And so the
final moment comes. “When you´re not playing for anything it hard to
focus, but we must try to please our fans”. This is the message sent by
Luxemburgo during his press conference to his team for the next game
against Zaragoza. The coach is already thinking about the future: “I
have done many things, but I still have more left. With such a team, we
can only think of winning. We can move on further”. And he finished by
talking about Figo´s situation and the calling up of Ronaldo for Brazil.
Are you going to give minutes to those players who played less during
No. They will play the normal and necessary minutes, as we have done
until now. We are not going to change now. I respect what those players
with less minutes say but as a professional, I must look after my team.
I´m an intelligent man and I know whether I have done my work well, but
I also know that we can move forward a bit more and that´s the only
thing I think about. Now that the season is over, can we say that the
team have learnt from their mistakes?
Each of them has their own character and personality, but the other day,
when I was watching the game between Liverpool and Milan, I was a bit
sad because I realized that we could have been there. It´s good that the
players have character and that they wonder why they weren´t in that
final when they have the qualities to have been there. Something
happened in order for us not to be there, and that´s what I thought
about, not whether Milan or Liverpool deserved to win or lose.
Is it hard to focus on the game when everything is already decided?
Of course it´s hard to focus, because you are not risking anything, but
we must finish well and for that we must go onto the pitch with the aim
of pleasing our fans.
Roberto Carlos had said that since your arrival the team has polished
out it´s defects. Is that a foundation for the future?
Since I arrived I have been working thinking about about the future. I
have done a lot of things, but I still have a lot left to do, as you
can´t do everything at once. You have to go step by step, seeing the
reaction of the players. With a team like tis, in which there are a lot
of great players, we can only think about winning. We fought for the
League, and for the the Champions, but we didn´t get them.
Will Real Madrid talk to the Brazilian Confederation so that Ronaldo
will be able to take holidays and won´t have to go to the Confederation
Real Madrid will talk to the Brazilian Confederation. Ronaldo is a plyer
on the team and will have, for us, the same time as the rest of the
players. The problem is that he has been selected. Players aren´t
machines and they have to have holidays to be able to do what they can´t
do during the season, have a beer, have a barbecue, go to the beach...
Liker that they come back with their batteries recharged. Nevertheless,
all of the players of the team will have the same problem.
Will the Club give in and give him longer holidays if the Confederation
Real Madrid already has a program fixed for all the team, not only for
Ronaldo. His problem isn´t that of Madrid, but that of the Brazilian
team. We are going to train for five days in Madrid after the holidays
and then we are going on tour. It´s something we have to do and we can´t
Do you think that the Confederation is blackmailing him saying that if
he doesn´t play in the selection then they´ll leave him out of the 2006
I don´t know, it depends how you look at it. Basically, I don´t know
what it´s all about. I prefer to hear what people say from their own
mouths. This conflict will always exist and to resovle these situations
the parties involved have to sit down together, the FIFA, the
federations, the clubs...
What do you think of the talk in the media about Ronaldo being sell-able?
Arrigo and I saw the front page of this story and we think it´s absurd.
How would I say that the best in the world would not stay here in his
position, although it´s true that there is no player that can´t be sold
because of clauses in their contracts. But what they wrote on the front
pages was a different matter. They can say what they like: once they
said that Capello would come here and I would go, but I´m still here.
Will Figo cover the absence of the sanctioned Beckham?
I´ll think about it tomorrow, as this week has been a bit different,
somewhat looser in training, as it´s the last game of the season and
there´s nothing to play for.
Would you like the Portuguese player to stay on in the team next season?
We´ll talk about next season then.
Figo says there´s no dialogue with you, is that true?
We have a dialogue, but when he was out of the team he stopped greeting
me. He doesn´t say hello or goodnight. I talk to him professionally, but
personally is another matter. He won´t greet me again, but it´s not a
Will it be a problem if he continues on the team?
If he comes back next season there will be no problem at all. I am the
boss and he is my player, and professionally, you have to respect the
boss. I don´t have any problem with him or with anybody else. On a
personal level, I invite anybody I want to my house, but on the team
everybody is on the same level and belongs to it. Professionally he has
responded, like everyone else. He got mad when he was off the team,
because he´s a player with a lot of talents and he´s on the bench. I
understand nothing´s wrong. He doesn´t show disrespect to me, he just
thinks one way and me in another.
Would it be difficult to work with him?
If I had to work with him it wouldn´t be a problem. If he greets me or
not, it´s not a problem. Personal issues don´t interfere with work.
Everyone knows that when you put a player out of the team there are
problems. There is never a season where there are no problems. He is
important within the team, like everyone is. You can´t play a season
with only eleven players.
Did you hope he´d react differently?
He has been a professional. The only thing I´ve said is that there has
been no personal dialogue since his departure from the squad. Whether
it´s a logical reaction is something you´d have to ask him. I´d have
reacted in a different manner, but I can´t say whayt other people should