Pedro Caixinha tries to take Red Bull to the Paulista final – 03/19/2023 – Sport
Pedro Caixinha, 52, is at a loss to say how many countries he has worked in.
“It’s eight,” he snapped.
“They are not.”
“Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Romania, Mexico, Qatar, Scotland, Argentina and Brazil.”
He accompanies the quote of each with a nod of agreement. In the end, smile.
“Yes. It’s nine then.”
Despite the shooting, the current coach of Red Bull Bragantino does not like to be seen as a football wanderer. What he really wants is to put down roots, to do long-term work. That was what attracted him when he received the offer from the club in the interior of São Paulo at the beginning of the year.
He arrived in Brazil convinced that it was the best possible project. This Monday (20), at 9 pm, in Vila Belmiro, Caixinha can place Bragantino in the Paulista Championship final for the first time since the 1990 title. They will have to beat Água Santa, the biggest surprise of the tournament, as a visitor.
The team was a sensation in the early 1990s. It was also runner-up in the 1991 Brazilian Championship. After the merger with Red Bull, in 2020, it reached the decision of the 2021 Copa Sudamericana.
“I like to stay longer tied to a certain place, but circumstances have led me to do things differently. What we have very clear here is the philosophy and the path we have to follow to reach a goal”, he says.
It’s a bumpy road. Last Wednesday (15), he was eliminated from the Copa do Brasil by Ypiranga-RS by 3 to 1. The result was unexpected.
“How do you make a great team? Let’s take the example of Portugal. What makes Benfica great? It’s the tradition, the number of supporters and the titles. Red Bull Bragantino’s project is long term”, he believes, citing the need to have patience to get all this.
The logic was that Bragantino would face São Paulo in the semifinal. If that happened, it could be considered an underdog for the three aspects mentioned by Caixinha: tradition, supporters and titles. But against Água Santa, the situation changes.
Owner of a discreet career as a player, Caixinha never spent more than two years in any team as a coach. His most lasting works were at Santos Laguna-MEX (2013-2015) and at Al-Gharafa-QAT (2015-2017). It was in Mexico that he won his main titles. He won the 2014 Apertura, the 2015 Clausura and the 2018 Apertura. The latter with Cruz Azul.
He knows that he is riding a wave in Brazilian football: that of Portuguese coaches. After the success of Jorge Jesus at Flamengo and Abel Ferreira at Palmeiras, several other teams sought a professional from the European country. Red Bull Bragantino, among them.
“All countries are different, they have different cultures and there is an exchange, Football is a microcosm of society in general and we cannot dissociate this need for new ideas. The proof of this is that at the beginning of the Brazilian Championship we will have ten foreign technicians”, he emphasizes.
Not that his style is the same as the other Portuguese who became a reference in Brazil. He doesn’t lose his voice on the sidelines. Caixinha does not make exaggerated gestures or complain about the referees (in fact, he also asks his players not to do that). It is the post of Kesus and Ferreira. He spends most of the matches standing still, watching what happens on the pitch. The instructions to the athletes, during the matches, are transmitted by their assistants.
This contrasts with his didactics during the week, showing in videos and diagrams exactly what he wants in training.
Demanding in activities and observing in games what Brazilian players can show made him discover the best and worst they have to offer.
“I’ve already worked with many Brazilians in different countries. What I observe is that the Brazilian player, when he goes to Europe early, has a vision and knowledge of the game that are very interesting. Now that I’m here I see the difference. The young player The Brazilian has less knowledge of the game, of when to attack, of the situation of possession of the larger ball to call the game or adjust the lines. We have youngsters here with a lot of quality, but lack a little knowledge of what the game needs”, analyze .
Pedro Caixinha’s experience is rare. Graduated from the Portuguese school of technicians, he passed through Eastern Europe, the Middle East, was in a rich league, but little valued worldwide (the Mexican one) and experienced the chaos that is the Argentine championship, although he worked in one of the most organized teams in the country , the Talleres.
And as coach of Rangers he experienced, from the inside, what is perhaps the greatest rivalry in this sport, against Celtic.
Despite that, what he really likes to talk about is tactics, the behavior of the athletes on the field and the Red Bull Bragantino project. This is even more important to him than the possible prejudice that still exists in Brazil against foreign professionals or those who were not great players.
Caixinha smiles, as if he considers this a huge nonsense.
“There are competent people in all areas. If that person was a player, he was not a player, he has to look for competence. Those who passed and won will last for much longer”, he concludes.
That’s what he plans to finally do at Red Bull Bragantino.