A few minutes with……Carlos Alberto


All of my work for Bein Sports has been removed by their content manager but i am particularly proud of the interview i did for them with Carlos Alberto, brazil 1970 world cup winning captain, just before world cup 2014

1. Who was/is your biggest influence either personally or professionally and why?

My biggest influence professionally was Pelé. I was lucky to play for Santos side by side with him when I was 20 years old, and starting my career. He was extremely professional, even though he was the best player at that time. He kept his word and his commitments, always training a lot. And also, because we were so close, playing for Santos and Cosmos - twelve years together, he was also a personal influence, being one of my biggest friends.

2. Apart from the obvious highlight of winning the World Cup in 1970, what are the fondest memories of your football career?

I had so many great moments. It was such bliss that I played in so many great teams.

Ten years for Santos, who were the greatest team at that time. NY Cosmos, Fluminense, when we had the team that was known as the Maquina Tricolor (The three-color machine). Flamengo, when they were starting to become that great team with Zico and other great players... Also Botafogo.

I think the time I spent at Santos, because it was the greatest team at that time, and at NY Cosmos developing 'soccer' in the United States, were two great moments of my career. Those moments bring back a lot of good memories for me.

3. What were your strengths as captain of the Selecao, and how did you inspire your team mates to victory against Italy in Mexico?

I think it was more like a natural leadership. They way I behaved and acted. Always respecting everyone but having our goals above everything, doing everything for the team. I found it easy to talk and put our demands and opinions for the confederation and technical staff. I don't know if there was a specific thing that I did to inspire, I think it was my overall behavior.

4. You’ve often been quoted as saying that Pele is the greatest you have ever played alongside, but who is the best player you have ever played against and why?

I played against many great players. When I played for Santos, I played against the great Botafogo, that had Jairzinho and Paulo Cezar. I played also against Zico, Rivelino, Dino Sani.

It's hard to pick only one.

5. You will always be remembered for that goal. Given your many other successes, has it become a millstone around your neck or are you happy to have your career defined by it?

I am really glad and happy that people remember it. It was a World Cup final, the last goal, after great play.

And receiving - as a captain - the cup afterwards... What else could I want?

It is a team that, by many, is said to be the greatest ever.

It wasn't a regular goal. I am really happy that I'm remembered by that. If you ask anyone about the other goals in that final, most people would have to stop and think who scored them. But, about that goal, almost no one has any doubt about it.

Even the Italians have an admiration and respect for me after that goal.

6. Describe what having the World Cup back in Brazil for the first time since 1950 means to your country.

It is a great opportunity that Brazil has. An opportunity to host a great sporting event that can bring so much for the country.

Now, that football has evolved as sport and business, it's a chance for us to show all the good things we have and to achieve the title we missed in 1950.

It's a opportunity that other countries wanted.

I hope everything goes as planned. We are going through some protests, people talking against the World Cup, saying that Brazil has some other priorities.

Of course we have, but there is no way back. We might as well do the best that we can, as Brazilians, to show that we are a great country that offers so many good options for business and tourism.

7. Do the positive aspects of a ‘home’ World Cup outweigh the negatives? If so, why?

Of course!
In the field, while the team is playing, there will be a lot of support. The pressure will exist, but there will be a lot more support, helping the team to win.
About the organization, I'm sure the positive aspects outweigh the negatives.
We can't mix the two, like I said in the previous question. One thing is Brazil's situation and the other thing is the World Cup in Brazil.
FIFA didn't offer to have the World Cup here, FIFA is the owner of the event and Brazil applied for the position of hosting the tournament. That happened about 8 years ago.
Then, the majority of the population wanted the World Cup in Brazil.
The president, back then, Lula, signed the papers guaranteeing all aspects that involves Brazil's side so the event may happen. CBF, the Brazilian Football Federation, said it wanted the tournament here as well.
In that time, when asked, I was against Brazil hosting the World Cup.
I said that Brazil had bigger problems that needed more attention than the fact of organizing a World Cup. Social problems.
But, now we have to work so Brazil does its best. We all want to see Brazil hosting great events that will help the country in the international scene.
I really hope that, after this World Cup, we may focus on our real problems.

8. Sum up what the legacy of this World Cup will be for Brazil?

Here, in Brazil, everybody is asking: 'what about the legacy of this WC for Brazil?'. In my opinion, two things should be our priority, but until now those things didn't happen a lot: public transportation and tourism.
I think it’s time to show that Brazil has a lot of touristic points and cities. Tourism is a great business. If Brazil works this area, that we have a lot of potential.
I think it will help us bring more international tourists and may bring a lot of income for the national economy
About the transportation, there wasn't a lot of improvement on that area. At least here in Rio de Janeiro we have the BRT's (Bus Rapid Transit) in some areas, but it's not enough.
Nowadays, Rio de Janeiro is going through some construction and civil work. It's almost impossible to travel to one point to another inside city.
There is a lot of traffic. If we had invested in that area this would not happen. I hope we can invest and improve these areas before the tournament.

9. Brazil showed the world during the Confederations Cup last summer, that they could be a force to be reckoned with at this tournament, yet you were quoted (by Goal.com) as saying they lack the experience to deal with the inevitable pressure to win on home soil. Who do you therefore expect to triumph in that case and why?

I think Brazil has a good team, it may be even better in the World Cup. But this is not the moment to certainly say that we're going to be the champions.
You could take a look at our past teams, such as 1982, 2006 and even 2010. They were great teams, marked as favorites by many, and didn't win.
And those teams had great players with even more international experience than these ones for 2014. As I always say: I am an optimist, but also a realist.
We have a really good team, but we can't say for sure that we are going to win, like Felipao is doing. The World Cup will have many other great teams that are preparing really hard as well to win it, such as Germany, Spain, Argentina, Italy and Netherlands.
We have a team that has the potential to win, but let's respect the other teams. Saying that we will win may even be used as a motivation for the other teams when they play against us.
Some of the teams that I mentioned, have been using groundwork since the 2006 World Cup, so they have a solid and experienced team. We must believe we have the potential, because we have, but be cautious because we're going to play against some strong sides.
10. Did Neymar make the right decision to move to La Liga a year before originally planned? How will his experience benefit Brazil?
I think that decision is up to the player. Only he knows what he is going through and when is the best time for him to go to a different team or league.
Now the players have the choice if he wants to stay or leave. In my time it wasn't like that.
Don’t forget, even after he was identified as a great player, he stayed two or three years more at Santos. Showing that he liked to play there and was happy.
Last year, when the opportunity came, he decided it was time to play for another club. Also his contract with Santos was going to end after the World Cup, so if Santos waited until then they weren’t going to receive as much money as Santos did receive last year from the transaction.
Neymar also had the choice to go to Real Madrid, but chose Barcelona - that for the last few years has been one of the greatest teams ever.
Now, he has the opportunity to play in some great tournaments, such as the Champions League, playing against and with some of the world’s best players. This will teach him a lot.
I think the experience that Neymar is having will be good for the Brazilian team and help him at the World Cup. 

11. Which players are you most looking forward to seeing at the tournament and what will they bring to the party?

I would like to watch Falcão and Ibrahimovic. They are two great players that aren't going to come. They would be great additions to the tournament.
And, about the ones that are coming, I usually get to watch them when I am in Europe, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and Rooney.
It is a great opportunity for the Brazilians to watch them play at our home stadiums.
Also, Neymar, but of course he played in Brazil until last year.

12. Finally, how would you best like to be remembered?

I really would like to be remembered as an easy going person, a simple man.
A man that is remembered by his virtues.
Also, of course, as the Captain of a great national team that is respected around the world.

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