Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Coaches Voice: Resilient

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Brazil, 2016–

When Edu gave me the news, I could not believe it.

“For f*ck’s sake,” I thought. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

I knew it had to be something semi-serious because he’d been forced off, but I didn’t give it my full attention at the time.

During a game, because of the concentration levels needed, you have to constantly make a list of priorities. At that precise moment, I was focused on the team, its organisation and – crucially – who was going to replace Neymar.

This was a friendly against Qatar in June 2019. I was focused on winning the game.

After the final whistle, my thoughts turned to Neymar. I was told about the extent of his injury.

“It can’t be true,” I thought. “It can’t be.”

I was assured that our worst fears were indeed confirmed.

Neymar . . .

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