Elano: Passion, not money, makes me realize the beauty of football

Elano: Passion, not money, makes me realize the beauty of football

The former Brazil player regrets his departure from Manchester City


Saturday – 26 Dhu al-Qi’dah 1443 AH – 25 June 2022 AD Issue no. [
15915]


Elano celebrates one of the goals of his Brazilian team, Ferrovia (from Elano’s official account on Facebook) during his participation with Brazil in the 2010 World Cup (FIFA website)

Sao Paulo: Thiago Rabelo

The former Brazilian international Elano has had an impressive 15-year career with clubs such as Santos, Manchester City, Gremio, Flamengo and Shakhtar Donetsk. This brilliant Brazilian player was known for his precise passing, clever dives, extreme composure and the ability to play in the toughest conditions and challenges, so it made sense that he would be paid high by playing in the strongest clubs and the best stadiums. work. packed with passionate fans.
But the 40-year-old has left it all behind – and he’s happy about it. Until the end of March, Elano was the coach of Ferroviarea, a Brazilian club in the fourth division, which played in front of several thousand fans in Araraquara, a rural orange juice export town in the rural state of São Paulo. Elano has been in coaching since late 2016, and during his previous work with three clubs, including Santos, he never coached any club below the second division, so why did he agree to lead a club playing in the fourth division? ?
The former Brazilian player says: “This is real football! It’s not about the money, it’s about the passion, that I experienced in the fourth section by traveling, talking to different people, going to small stadiums and small towns, was something completely different and an experience that i have never had. I have been through a few situations that have shown me how beautiful football is, and realize how important the sport is to many people. We have people who support clubs even though they know they are not going to be big clubs one day. They know it well, and yet they still support these clubs, because they really love them. ”
The fourth division is the last league in Brazil’s professional leagues, with football serving as a mirror of a painfully unequal society. According to a Credit Suisse survey last year, half of Brazil’s health funds went to the richest 1 percent of the population. In 2015, CBF research showed that 82 per cent of footballers in the country earned less than £ 160 a month, and 96 per cent earned less than £ 800 a month.
Elano enjoys helping players who did not get the opportunities his talent offered him, but his presence at Ferrovia in the fourth division gave rise to signs of surprise. After a match at the Patrosinins in Patrosinho, a small town in the state of Minas Gerais, a local man asked him, ‘Ilano, what are you doing here? This is the fourth section! Do you need the money, man? Have you lost all your money? Are you poor? “
Elano recounts their conversation with a big smile. “I told him no,” he said, “and told him I was living a moment I needed to live.” I want such moments, from which I learn a lot, as if it were a wonderful school. I have to build my career, start a new life and look at some stories that I could not believe a few years ago. ”
However, this does not mean that the fourth division is always a beautiful environment, there are many major social problems, such as drug abuse, poverty and family problems, Elano says of it, “I had a player who led a very difficult life, since his parents were drug addicts. Can you imagine that? How can he lead a decent life under these circumstances? He was the family’s only hope, and football was his only way to lead a better life. He had to deal with life’s problems and play football. I learned a lot from him, and his way of thinking focused on staying out of trouble. ”
The word most repeated by Elano during this dialogue was “learn”. During his football career, which began at Santos in 2001 and ended with 50 games for Brazil, Elano played alongside Ronaldinho, Neymar, Kaka and Ronaldo. But with Ferrovia, he now works with players who combine football and other careers to earn a living.
“One of my players was a construction worker,” says Elano. He did not have enough money to pay someone else to do it, so he built his own house with his father. He bought building materials and was building the house in his spare time. He did everything himself. I always tell everyone this story. He was ashamed of it, but I told him not to be ashamed of it, but to be proud of it, because it’s a big story. He built his own dream. Where could I have seen such experiences in my football life? ”
In five months working in the fourth division, Elano has traveled more than 5,500 miles, mostly by bus, on Brazil’s dusty and poorly maintained roads. Each trip allowed him to get to know his players better.
“I have to listen to my players,” he said. At my previous club – Inter de Limera – the wife of one of the players had serious health problems. He always carried his cell phone in case of emergency. Once, his cell phone rang a few minutes before the game. For many drivers, this is a bad situation and may not happen, but I knew what was going on, so I asked him to answer the call. His wife informed him of a new problem. I turned to my players and demanded that we play with all our might for him, his wife, our children and our history, and I demanded that we win this match. It was simple, we managed to turn this bad situation into motivation, and we played a great game. ”
Elano was grateful for the great support he received in difficult moments as a player, at least in 2006 when he returned to the Brazil squad. “I can say that Brazil saved my life because I did not enjoy visiting Shakhtar,” he said. I did not manage to fit in well there. It was very difficult to live in a country where the temperature reaches minus 15 degrees Celsius. But I was called by Dunga and Jorginho. I could not believe it. On my first day in training, I asked the coach why he included me in the list, and he told me the reason was what I was up to with Santos before I moved to Shakhtar. He wanted to see me up close, to see if I could do those levels again or not. ”
The following year, Elano moved to Manchester City, but the English club was not as strong as it is today. “My time at Manchester City was one of the best of my football career,” said Elano. “The team had an amazing group of players, and there was an amazing manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, who is one of the best men I have ever met. He gave flowers to the staff, he is a “Sir, in every sense of the word. In fact, I’m sorry I left Manchester City, especially since it was us who started this current project. We showed how great Manchester City was, with incredible potential.”
In 2009, Elano moved from Manchester City to Galatasaray, before finally returning to Brazil. Elano started working with coaching and taking control of Santos, but was fired in January 2018, before starting work in the lower leagues, which he said made him a new man.
“I’ve become a better person and I feel more ready to take over a club,” said Elano. I am more rational now, and I have more skills to understand any situation, both on and off the field. I worked in the last professional league, but one day I will be the coach of Brazil’s national team. “


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