New Bangladesh national football coach Fabio Lopez said he doesn’t mind playing ugly if it takes him to win a match. The Italian explained his football philosophy
in an interview with New Age at his hotel on Friday.
Here is the excerpts:Q: Who had introduced you to Bangladesh Football Federation?
Fabio Lopez: I know a man called Zulfiqar who is working as a professional in football world. For the last eight to nine months I was free because I chose to stay with my family in Italy after one year away. Zulfiqar asked me if I was available and then introduced me to the Bangladesh Football Federation.
Q: How challenging is it going to be as you don’t have any experience of working with any national team?
FL: The national team is no different to club team here because the season is over and I will get the players for four months to stay with me. It will look like a club. I have the experience of working in Asia so I don’t need to adapt to the culture here. Bangladesh is very similar to Maldives, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Q: Many former coaches have earlier promised that they would bring success but they often failed. What are the elements you think are essential to get success?
FL: Usually it takes time. I can’t say what the solution of the success is. Normally you must be ready to adapt to the country’s culture that can make you working hard. Every coach has different football philosophy. I personally study very well. I even study how the players look at me on the field. How they feel me. I am a strict disciplinarian. If you want to become a professional at a certain level, you must have to be disciplined. We will try to remain disciplined in training camp, hotel and even during the time of playing. I will have a list of disciplines which team must follow. If they don’t follow it, they will get penalty. We are representing the country. We are not here for a visit. If I can do well, I am sure that we will fix a few problems. But I am not sure about the win. I am sure that we will keep something big in the team.
Q: How Bangladesh can be benefitted from your working experience in Asia?
FL: It’s all about the same story. When I went to Indonesia, I saw on the first day they started the training at 7:00am because of hot weather. I changed the time of training because the players got only four-hour rest at night. So, you do things keeping the tropical weather in mind.
Q: Bangladesh are facing a problem with their strikers for the last one decade. Do you have solution?
FL: Not necessary you have to get the goals from strikers all the time. If we don’t have a striker who can score from the penalty area then we must try some other way to get a score. This is our job. It is not only in your country that foreign strikers are taking places of local strikers. This is the problem in the world football. Thailand, Malaysia also face the same problem. I think it is just about working at the clubs. If the players are good in Bangladesh, they will get chances.
Q: Can you single out few Bangladeshi players who have impressed you?
FL: Not really. But your number 6 [Jamal Bhuiyan] is a good player. He is a fighter and I saw strong personality in him. At least at South Asian level we can produce some surprise and I wish I can make the difference.
Q: Bangladesh have become accustomed to a style of passing football in the last two-and-a-half year. How do you will apply your style?
FB: I can’t tell you exactly what I will do until I see the players. If we have the capacity to play football on ground and passing and possession-based football, then we will do it. But we need to win. Our objective is to win. So we can play long ball if it is plan.
Q: Your philosophy is to win. Does playing ugly or playing beautiful really matters?
FL: I need to win. I would rather ask you a question, what you prefer. Play well and go out of the tournament? or go out with the win? If we play bad and win the match, it’s alright. We must go to the field for win, not go to show how we perform and move.
-With New Age input