Luís Gonçalves was the special guest of another Planet Eleven, live, on Eleven Sports’ Facebook.
The current coach of Mozambique, who has played for Sporting and Porto, talked about the young national champions for FC Porto, about football, from Mozambique and the qualification for the African Nations Cup and the 2022 World Cup, about Vítor Matos, current Klopp’s assistant at Liverpool, and on the formation of Sporting and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Referring to Romário Baró, Fábio Vieira, Vítor Ferreira and João Mário, young national champions for FC Porto, Luís Gonçalves stated: “They were junior champions, Youth League champions and now national champions. For me, it is a huge satisfaction. The biggest prize for coaches who have already worked in training is to see their boys reach the top level and fortunately it happened to me both at Sporting and with this generation of FC Porto”
About Vítor Matos, current assistant to Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool, Luís Gonçalves revealed that: “He was my assistant in the initiates at FC Porto, but later he passed to the youths. And I said in a joke: “he can go, because then I am sure they will be champions”. Vítor is an excellent professional, a person with enormous character. I am very happy to see these former colleagues succeed and, on top of that, to hear Klopp say that Vítor has a huge weight within the squad and that he was decisive for Liverpool’s achievements.”
Luís Gonçalves also spoke about the formation of Sporting and about Cristiano Ronaldo, referring that: “I worked with Cristiano when he was part of the Sporting B technical team and there is an important transition phase in which László Bölöni wanted Cristiano in the main team and he was still part of the juveniles. At the time, to make the transition to professional football, we decided to give him some time to adapt in team B, before making his debut in the main team. And I have to point out that, at the time, it was the entire structure of Sporting’s formation that made this decision together. And this structure was decisive for players like Cristiano to appear with great success in team A.”
The current coach of Mozambique confessed that: “I was born in Maputo and although I came to Portugal very young, I always had the idea of one day working in the country where I was born. I had the opportunity to join the team as an assistant to Abel Xavier. However, I left for China, but it didn’t last long because I was invited to return as a coach, and I accepted quickly.”
Referring to the players in Mozambique, Luís Gonçalves concluded: “Look at the Mozambican players, whether in clubs in Portugal or in the rest of the world. The Mozambican player has quality, has a growing sense of professionalism and wants to evolve. If there are still Eusébios and Columns? They were out of series and appeared in another context, but I believe there is potential for that.”
Qualifying for the CAN and the 2022 World Cup are a dream that Luís Gonçalves seeks to achieve: “There is nothing impossible in football. We have to believe and in my presentation I spoke about this dream. To be realistic, to get to CAN, we are in a good position and we must continue to play at our best level. As for the World Cup, we have already reached the qualifying groups, an incredible feat and we are in a complicated group. But this is a daily job and if we get the points we want, we will fulfill that dream.”