A familiar place
It had been probably over ten years by now ever since I entered coaching and the non-playing side of football. The Champions League win with Mourinho and Porto was the highlight of my career and I worked under a few more managers, most notably Co Adriaanse, Jesualdo Ferreira and Andre Villas-Boas. I'd won the Primeira League multiple times and I'd also won cups both domestically and on the continental stage, so, once AVB left for Chelsea I felt it was finally the time to move on.
I scoured for jobs and eventually took up the role of assistant manager at Naval, my hometown club. We unfortunately were relegated down to the third division and the club could no longer pay my wages so I looked for a full time manager role.
Unfortunately, no one took a chance on me, despite holding a UEFA Continental Pro License and working for so long at a club like F.C Porto. Eventually I got another assistant manager gig, this time with Portugal Under 21s. It was a really good experience to work with the country's youth and possibly the next generation of Portuguese football and also helped develop my skill at working with youngsters.
It was now coming to the start of the 2014 season and I went scouring through the news to find some results. I skipped past the latest headlines of the world, where issues such as "Arrandland declares War on North Korea in fight for independence"
, as well as "Joshua Hull confirms he was raised by a Gorillas"
dominated the front pages. What I was really looking for was the sport section and what was on the back page made my jaw drop.
"LUPETEGUI AXED: ROW WITH CHAIRMAN SEES SPANIARD GONE"
I don't know why but I decided to try my luck. I quickly sent a text message to Pinto da Costa expressing my interest in the job and decided to wait on it.
Two days later...
I cautiously entered the boardroom, expecting to see a host of men in suits eyeing me down, trying to make me crack. Instead, it was just Pinto da Costa, sitting in his chair at the head of the table.
The nervousness I'd first felt quickly went away, all of a sudden I had a good feeling about this.
"Welcome, Vitor. Let's get down to business," he said as I took a seat opposite him. "I got your text, I know about your interest in this job and I know about your experience."
I nodded, not sure what to expect next.
"I'm willing to give you a year. One year, that's it. Win the league and get to the first knockout round of the Champions League, nothing else is important. Are you alright with that?"
I nodded again. I was more than alright with it.
"Great, I'll give you the same amount of wages as I gave the past manager. I'll also send you the budgets tomorrow and you can meet the rest of the team, here, not that you'll need to. I think that's it, thanks Vitor."
"Not a problem," I said, now grinning uncontrollably. da Costa reached down under his desk to grab something, I couldn't completely see but he brought out this glass bottle with an orange-brown liquid inside that looked like whisky.
"Care to celebrate?" he grabbed two glasses. "It's a new, modern beveredge, apparenty it's the hottest thing going round!"
"What's it called?" I asked.
"It's known as Jetmirche123, it really is delicious
!" he beamed.
"No, I'm alright, thanks."