Luso Football

Blog dedicado às Camadas Jovens/Futebol de Formação do Sporting Clube de Portugal.

quinta-feira, julho 13, 2006

Dani. The Portuguese Beckham

How has life been post-Football?
With a lot of changes but my career has ended, that's a definite. Right now I'm thinking of adventuring into a new profession which will be in acting. I am thinking of taking an acting degree in Brasil, one or more in the prestigious schools they have there. Right now my life is very much directioned towards that.

Do you live a calmer life now after Football?
For the most part, yes. I really loved Football but I hated that which revolved around it and still does.

Discipline, the rules of conduct to which a Professional Football player is obligated to follow?
To which we're obligated... I knew damn well what was good and bad for me. As long as I did my duty to which I was bound in the contract what else I did with my life was nobody's business.

But it was due to your agitated life that you left Sporting and later Benfica?
Benfica, we had lost 3-0 to Maritimo and it was our night off and I was with some friends (Miguel, Maniche, Sabry) at an hotel, nothing more. Why did they raise such a ruckus about that? Somebody had an interest in that.

Did you feel you were a target because you were famous?
I felt like a scapegoat because the team had lost and somebody needed to be blamed. I was very disappointed with President Vilarinho. I hold no grudge but he was one of the people who disappointed me the most in all my years of Football?

On the other hand at Benfica you got to work with Mourinho who seemed to believe in you and your talents?
Without a doubt, it didn't last long but those were good times.

Have you ever considered that to this day you could still be working with Mourinho and in London?
Have I ever. Today I could be a Chelsea player and still being coached by Mourinho. But there you go, I could never deal with all that frenetic schedulling of constantly moving around, hotels, pre-game training camps, strict rules, etc.

Who was your best friend in Football?
I had a manager (José Veiga) who helped me out a great deal, but I never really had major friendship in Football.

Was the nightlife the biggest problem?
The nightlife is part of the fun and to each his own. It was hard moving to London and Amsterdam, I already liked having fun in Lisbon so imagine in those conditions abroad and with money to spend and nobody to mind over me how much worse it got, I was too young and too famous, I never lost track of myself but it wasn't easy being so young and having the world at my feet. My growth as a player stagnated, had I stayed in Lisbon things might have been different.

Any special regrets?
That one time I fell asleep for an extra half hour and missed the plane to Israel and got busted down to the Junior Team and pretty much cost me 6 months which I could have been playing for the Seniors. I missed 6 months because of 30 minutes. I was 17 and I had that schoolboy's mentality of "I'll miss this class but I'll get notes from a school-mate on what happened". There's that other time in which I made a fast trip to Algarve to have some fun and when I was trying to get back to Lisbon I saw Sporting's President (Pedro Santana Lopes) at the Faro airport but I convinced 2 stewardesses to hide me in the plane so he wouldn't see me.

Did you have many problems with Harry Redknapp?
I went to West Ham on a loan until the end of the 1995/96 season, we had 3 or 4 months in which the team did very well and reached a stable position in the table and the club started readying the next season and in order to lower my price so West Ham could buy me cheaply from Sporting what happened was Redknapp busted me down to the Reserve Team in order to lower my price. I had just started playing for the National Squad (12th of December 1995) and there was the very real possibility I could play in Euro 1996 as long as I kept playing regularly so I talked with Redknapp and he said he understood my position but his responsibility was to the club. I could have played Euro 96 at that young age like Ronaldo did in Euro 2004 and because of Redknapp I lost that chance so I got upset and from then on things really got worse.

You then had time to meet Jamie Redknapp's girlfriend?
Yes, I met the girlfriend of the coach's son who I believe was playing for Liverpool at the time. I started going out with her and the tabloids started making a big deal of it and things got even worse and they shipped me back to Sporting.

I got fired. Fired? My loan contract was up in 1 week, I was a Sporting player, he couldn't fire me if he wanted to, he just finished the loan early but he came out in the papers telling everybody he had fired me, it was insane. I was so fired that soon afterwards I went to the 1996 Olympic Games where I was Portugal's best player and we managed to finish 4th and I was then purchased by AJAX, that's how fired I was, I guess I wasn't that fired?
But then Redknapp showed what a prick he really was because Paulo Futre went there and they didn't get along, Hugo Porfirio went there and they didn't get along, Raducioiu went there and they didn't get along, etc. Any foreigner that went in there after a few months was on the outs with Redknapp who along with Manuel Vilarinho are the biggest disappointments I ever had in football.

You did well as well in the World Youth Cup (U-20) in 1995 in Qatar?
Yeah, I was the tournament's 2nd best player and 2nd highest goal scorer. Crazy country, you couldn't smoke, you couldn't drink and if their women looked you in the eyes they cut off your fingers (they must be related to Malika "Castrate Marco Materazzi" Zidane), it was a mess.

You were a Sex-Symbol?
I was 17 I went from Sporting's Junior Team straight to the U-21s. When I got back from Qatar I was suddenly a star, I went to a place where I usually went to get a drink and the regular doorman said "Please come right in, Sir" and I was like "what the hell is going on?".

What was the richest bonus you've ever won?
In AJAX, a Champions League game Vs Atlético Madrid (the irony), if we won that night we would receive 25000 Euros, and we won.

How did you enjoy the evening?
I didn't, I injured my shoulder and I was sent home. I did my injury recovery in Algarve, can you imagine me in Algarve? So for those 2 weeks instead of getting better I was justing having fun.

Where do you like to vacation?
Ibiza, Saint-Tropez, etc.

You spent 400.000 Euros on one of those vacations?
It wasn't me who spent that much, in fact I'm not sure if those vacations costed 400.000 or 600.000 Euros but I can tell you ours wasn't even the biggest yacht in Saint-Tropez, but it was big allright.

Kylie Minogue, Louise Redkmapp, Princess Tamara Czartoryski, Rita Ferro Rodrigues, Felipa Champalimaud, it's quite a list.
It is, but they also claimed I had an affair with Catarina Furtado because we were both in London in 1996 or when they said me and Sofia Aparicio had an affair just because we were both in Paris at the same time.

Is there doping in Football?
That I saw with my own 2 eyes, no. But football is not full of Saints. I saw players get Voltaren shots, whether it was Voltaren or not I do not know?

But you received a treatment for muscle enhancement?
That was just before I was promoted from the Juniors to the First Team, I was skinny and not very strong, I was a teenager and Professor Carlos Queiroz wanted me to join the Seniors but I needed to get stronger so he had Professor Mariano Barreto work with me in strenghtning me during the Summer. We went to Algarve (Deja Vu?) to work for 2 weeks, he trained me 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon and at nights I had a little time off and always got to bed late.

If you had to ellect a figure of centruy in Portuguese Football?
Professor Carlos Queiroz, more than a coach he was also a friend, if not for him I would have never have played for top teams like Sporting, Ajax, Atlético, etc.

In AJAX you wore the Number 14.
During my debut Johan Cruijff was the TV comentator and he paid me a lot of compliments and said I reminded him of himself so the next season they gave me the 14. I felt honoured by the comparison and it proved a wise business decision because it became the best selling jersey at the club during my time there.



At 20:22, Anonymous Anónimo said...

Where did this interview come from? Do you have a link to the original one (in portuguese)?

At 00:30, Blogger André179 said...

I do not. It's from the December 2004 edition of GQ (Portuguese version) which had Pamela Anderson on the cover.



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