Bruno was on the way when Claudio Mortari He was the world champion as a coach for Sirio, in October 1979. Now, at the age of 42, a coach Sao Paulo, who was born in January 1980, can repeat this feat with very little work time. He took over his father’s place five months ago, winning the Champions League for the Americas in early April, and securing Morumbi’s side in the Intercontinental Cup, the Club World Cup.
In an interview with stadium, the coach admits that he has not yet been able to measure the size of the achievement for the Sao Paulo project, which was born in 2018, and that he thinks every day about the possibility of repeating his father’s achievement. He also praises Marquinhos and Shamil and talks about the moment of Bruno Capoclo and the return of Lucas Pepe. Check out key excerpts from the interview:
17 days after the opening, is it possible to get the scale of the importance of the Champions League title for the Americas for the Sao Paulo project?
I still don’t know how to answer you. It’s really a pretty big title. It takes years for teams to be able to participate in this tournament. It’s very difficult and in a short period of time we were able to win the title. So, your answer, I don’t think so. We don’t have the actual size of this feat.
Could this feat pave the way for basketball to get on its feet at the club without relying on football?
It’s steps. In the first year it was necessary to support the club. It is always very difficult to start with care. Now, with this result, for everything it represents in São Paulo, because it’s like basketball in the Libertadores, in a club that is used to this kind of title, the next step is to add that sponsorship. The repercussions were enormous. Companies need to view it as an investment, because it is a great investment.
What was the main factor in Sao Paulo winning the title?
Focus we entered the tournament. During the NBA (new brazilian basketball) We are focusing on the Champions League. We used NBB’s pre-flight games to get ready. We learned that it was not possible to participate 100% in both competitions because the time frame was too short. We played on Friday and on Saturday we traveled to Uruguay, Argentina… 100% focus on this competition paid off. Of course I wasn’t expecting to be an undefeated champion, but we managed to reap the rewards of this choice of choice.
Do you already imagine yourself as the world champion, equal to your father’s achievement?
I think about it every day. Now, let it arrive, let’s get it…and very young too. My father was young (31 years) when he was the world champion. I’m just in the beginning of my business. We will definitely look for it.
How is this interaction with Claudio?
We talk about basketball all the time. He watches all the matches and we are always analyzing. It’s home work, inevitable. Usually gives a macro, like the team is playing well and needs to score this piece. Right now, like Bennett put in to celebrate such a player, not that. He does not usually interfere with appointments.
Do you feel pressure to follow your father’s legacy?
not much. I’ve always lived with her. Since I was a child I have been accompanying my father, and I have never been afraid to confront him. Thanks to him I became a coach. Everything I know I learned from him. I don’t feel pressured. Everyone who knows me knows my work. I’m ready for it, I’ve always thought I’m ready for it so I don’t feel pressured.
Hearing the comparisons, does that bother you?
No problem. It doesn’t bother me at all. Maybe it was the pressure on me to get results and that’s why this title came at the right time for me. I only have five months of work. Reached the final (Cup) Super 8 (Knockout tournament with the best teams from the first round of the National Football League)Which unfortunately we lost in the details (for Minas, at the last ball)And now I have conquered that title. People actually see you with different eyes, and they know it’s in the blood, and it’s not a test balloon. This achievement came to give calm to continue working on the same path.
Did the fact that being a player with a good reading of the game help in training as a coach?
This helps but the most important thing is knowing how to deal with the group. Since I was a player for a long time with my dad (as a coach), I couldn’t let the group split up, which it does, because it would explode in it. So I learned to lead as many players as possible by thinking the same way.
Did the presence of Shamil and Marquinhos on the team, both former teammates in player days, help the business?
They helped me a lot Shamil, even the injured, I ask him to stay on the bench to help me, because he understands a lot about the game. Marquinhos also knows all about basketball, even helping out with training. The group is very good, it is a winning group. Elinho himself is one of the players who have won the most titles in recent times. Tyrone, 100% racing. Coelho, another strong player, Bennett… The group was very well balanced. The pieces fit together so well they understand what we went through and do their best.
The previous group that didn’t win titles had talented players like Jorginho, Lucas Mariano, Renan Lens… Does having a group with winning players make Sao Paulo a champion?
The message moved from Paulista to embrace this group better. Experience, of course, is important. The nicknames they bring, too. But we lost great players and brought in great players. It’s this group’s ability to look for something more and that’s what made the difference in winning these titles.
How did you work to motivate Bruno Capoclo? Many people considered returning to Brazil a setback in his career…
What he came to do in Sao Paulo and what he does is what needs to be done. This was the moment in his career to have time on the court, to get involved in the game, something he never had the chance to do in the NBA and in Europe. This was sold to him and he embraced him as best he could. He needed to take this step to take two advances later. He went to the NBA too early and never got a chance to play. Here he has a chance to play the way he wants. Today I see him more prepared for what the world has to offer him, because he’s such a hot boy.
Lucas Pepe, who returned to Sao Paulo .. How is this roller coaster dealt with?
The only thing difficult for him is this roller coaster. Otherwise it is amazing. He helped win Paulista, in the Champions… I did everything to score him in the NBB. He was determined to retire and there was no way out. He’s a 2.13 million-year-old guy who’s played in the NBA, already played in Europe, and has a lot of experience. All and the desire to play is a man who does not balance any championship. There’s this roller coaster, but now I think it’s just up, it’s on the axis.
Will the Americas Champions League title increase the pressure on Sao Paulo at the NBB?
Steering São Paulo is always a pressure, even when you’re facing last place. But under this pressure (with the title) does not change much. Now, the expectation is changing a lot. We know that NBB is a very tough competition. Our first goal, to be among the four, has been achieved. One step at a time. Now we will face a great team, Bauru, in the quarter-finals. It will be a very balanced series. The torsion factor can be decisive. The gym is always full, they’ve embraced the team, and they know the time to cheer.
Like your father, have you been a São Paulo since you were little?
I’ve always had roots for the team he was in. But I was born in Morumbi, and I’ve been a partner in São Paulo since I was three. It’s a club at heart, it’s a great club, and there’s no better place to work.