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Lucio: ‘Trust matters more than the captaincy’

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Lucio: ‘Trust matters more than the captaincy’

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:01 pm


Lucio captained Bayern during Oliver Kahn’s seven-match absence with injury, during which time the Brazilian centre-half showed impressive consistency as the Bundesliga leaders won five matches and drew the other two. “The captaincy has been a real motivating factor,” coach Ottmar Hitzfeld remarked as he reviewed a string of fine displays by the big-hearted defender, currently back in his home country for a round of World Cup qualifiers. <b></b> exclusively asked the 29-year-old about the season so far, his role as stand-in captain, and World Cup qualifying.

<b>Interview: Lucio</b>

<b></b> Lucio, despite a first defeat of the season in Stuttgart, Bayern are still top of the table, as they have been since matchday 1. How would you assess the campaign so far?
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “Everything’s gone very well up to now. We’re doing well in all three competitions, which is a real boost for the team. Training’s good, and the coach is doing a great job.“

<b></b> Bayern have the best defence in the league with just seven goals conceded in 13 matches. How do you explain this significant improvement over last year?
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “As a team, we’re totally focused on organisation at the back and letting in as few goals as possible. It’s something the coach insists on, and we’ve carried out his instructions very well up to now. It’s not just due to the centre-backs though, the midfielders have provided great support too.“

<b></b> Martin Demichelis recently set a target of being part of the best central defence in Bundesliga history. Do you share the same goal?
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “Hmm, our absolute priority is to win the league. But obviously, the fewer goals we concede, the greater the probability of us winning the title. That’s what drives us on.“

<b></b> You captained the side during Oliver Kahn’s absence. What did that mean to you?
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “In the first instance, what matters is knowing I have the faith and trust of the coach and my team-mates. Wearing the captain’s armband isn’t important in this respect. It changes nothing. With or without the armband, my priority is to help the team and my team-mates. But obviously, it’s great to wear this symbol of their trust.“

<b></b> Is there much difference between captaining Bayern and captaining Brazil?
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “Not a lot. Whether I’m playing for Bayern or the <i>Selecao</i>, my priority is to play well and do my best for the team. I always try to play as well as I can, and being captain doesn’t change that.“

<b></b> You handed back the armband - and were promptly sent off against Stuttgart.
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “Yes, I’m incredibly sorry that happened, both for my team and for [Stuttgart full-back] Ludovic Magnin, who I had absolutely no intention of hurting. Everyone who knows me also knows I’d never deliberately elbow anyone in the face. It was frustration, nothing pre-meditated or malicious. I'm extremely sorry about it.“

<b></b> You’ve been the subject of persistent transfer rumours over the years, with Real Madrid always mentioned as a suitor…
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “There’s nothing in it. I have a contract with Bayern until 2010, and my priority is to represent this team s well as I possibly can. Obviously, the situation can change rapidly in football, and you never know what might happen a year from now. But my family and I are very well settled in Munich, and we have a successful team. I have no reason to consider my position.“

<b></b> Many of your team-mates are battling for Euro 2008 qualifying points this week, but the South American nations are already well into World Cup qualification. What’s the mood in the Brazil camp?
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “A few things have changed since Carlos Dunga took over. We have a host of new faces, and we have a different mentality now. Dunga is a master at building up and motivating his players.“

<b></b> You’ve opened well with four points from your first two qualifiers.
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “The initial matches are always tough. I think we’ve started well, but it’s a long, long road to the World Cup. We have to give it our best shot in every match and collect the points we need. I think the current team has a lot of potential.“

<b></b> You face Peru and Uruguay this week. What can the <i>Selecao</i> expect in these matches?
<b><i>Lucio:</i></b> “They’re both tricky opponents. It’s always difficult when you go to Peru. We always have great respect for our opponents, but obviously we take the field with the desire to win, and we’ll do everything we can in this respect. We’re at home to Uruguay but it won’t be easy either. We drew with them at our place last time out, so we’re aware it’ll be a very tough job.“

<b></b> Many thanks for talking to us, and good luck in the qualifiers.
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