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FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 – News – Manoel Tobias: I think I’m the greatest player of all time

9 min read
FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021 - News - Manoel Tobias: I think I’m the greatest player of all time
  • Manoel Tobias is one of the greatest gamers in futsal historical past
  • On his fiftieth birthday, he displays on his wonderful profession
  • He additionally discusses coaching with Ronaldinho and Lithuania 2021

“I was like Cristiano Ronaldo is – I always had such desire to be the best I could possibly be and keep on winning,” stated Manoel Tobias.

That insatiability is why, when the then 21-12 months-previous boarded a flight from Hong Kong to Rio de Janeiro in November 1992, he didn’t indulge in having helped Brazil conquer the FIFA Futsal World Cup™ and been named in the finest proper-winger in the competitors, however set himself towering targets for the subsequent version of the competitors – ones he fulfilled after which some.

On his fiftieth birthday, Manoel Tobias chats to FIFA.com about Hong Kong 1992 and Spain 1996, briefly swapping futsal for futsal to hitch reigning South American champions Gremio, coaching with Ronaldinho, Neymar’s potential on a courtroom, Lithuania 2021 and the finest futsal gamers of all time.


Brazil celebrate winning the FIFA Futsal World Cup Spain 1996

© FIFA.com

Growing up, did you play extra futsal or soccer?

Both. In 1986, I was on the books of Nautico Capibaribe – as a futsal player and a footballer. I was enjoying U-17 soccer and senior-degree futsal. I wished it to proceed eternally. But at the finish of ’88 I needed to decide and my coronary heart was leaning extra in direction of futsal.

And in only a couple of years you have been referred to as up for the FIFA Futsal World Cup…

My dream since I was a little bit child was to signify my nation at an enormous sporting match. I dreamed about this so many instances. From the second I determined to pursue futsal, I knew the World Cup was in a pair of years and I was dreaming about it. Here I was, 21 years previous, on a flight to Hong Kong with all these hallowed gamers. I will always remember arriving at the airport in Hong Kong. We weren’t used to the highlight, however there have been the FIFA indicators, so many photographers. I felt proper then I was at a FIFA match – it merely doesn’t occur to a child from a little bit metropolis like Salgueiro. It was the realisation of an enormous dream. And I wasn’t simply there however a starter over so many superb gamers.

What do you bear in mind about the match?

I bear in mind we performed Holland in the final match of the second spherical – whoever gained went by to the semi-finals – and we heard Pele can be there. It was my dream to satisfy Pele. We have been all determined for him to return into the dressing room, however he didn’t. I was actually upset. But then we went out on to the courtroom and there he was, Pele, up in the tribune. We put in a single of our greatest performances, gained 6-1, and I scored two objectives. When I scored my second, I seemed up in direction of Pele and devoted my objective to him. Pele waved his congratulations to me. What a second!

That efficiency in entrance of Pele gave us quite a bit of confidence. We then beat two excellent sides, Spain and USA, in the semi-finals and closing. USA had drawn with us in the [second] group, however we beat them 4-1. There have been virtually 20,000 individuals inside the coliseum. The sensation at the closing whistle was indescribable. I bear in mind when I was a little bit boy and I bought my first soccer – it was the smartest thing in the world, such an unforgettable feeling. Holding the trophy was like that.

I bear in mind we went to a winners’ banquet and I was elected the finest proper-winger at the match and Jorginho was elected the finest player. I was very glad for him. The flight dwelling was about 30 hours. I had quite a bit of time to think and I set myself some targets. One, to be at the subsequent FIFA Futsal World Cup in 4 years, which wasn’t simple with so many nice Brazilian gamers. Two, to assist Brazil defend their title. And three, to be topped the competitors’s finest player. I already labored extraordinarily exhausting in coaching, however I stated to myself that I was going to work even more durable to attain my targets.

And you managed all three…

It was extraordinarily tough. Our opponents had advanced quite a bit. We solely had 4 gamers – me, Fininho, Vander, Serginho – from the 1992 squad. And we have been the villains. Futsal was already actually huge in Spain, everybody one was saying it will be Spain’s match, they usually all knew we have been there to try to be the celebration poopers. We performed Belgium, the complete crowd fiercely cheering for Belgium. Uruguay, similar story. We needed to play eight video games with five-, seven-, ten-thousand individuals towards us, and we beat a superb Spain aspect, with Pato and an exquisite coach in Jaier Lozano, 6-4 in Barcelona in the closing. It was an enormous achievement. If we have been something quick of a fully excellent aspect, Spain would have gained that match. On a private degree, I stored fascinated with the targets I’d set myself on the flights again from Hong Kong. I fulfilled all three and in addition to being named the World Cup’s finest player, I was the high assister and high goalscorer. All this was right down to my will. I at all times wished to enhance and enhance and be the absolute best model of myself. I was like Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are actually – at all times pushing myself to be nearly as good as I might presumably be.

