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Cachorro
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(Interview given to O GLOBO's Mauricio Fonseca, translated by the Grinch)



Q: Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal didn't want you when he took over Bayern Munich, at the start of the season. Now he's your opponent on the CL final. Does that make the final more special?
Lucio: Playing a Champions League final is already very special, regardless of who's on the other side. The dream of winning the League is the same either way.

Q: But doesn't that increase the desire to win even a little bit?
L: The motivation already exists, it doesn't need any boost. I'm going to focus, prepare my emotions, think of positive things. Thinking about problems of the past and unpleasant situations can end up backfiring.

Q: In 2002, you played for Bayer Leverkusen when they played the CL final with Real Madrid, who ended up winning the trophy. Is the feeling the same now?
L: Then we returned to Milan from the Barcelona game there were five thousand people waiting for us at the airport, at 2:00 AM. Of course a final is always a final, but the situations are different. Bayer had never been in a CL final before. Inter already won it and wants to win it again after a long time.

Q: Surely the pressure must be almost unbearable?
L: Not really. The pressure is normal when you're in a big club like Inter. I see a climate of hope.

Q: You're an introspective person, a man of few words, but only until you step into the pitch. What happens, what explains such a transformation?
L: I've always been shy and not very outgoing. But inside the pitch I'm someone else. I talk a lot, advise my teammates, scream when necessary. I think it's the desire to win. It's a gift.



Q: What did you say to Drogba on the Chelsea x Internazionale match in London? Even the english were impressed.
L: I remember it well. I committed a normal foul and the referee gave the infraction. I was giving the opposing player the ball when Drogba came along roaring, making pressure on the ref. I turned around and shouted in the same tone: "O que foi? Qual e o problema?" (meaning "What happened? What's the problem?")

Q: You said that in portuguese?
L: Sure. In those moments it all comes out in portuguese. It was an automatic reaction. He was trying to intimidate and I really don't accept that. I don't like to go around threatening forwards. But I refuse to be intimidated.

Q: In the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, you headbutted your teammate Roger (now playing for Cruzeiro) during an NT match. Would you go that far today, as the Brasilian NT's captain?
L: I think it's very unlikely. Back then, I really wanted to win and went too far. Today, after everything I went through and lived in football, I know what's right and what's wrong.

Q: Dunga, who was then Brasil's captain, headbutted Bebeto during a 1998 WC match. Does he see a reflection of himself in you inside the pitch?
L: You'd have to ask Dunga. I don't think so, though. I understand that he chose me as captain for my attitude inside the pitch.

Q: Dunga, Parreira and Felipão were your managers in the NT. Who did you identify with the most?
L: Felipão is a more fatherly type, he'll reprehend when needed but he's always ready to help the player. Parreira is more easygoing, he tries to share all his experience with the players. Dunga is the most explosive of them. Sometimes I look at the bench during matches and I get the clear impression that he's about to rush inside the pitch and participate on the game.

Q: Just like they did in 2006, Brasil arrives at the 2010 WC as Confederations' Cup champions and highly rated. Do you think the current group handles favouritism better?
L: We'll only know that after the WC. When you lose there's always a lot of pressure and criticism. Therefore, if we don't win the WC we'll be heavily criticized. I just think the current group is more stable than the last one. But our favoritism was bigger in 2006. One thing is certain, a climate of "oba oba" (hype) doesn't help in any way.

Q: But the players' profiles are different...
L: In 2006, everybody's history had been written already. Now it's different.



Q: Who's the best player in the world today?
L: It's Messi, there's no doubt about that. His season has been formidable.

Q: But he didn't do anything against Inter...
L: That's true, and it only increases the merits of our qualification. It was competence, not luck.

Q: What's it like to work with Jose Mourinho?
L: He's only controversial with the press. He's very smart and knows how to work the players' emotional side. He motivates his teams very well, he's a winner. It has been a pleasure so far.

Q: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Juan. Is it pleasant to be part of such a backline?
L: It's certainly a high-level defense. The trust we have on each other is incredible. But anyone who plays back there knows that you can never relax.

Q: You once said that your whole career was built on sacrifice. Is that still the case?
L: Yes, no doubt. Football is in the moment and you're judged every day. So you can't ever relax or think you've done enough. The past has to be a trampoline and not a sofa.



Q: It's been ten years in Europe. Do you think about returning to Brasil to finish your career?
L: I used to, but not anymore. I don't know how many more years I'll be able to play on a high level. But in my mind I only see myself playing in European football.

Q: After last year's conquest of the Confederations' Cup, you and some other evangelic players wore t-shirts with religious messages. FIFA didn't like it and already announced that they won't accept that in the World Cup. Are you OK with that?
L: I think it's not a big deal, but FIFA lays down the rules. We only thank God and express our faith.

Q: Isn't it risky to take religion into the NT? It might divide the group, as not everyone shares the same faith.
L: I don't think so. Religion is an individual thing. We evangelics only get together on our days off. We don't get in the way of anything. Juan isn't an evangelic, he doesn't participate in our group prayers, and he's still one of my best mates on the group.

Q: You and Ronaldinho Gaucho have been together at the NT since 2002. What happened with him?
L: It's hard to say. The one who needs that answer is Dunga. I can only say that as a teammate he's sensational, he always helped me a lot in the NT.

Q: The World Cup call-up will be announced on May 11th. Do you believe in any last-minute surprises?
L: Nobody knows what's going through Dunga's head. A lot of things can happen. But he already has most of the group clearly defined.

 

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I must admit I rated Lucio, but not as one of the best in the world before he came to Serie A. The 2nd half of this season makes me say he is definitely one of the top 5 defenders at this moment. He and Samuel just make an awesome combination. Lucio has power, pace and great footballing ability, while Samuel is a great defensive leader, great in the air (so is Lucio) and very good at the old fashioned style of defending, throwing everything in the way for victory.
 

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Cachorro
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Discussion Starter #3
Last season Inter's defense was already compared to other world-class backlines, such as Manchester United's. This season, the addition of Lucio to that defense consolidated them as the best backline in world football.
 

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Mourinho & Cassano!!
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Thanks for the translation!!!! Currently my fav player on Inter!

Well actually....he's one of my two fav players on Inter!!!

The badass duo - BRING IT

 

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Bernard > Messi
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big interview.

Nice translation grinch. Why not post this in the WF?

Btw, people see him as a "Neanderthal" but he never tried to injury someone or scare them with a tackle..

That's why my sig about messi was an obvious joke. But some people didn't understand. :)
 

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Great interview, not only he is sensational player, but he is also very intelligent one. And indeed, Lucio - Samuel has to be one of the best central defender duo ever.
 
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