Excited by the challenge, Roger Schmidt admits that “training Benfica is a bigger adventure than it was in the Bundesliga”. The new Al-Nusour coach expressed his desire to end the club’s lack of “usual winning” titles, but it is a far cry from the achievements of the past three years.
The new Benfica coach, and with a contract until 2024, Roger Schmidt intends to end his three-year fast in achievements at Luz while applying his personal stamp.
“Benfica is the biggest club in Portugal. They used to win trophies, but in the past three years they have not won anything. Now they are ready to try something new with a foreign coach. I will try to bring Benfica back to the successes of the past on my way,” he said in an interview with the newspaper “Westfalen- Platt” of Germany, acknowledging the astonishment of being chosen by Rui Costa to lead the Eagles.
“I never thought that it would be possible to have the opportunity to coach a team like Benfica. Not much is possible,” he admitted, explaining that he quickly decided to accept the challenge: “When Benfica called me a few weeks ago, everything was immediately clear: “I want to do this.”
Having started his career in 2004/05 in Delbrucker, Germany – when he was still working in engineering – Schmidt is now preparing for a new challenge in Portugal, having already trained in Austria, China and the Netherlands.
He revealed that “in recent years there has always been the possibility of returning to the Bundesliga,” adding that working abroad is something he values ”a lot”. “It is very exciting to learn about countries, leagues and football culture. And if you have an offer to coach a team like Benfica … it is a bigger adventure than the Bundesliga for me,” he analyzed, explaining: “I am not saying this in derogatory terms, but working in The outside is something very special to me at this point.”
At 55 and 17 years of his career, Schmidt was asked about his temper and if age could help calm him. The new Benfica coach has chosen to remember that football is an uncertain game that is difficult to predict.
“I can control my emotions better, but football is something that happens in the moment. I have to make decisions in the ‘here and now”,” he said, classifying everything that has happened since 2007 as ‘incredible’, when he left the engineer’s profession and signed his professional contract. The first is my art.
And about his time in Eindhoven, he spoke about the “dream season” resulting from two titles, the Super Cup and the Dutch Cup, because “Ajax is above all” in the country, as he defends: “In economic terms, the club is at the same level as the major clubs in Europe and much higher than Eindhoven. But we were close.”
Now, he says he is “looking forward” to starting his Benfica adventure.
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