Do you think Brazil of ’96 was the greatest aspect in historical past?

I need to make this clear: I’m not discrediting different nice sides. The Spanish staff with Daniel, Kike, Javi Rodriguez was excellent. The Brazilian staff with Schumacher, Falcao, Vinicius likewise. But the Brazil staff of ’96 performed extra flowing futsal and we produced performs that groups nonetheless imitate at this time. It was like the Brazil staff of ’70 – Pele, Jairzinho, Tostao. Teams nonetheless imitate the performs they pulled off at this time. We have been forward of our time.

In 1996 you additionally switched to soccer and signed for reigning South American champions Gremio…

At the finish of ’95, there was a push to create a nationwide league. Beforehand, we solely performed quick-format tournaments. They determined there wanted to be monetary truthful play, so every staff would have a wage cap like in American sports activities, so Enxuta instructed me they must scale back my wage – by quite a bit. I’d had quite a bit of gives from Spanish golf equipment over the years, however each time they supplied me extra money, the Brazilian membership I was at would match it. But this time Boomerang Interviu have been providing me double what I had been on at Enxuta. There was a factor at the time, ‘Whoever plays abroad won’t be picked by the Seleção’, so I was actually unhappy that I must go away however I’d just about selected it.

Then the Gremio president bought involved with me and made me a suggestion. I was honoured, however I instructed them ‘no’ as a result of I knew it will have been actually tough for me to adapt. I’d performed futsal professionally for six, seven years. That was it for me. Then two days later I picked up the phone and it was Luiz Felipe Scolari! I thought, ‘For Felipão to be ringing me, they must really think I can make it on a big pitch. Can I really?’ I didn’t need to go away futsal, although, so I requested them to multiply what I was incomes at Enxuta – and I had been incomes actually good cash – by 4 so that they’ve think, ‘Who is that this madman?’ and that might be the finish of it. But they stated ‘Ok’. I was shocked.

I spent 4 months at Gremio. It was an unimaginable expertise. I discovered it actually tough to adapt, however after two to a few months I began attending to grips with it. I managed to place in a couple of good performances. It was nice to be enjoying with such nice gamers and in coaching, we performed towards the youth gamers like Tinga, Rodrigo Gral and a few child – I don’t know for those who’ve heard of him – referred to as Ronaldinho Gaucho. Wow!

In March of ’96, simply earlier than the nationwide league began, a futsal membership discovered a solution to match what I was incomes at Gremio. The solely downside was that it was their greatest rivals, Internacional. The subsequent two days for me have been hell, however in my coronary heart I wished to play futsal and I wished to play at the World Cup that October. My return to futsal was actually necessary for everyone. It was enormous information in Brazil – ‘a futsal club has managed to lure Manoel Tobias from Gremio’ – and since I was incomes extra, the golf equipment began paying the different gamers extra too. Inter beat Barcelona in the closing of the first world membership championship, and I went to the World Cup and realised my desires. If I’d gone to Spain as a substitute of Gremio, who is aware of what would have occurred?

Do you think for those who’d have devoted your self to soccer you’d have had a profitable profession?

If I’d have caught with soccer in ’88, I’m virtually sure I would have turn into an incredible player. But six, seven years out… it’s enormous. Do you think for those who put Neymar on the futsal courtroom at this time he’d be nearly as good as Ferrao, as Ricardinho? He merely wouldn’t be. And I’ve given you the footballer who can be the finest at futsal. If Neymar had continued with futsal he can be arms down the finest futsal player in the world at this time. Another player who would have been an incredible futsal player is Juninho Pernambucano. We have been each from Recife and we each had the similar alternative between futsal and soccer. He selected soccer and I selected futsal.

What do you think of the present Brazil aspect?

They’re possibly not as gifted as different generations, however they’re winners. They work actually exhausting, play very well as a staff. They have Ferrao. Marquinhos Xavier is an impressive coach and he’s finished an incredible job. I think they’re a very robust staff going into the World Cup.

Who do you think will win Lithuania 2021?

I maintain listening to that Argentina bought fortunate at the final World Cup. What? They’re a powerful staff. I don’t know in the event that they’ll win it once more, however they’ll be in the final 4. I think it’s between Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Portugal.

Who do you think is the finest player in the world at this time?

Ferrao’s the finest player in the world at this time. He is a monster.

Finally, who do you think is the finest player in futsal historical past?

(laughs) The man you’re speaking to proper now. I’m not going to make use of false modesty – I think I’m the greatest player of all time. Why? Because Manoel Tobias might assault and defend, create objectives and rating objectives. Sorry, however it will be hypocritical for me to not say this, as a result of I firmly imagine I am the greatest. Manoel Tobias first, Falcao second, Ricardinho third. Jorginho was an unbelievable player too.

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