Samba Soccer Seduced Schäfer
Brazil's New Manager Speaks To The Press Following His Appointment
Romário: "We are delighted to announce that Christian Schäfer has agreed to become the new manager of the Seleção. He will begin in his new role immediately and will look to take charge of the national team in the next fixture against Russia at the end of August. Christian is here today to answer any of your questions but I do ask you to be mindful that he is not fluent in our language and may find difficulties in understanding some of what you may have to ask."
Ronaldo: "As my esteemed colleague has rightly said, we are absolutely chuffed to have Christian working with us. A country with a standing such as ours in football should be performing much better than we have been. No major trophy in fifteen years is an inexcusable disappointment, and we believe that Christian can be the man to turn our fortunes around and bring the glory back to Brazil."
Christian Schäfer: "It is a great honour and a privilege like no other to be here today, working alongside two of the greatest players in football history. As a youngster, I watched these two play in World Cups, showcasing their talents. Here I am today, having been tasked with guiding their nation to hopefully bring back the glory of the past. It will be no easy task, I can assure you, but nothing good in life comes without a challenge."
Christian, we understand that you had a number of offers on the table. What was the reasoning behind taking this job over the others?"
Christian Schäfer: "Yes, there were other opportunities for me in other countries. I carefully considered every possibility before choosing what I felt was right for me. In the end, it was the prospect of the Brazilian culture and how football is celebrated here which enticed me. Football is celebrated and performed a little differently in Germany and when I left Dresden, I decided that I wanted to experience something different, something which would open up my eyes and help me to experience how football can be played and celebrated differently. Coming here to Brazil, in my eyes, is the perfect opportunity to learn and to discover new ways of performing the same fundamental task on the football pitch; beating the opponent. Brazil have won five World Cups, more than anybody else. The football played here is unique in its own right and I want to learn how this is possible. Of course I could watch Brazil play football on the television, but I felt I need to be in the thick of the action to fully understand what Samba Soccer is all about. I want to breath it in, feel the flow of the ball, the sound of the crowd cheering on their idols. This is what I want."
What are your objectives with Brazil in terms of competition performances?
Christian Schäfer: "Well firstly we have a couple of friendlies which we would certainly like to prove our worth and claim victory in. October will bring the Superclásico fixture against Argentina. From my understanding, there is no better atmosphere in the world than at this fixture every year. The two greatest footballing nations competing against one-another to claim the bragging rights. This is a fixture that leaves me too excited to sleep. We want to win this and bring pride to the nation. Next year is the Copa América, and we want to challenge for this trophy. Bringing this competition home would be fantastic for the players and for the country, and would elevate our stature to a place closer to where it belongs. As for beyond next year? Only time will tell."
Christian Schäfer Was Seduced By The Attacking Flair Of Brazil's Samba Soccer
What style of football do you plan to bring to the Seleção?
Christian Schäfer: "Samba soccer, of course. This is a fundamental way of playing football here in this country and I must stick to these traditions. I wish for us to play exciting, fast-paced attacking football which relies heavily on the technical abilities which the players possess. With Dresden, my approach was perhaps very defensive at times, and we conceded less than a goal per game as a result. There are certain defensive philosophies which I will impose in order to cut down opposition attacks, but our focus will chiefly be on creating as many goals as we possibly can."
Romário, what about Christian Schäfer made him stand out above the other candidates?
Romário: "Christian is a young enthusiastic manager with an appetite for learning. His experience with Dresden is certainly a good display of what he is capable of. With limited resources, he masterminded the transformation of a club in the third division, creating a side which won the UEFA Champions League. Players love to work for him, which was vitally important in our selection process, and he loves to work with players. I can envisage Christian having a very positive working relationship with the players and helping them reach new heights in their careers."
Christian, Neymar is now thirty years old. What role do you envisage him having for Brazil now that he is reaching his twilight years?
Christian Schäfer: "Neymar's abilities as a footballer are undeniable. He has been a key part in FC Barcelona's success ever since joining, helping them to two Champions League titles (2015 & 2020), and he has grown as a player ever since. In fact, I do believe he was voted third in the last FIFA Ballon d'Or award, which only showcases just how good a player he is. Yes, he is now thirty years old, but his technical and physical abilities are as strong as ever, and his experience of playing for top teams is second-to-none. He is the captain of this country, the top goalscorer in its history, and very close to breaking the record for appearances. Neymar is the country's hero and will always have a place in the team while I'm in charge."
Last question, Christian. You do not speak Portuguese. Will this prove to be a problem?
Christian Schäfer: "There might be a few communication problems at first which could make things confusing at times, but I have a translator who I trust to assist me in my roles. I will, of course, be undertaking extensive lessons in the language so that I can become fully equipped to manage the side. I am hungry for success and excited about the future, and this will help me through any initial difficulties that I will face."
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