Are you disappointed that FC Barcelona finally did not sign you?
No, I am not. Playing for a team like Barça would have been a great path for winning championships, achieving great things, growing as a player and knocking firmly at Brazil’s National Team, but I have a contract with Deportivo and I am looking forward to the challenge of playing this year here. Last season turned out to be great in La Coruña. Sometimes, it seems the moment for change comes, but this was not the case and I still have a job to do over here.
Now that you have experienced it your own, do you believe financial interests are ruining football’s essence?
I do not believe so. I think the financial crisis is affecting football and this is very true in the way decisions are being made. But football is a great passion for many people, and we should never forget this.
Real opened me the doors of Spain and I am thankful for that. I knew I was not going to play in Madrid’s first team, so that is why I chose Deportivo. Time has shown that I made the right choice.
Despite the movement that surrounded you this summer, you seem very adapted to Deportivo. Talking football, what has this club given you?
The truth is that I have changed a lot since I got here. Before, I just focused on attacking. But Coach Miguel Ángel Lotina was patience with me and taught me how to defend, which also meant to improve offensively. You have to go up the sideline, but knowing that the top priority is to defend.
First of all, having a beach so close to where I live, in Riazor, really made feel at home. Then, La Coruña is a small city with everything handy and its people are really friendly. I love the stadium, the fans, the practice facilities… And on the pitch, Deportivo is a team whose rivals really respect.
I have a very normal life. I walk my dog, I go shopping, I go to the movies… I do what everybody else does and in this city people are always supportive and never bother you.
I would not speak in such long term. I want Deportivo to comeback to Spain’s peak, knocking every year at the Champions League. If that happens, I would love to stay here until the very end of my career. I felt really identified with the first team I played for in Brazil, and since then I have never been so identified with a team as I am right now with Deportivo.
Well, I would say it is, because you have to be all the time up and down, especially in a 4-men defence which is the one I like the most to play at. Many times, when you get close to the opponent’s box to shoot or cross, you are a little tired of running so much and you are not calm enough to raise your head and think in what you are going to do. Then a player jumps on you and makes you lose your concentration. This happens often to me, but every time I go out to the pitch to play a game I try to improve in this aspect.
Would you say you are amongst one of the top players in the Spanish league at your position?
Well, right now I am focusing in improving my defence, because I believe I can be an aggressive wingback who can be productive on offence and defence. If I improve that aspect of my game, I can really improve as a player. Now, answering the question, I try not think too much about myself. If you value my work for the continuity I have had, we could say I am amongst the best. But we should also take in consideration that, if you have a couple of bad games, people quickly place you amongst the worst.
What role has your family played in your development as a football player?
My family –especially my father and my brother- has always given me great support throughout my career. Without them, I would not be currently playing football. I had some tough times, but my father always insisted that I continue with my football career. That is the reason I never gave up, even when things were pretty bad.
To tell you the truth, it hurts a lot, especially if we consider that people starting at that spot are not even starting with their respective clubs. I believe everything will come, although I believe people deserve and opportunity and I mine has not come yet.
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