Rui Santos writes about a young Benfica coach who must have the responsibility not to be trapped by the techniques of ‘old leadership’
“(…) Benfica, from today, will not be silent with these lack of respect”
Benfica sporting director Rui Pedro Braz
It’s a strong statement, that of the “embodied” manager, and it wouldn’t have been the first time that a director of a “big” club preferred such a statement.
The history of national football is full of advances and setbacks, promises of hygiene and prophylaxis, and it is also full of spitting and locusts.
It’s an endless din, a heckling (in the West) that would be excellently satirized by Mel Brooks.
Forgive me for the plebeians, but Benfica, in general, wanted to pass this season is that they were “eaten” in refereeing.
Here, if it was “eaten” or not, but above all I would like to remind you that I have had a clear position on the subject for many years.
This is all wrong, top to bottom and bottom to top.
It’s all wrong as there are rare exceptions where sports officials act in line with the social responsibilities of a football club.
This is all wrong because, in Portugal, the pyramid is completely reversed: it is the players who put on the show and they put a cork in their mouths, as if they were functionally illiterate and brainless.
It’s a highly unconstitutional thing, but — forgive me for plebeianism again — people get used to it and, as the Spaniards say (no, it’s not because of the influence of PORRO and the doe novel), nothing happens!
Players don’t talk (they make agents and family talk), once in a while a Tweeter or a message on instagrambecause it’s not Russia and these days clubs are also unable to set up tolls and stop on all the communication highways that connect, for example, Lisbon or Madrid to the Phi-Phi Islands.
And when they do, it’s highly transformed and so harmless it hurts.
It hasn’t always been like that, and I know what I’m talking about, as you know what I’m talking about the players, coaches and managers who allowed access to the team locker rooms, with respect between all parties.
Respect can be the watchword. It ceased to exist.
Nobody trusts anyone, the ground still seems to be mined, and the appearance of the directions of communication has made everything even more cloudy.
There is no controversy in the language, the statements seem to be signed by the most radical supporters, whether when it comes to opponents, referees, VAR or holders of the so-called decision-making bodies .
This is an unacceptable posture, which is not seen in Europe with the level of regularity and severity observed in Portugal.
Football clubs, in other areas but also in this area of communication, have this ability to attract people linked to the medium and we have already seen that some of them have embarked on a talibanism difficult to understand.
There is no other way to look at it: the radicalization of the discourse and the hatred fomented in these cabinets is the ultimate responsibility of the presidents.
Communication will always be what the presidents want, whether they are PINTO DA COSTA, FREDERICO VARANDAS or RUI COSTA. It’s good that we never forget it.
The problem is that at the height of the radicalization of the discourse, there are behaviors that have become exacerbated and unacceptable and this generates fears, which are worked on to derive benefits.
Coercion in Portuguese football is something that should have been banned decades ago but still coexists with most sports agents, especially referees and not only.
Because nothing is being done in Portugal to tackle the root of the (macro) problem, the perception has been created that noise gives points.
Institutional respect, verbal restraint and education must prevail in the relations between the sports agents of the native ball, but as neither FERNANDO GOMES (FPF) nor PEDRO PROENÇA (Liga) and even less the Government have the strength to change this anomaly, the temptation is to respond with noise to the noise of others.
And it’s like a fish with its tail in its mouth.
Definitely this is not the way and if it is Benfica’s way of communication we will return to undesirable levels of confrontation and the Portuguese League will continue to be an unsalable product, and that’s a shame because it has potential untapped.
Who, despite the presence of some good players, and in some cases even genuine “stars” (see the recent case of LUIS DIAZ), wants to see slow-paced matches, full of fouls and interruptions, simulations and any amount of an arsenal of deception that our interpreters are fruitful?
Who wants to consume a League with a bad reputation because of what is said about it, the crowds that are generated around the referees, the behavior of the ‘banks’, etc., etc., etc. ?
Portuguese football needs a “task force” – a political intervention without fear – which aims to dismantle everything that generates distortions of competition and insecurity among people.
Until that happens, I don’t accept but I even understand the scope of RUI PEDRO BRAZ’s words.
Benfica held back (PEDRO PINTO, in the communication, was decent) and, although it is not true that he has been injured as many times as he has declared (that is another problem communication offices, which mix real grounds for complaint with absolutely false or fallacious arguments), gives the feeling that by not making as much noise as it could have, nothing has been gained.
In other words, Benfica have already signaled that they don’t want to ‘be eaten’ and remain silent.
We all understand that Benfica has problems for which it is responsible, which RUI PEDRO BRAZ himself had the honor to recognize, and that this type of speech, already used by LUÍS FILIPE VIEIRA, is still a way of trying to prepare the football community for a very noisy season and also a lot of pressure on the referee teams.
We already know that RUI PEDRO BRAZ was impacted by a technique of downsizingwho went through the loss of power as a decision-maker in “embodied” football (to the benefit of LOURENÇO COELHO, in direct line with RUI COSTA) and that these things are sometimes also consequences of necessary adjustments in the structures and give something thing to do for someone who has a contractual link with the club and a presidential consideration.
In fact, it was very unlikely that RUI PEDRO BRAZ could have immediate success as the general manager of football at a big club like Benfica — and it could only have happened through great influence — since his experience in this domain was zero. .
A communicator who communicates in favor of the interests of Benfica (or Sporting or FC Porto) does not transform automatically, almost by magic, despite the football knowledge he may have, into a “strong man” of prepared football.
It is a very demanding position, the success of which also depends on the degree of commitment of those who are part of the structure, and BRAZ has been a victim of having arrived at a structure that is poorly qualified, not very cohesive and in transition towards something which was a little-known era and is now adapting to a new reality.
RUI PEDRO BRAZ is no longer a decision-maker, but an agent (with a lot to do, in terms of helping with the placement task of surplus players) and here he can gain important experience for the future, who knows if in the state, until , of a future entrepreneur, with the blessing of JORGE MENDES.
Once, not long ago, I said that Benfica were learning. That the president was learning (to be president), that the general manager was learning, that the communication director was learning, that the coach, then with little experience in the “first team”, was learning and until many players weren’t prepared to feel Benfica and that’s why they were learning too.
It’s a lot to learn together and, in fact, next season there will be a lot at stake and the pressure will increase, both in Luz and in Seixal.
It’s good that RUI PEDRO BRAZ, as a young coach, has the idea that in order to deserve the opportunity he had to join a big club like Benfica, he should not become another part of “the ‘former leadership’.
It does not benefit anyone and it is time to hope for new leaders, with a more aerial mentality.
Will a higher or lower rung on the structure be up to the challenge?