The last time you read a ‘Sunday Senor’ column here was probably even before Neymar was born, but we’re happy to bring it back for you! This week, former Portugal international and a former legend of the game, Deco, spoke to Futbolita as part of Tiger Street Football in Asia. His team comprised of former Portugal nationals Nuno Gomes, Paulo Ferreira, Maniche and Vitor Baia, seen in a hilarious candid above.
F : You played with both at club and country, but who is the better player – Ronaldo or Cristiano?
D : Everybody wants to know this (laughs). Well, I like both players, they have different styles… you can’t say that one is better than the other, and I think they are on the same level. They have amazing technique, and of course, they know the game very well, so if you ask me, they are both good! It’s hard for me to choose..
F : Who is the better friend?
D : Well, Cristiano played with me in Portugal, he is a good friend, but I had many beautiful experiences with Lionel at Barcelona. So I would say in terms of friendship, I am closer to Lionel. He is a great person, and also still a great friend.
F : Why did you pick these guys (Vitor Baia, Maniche, etc) to be your teammates?
D : Oh, because they are all retired and they are available (laughs with crowd). I’m just kidding.. actually, we are all good friends, we share a common history in Portugal and also at Chelsea, and I get along well with these guys. It has been nice having them here to play with me.
F : Tell us about your tattoos. Where did you get them done?
D : They are the names of all my children… I have 5 (laughs). Well, it took quite a while, but I got it done at my favourite tattoo parlour in Salvador (Brazil). Maybe, I will do more in future!
F : You’ve now played in the Copa Libertadores with Fluminense. What’s more difficult – that or the Champions League?
D : Actually, I have to say that the Copa Libertadores is more difficult. In the Champions League, if you are a big team, you are almost guaranteed to do quite well, or in the group stages, unless you are having a bad season because of the structure of the league. Also, smaller teams have a chance to make upsets. Libertadores is more different, the system and the style means that if it’s a smaller club, it would be almost impossible to win.
F : Tips for young players starting out and wanting a career in professional football?
D : I think the character and dedication of the player is important. If he doesn’t want to sacrifice, he will not go far. For me, it’s all about the mentality. If you want it badly, you will do whatever it takes to be the best player. But first, it must start with your mindset and your ability to push yourself no matter what the circumstances.