Cafu: There is no better feeling in football than lifting the World Cup

Cafu: There is no better feeling in football than lifting the World Cup

The two-time winner spoke about the development of Vinicius Junior and how Brazil will perform in “Qatar 2022”


Sunday – 11 Dhu al-Hijjah 1443 AH – 10 July 2022 AD Issue no. [
15930]


Cafu holds the World Cup between his old teammates Ronaldo and Rivaldo (EPA)

Maceo (Brazil): Jose Sixas

Brazilian star Cafu has just recorded a video message to some children in northeastern Brazil: “I can see myself in these children,” he says. I was a poor child, and I went through a lot of adversity to get where I am now and talk to you, after playing in the World Cup three times in a row and winning the World Cup twice. ”
I had this interview with Cafu from Maceió while he was preparing to take a three-hour bus ride to the countryside as part of his participation in a social work project.
Cafu says: “When I go there, I play with them barefoot, so that they can see that we are all equal. When I first thought of this project, I wanted to do it somewhere where no one else would go. There is a high rate of malnutrition, and I feel our main goal is to give them hope, and to make these children believe that they can achieve more. ”
The project – which literally translates as “Little Cafu in the Outback” – offers children soccer balls, shoes, food and a chance to meet the former Brazil captain. Poverty is a big problem in Brazil, and Cafu says he is shocked to see these children suffer, as he did before.
“It’s hard to achieve goals when society does not give you the opportunities you need,” he says. I got up at four in the morning, ate some food and took the bus at five in the morning to go to training at nine in the morning. Sometimes I played worse than the other kids because they slept well through the night and lived near the practice field. That is why I see myself in these children, because unfortunately life offers only two options for the poor: you can take a bad path, or you can try hard and persevere. The second option involves a lot of fighting. What people do not understand is that soccer players try to succeed, not because their goal is fame, but to help their family and friends overcome poverty. ”
Twenty years after leading Brazil to glory at the 2002 World Cup, Cafu is trying to inspire people by telling his life story. That is why he wrote his autobiography, entitled “The Cafu Epic”, in which he tells the story of his early days in football, won his first titles, was called up for the Brazil national team, won the World Cup, and played in Spain and Italy.
Cafu has won every possible trophy – the domestic league and cup, two Copa Libertadores with São Paulo, the Serie A with AS Roma and AC Milan, the Champions League with Milan, two Copa Americas with Brazil, plus many more. Other tournaments and titles – but he will always be remembered by winning the World Cup with Brazil. Cafu won the World Cup for the first time in 1994 in the United States, when he was still playing in Sao Paulo, but he was the captain of the Seleção team when he won the World Cup for the second time in 2002 with the phenomenon Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos.
The Brazilian national team was so star-studded at the time, and unlike the current team, it would have been very easy for any fan to name the samba group. “The problem is that people do not know the starting line-up for the Brazilian national team,” said Cafu. Although we are in the year that the World Cup will be held, we can unfortunately not be sure of the names of the players who will participate in the World Cup in Qatar. This is completely different from the feeling that prevailed in 2002, when everyone knew who would start in the starting line-up, and even who had the most chance to play as a substitute during matches. The fans knew our story and where we played, and the fans felt close to the teams. But now there is a gap between the fans and the national team, and this gap has been increasing since 2010. “
Does Cafu believe that Alisson Becker and Neymar are the only players who secured their place in the starting line-up for the national team of Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar? He answers this question by saying: “I do not think so. Can we be sure that Alisson will compete in the starting lineup in light of the levels provided by Ederson? Or will Weaverton not be able to defend the Brazilian national team after the championships and titles he won with Palmeiras? “The only player who guarantees his place in the starting line-up is Neymar, because he is the best, and then we have other young people who want to secure a place for them in the starting line – up, like Vinicius Junior.”
“Vinicius is the future of Brazilian football. He is a young player who possesses the abilities and techniques that qualify him to reach the highest levels. He was already a promising player, but this year he has shown that he can achieve more. It is too early to say that he is one of the top three players in the world, but we can imagine that he will reach that level soon. “
He continues: “He is a professional and humble boy who needs someone to explain to him how he can improve and develop. Carlo Ancelotti was there for the role, and now we see what Vinicius can do. “Rodrygo also gives good performances during the minutes he plays, and Real Madrid is a good engine for these players.”
However, Cafu believes the departure of Brazilian players to play abroad at a young age, such as Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, is not good for Brazilian football. Real Madrid signed Vinicius Junior for 46 million euros when he was just 16 years old, and paid 45 million euros to sign Rodrygo when he was just 17 years old. Cafu believes the departure of the players abroad at such a young age does not allow the Brazilian fans to build an emotional relationship with them.
“Teams like Flamengo, Palmeiras and Atlético Mineiro should be an example to other Brazilian clubs, changing the way they manage things and bringing a lot of professionalism to the Brazilian League, which is good,” said Cafu. These clubs can invest well, always compete to win trophies and titles, and they can score players who are at the forefront of their football talents. However, Brazil still have the problem of selling their young players too soon. When I played, the players first had to win trophies in our country and play for the national team, and then go to Europe. Now, it’s the other way around, where they first go to Europe and try to join the national team and then return to Brazil at the end of their football career, and therefore it is sometimes difficult to choose the starting line-up for the national team. team from Brazil. ”
Although the Brazilian team that led Cafu to win the 2002 World Cup also struggled to qualify for the World Cup, and the fans were critical of the players, the players regained their level in time under coach Luis Felipe Scolari. This victory remains the best memory of Cafu’s career.
Cafu laughs: “The night before the final we played golf on the fairways. We talked and had a good time. I was the team leader and felt it was time to let go of some stress. I asked Filipao to let the players enjoy their time because tomorrow we are going to play a great game. He trusted us and thought we could win this title. He sat with us for a few hours and then went to his room. The next day we took to the field and won the World Cup. There is no better feeling in football than lifting this cup, and I can guarantee you that. Talking about it still gives me goosebumps, and all the details are still fresh in my head. ”


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