to show themselves to the world.” And the coaches too.

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