India captain Bhaiching Bhutia on Saturday launched his football school in the Capital in association with Carlos Queiroz, one of the biggest names in football management, and a man with a track record of spotting world-class talent.
Although Queiroz could not make it to India for the launch, he spoke exclusively to HT about his plans in India and his footballing journey around the world. After being removed as Portuguese national team coach, Queiroz has taken a sabbatical from professional coaching. For personal reasons, he said he did not wish to speak about his managerial career, but, via email from hit country of birth, Mozambique, he spoke extensively about his involvement in India.
What do you find more rewarding and more challenging, managing a club or a national team?
A club is a daily challenge; it keeps you alive, competing regularly. With a national team, you compete from time to time, you are not able to work with the players on a regular basis, so I prefer the challenge of the clubs. Being rewarded is a matter of acknowledgement of your work. It's not always fair in the national teams
What is your understanding and opinion of the football scenario in India?
I don’t believe that I have complete knowledge to answer that question, but I have said this before: India has unbelievable potential. I think that Bhaichung's project will be further proof of that. I hope that football in India grows in the right way, developing youngsters with the will to succeed in life, with the will to commit to values that at the end of the day enables them to become better human beings and footballers.
With Baichung´s vision, with the infrastructures available, with the support of the community and partners and with the will to work daily and improve, I believe it is only a matter of time before we start to see some rising talent
Do you have plans to identify talent in the country and work on developing young footballers?
My plan is to support Bhaichung in his objectives and to consequently improve what we can in India´s football. I look forward to seeing with my own eyes this project and the people who are leading this project have my full confidence and support. When I arrive in India, I will surely be touched by the work that is being conducted and that has been carried out so far.
How did you get involved with the project?
Bhaichung visited my academy at Lisbon and has been in contact with Tiago, our CEO since. We have built together a fantastic relationship and I have the greatest respect for him. I'm looking forward to meeting him soon in India and sharing thoughts about football.
Your coaching career has taken you all over the world. From Japan to South Africa, Europe and even the UAE. How different is football in different parts?
A good coach has the ability do adapt himself to different realities. The social-cultural context always affects your life as leader of men; sometimes you have to train at different hours then you were used, sometimes it requires a different human approach, sometimes you even have to change the way you want to play the game. Phantom goals
At the end of the day if you are not willing to commit yourself to your reality, if you are not open to learning from where you are, you won't survive.