There are people who have been accompanying IberCup for years. It’s been more than 10 years of tournaments not only in Portugal but also in the world. But if you have a team that has been there since the first edition, this is Sport União Sintrense. Always commanded by its coordinator, Mário Rui, our interviewee of the week.
1# How many years have you been a coach? What about this team?
A: I’ve been a coach for 30 years, of the team of Initiates for 2 years.
2# Why did you choose to be a football coach? Why youth football?
A: Because I like this sport very much, which I still embraced as a football player for 20 years. Youth Football because I love teaching and passing on moral, social and commitment values to young athletes.
3# What is your biggest dream as a coach?
A: I don’t have any particular dream, I would say that my desire is to see athletes growing up as serious, honest and respectful men.
4# What is most difficult for you: educating players or parents?
A: I have no doubt that the most difficult thing is to educate fathers, because many of them portray in their children what they were not able to be. In addition to the financial mediatism of football that some people think they can achieve.
5# How important is it for you to reconcile your studies with your training? Does your club somehow help athletes in this sense?
A: It is fundamental to reconcile studies with football, there was a time when those who wanted to be a football player left their studies, completely wrong: Today the academic training of athletes is extremely important for the future of each one of them. Sintrense has a multipurpose room that it makes available daily to athletes to study and do their homework. Because we know that the time is short and therefore the creation of an ATL (Free Time Activities) is under study, with qualified people to help the athletes in the school area.
#6 Which professional player would you like to introduce to your players? And why?
A: There are two players that I’d like to introduce to my players. The first one, Nelson Semedo, because he was a Sintrense’s player and today he is in Barcelona. The other player is Cristiano Ronaldo. For the fact that he is a reference worldwide, and because of his life path, sacrifice and example for those who want to become a professional footballer one day.
7# What do you think of the competitive boards in the younger classes in Portugal? What would change?
A: The competitive cadres are somehow out of touch with reality, essentially in the training classes (Benjamins and Children). What I was trying to do was to change the competitive boards, so that games with results of 10, 15 and 20 to zero don’t happen, it doesn’t make sense for the evolution of athletes.
8# How did you discover IberCup and in how many editions did you participate?
A: I know and have participated in IberCup since its foundation, in fact I know and have participated since the first tournament still with the name of Lisbon Cup.
9# What did you enjoy most during the tournament and what do you think we can improve?
A: What I like the most about the tournament is its internationalization, there are teams with quality that motivates the presence of our athletes, besides the coexistence, there will always be things to improve, such as refereeing.
10# Do you consider it a useful experience for young athletes to travel abroad and play against teams from all over the world?
A: I consider it an unforgettable experience, they are experiences that stay for life.
11# What would you say to a coach who wants to come to IberCup?
A: Come, it’s a very good tournament for young football!