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Brazil - January 31, 2021 14:00Fininho, looking for new chancesInterview with the brazilian legendby Luca Ranocchiari - Futsalplanet.com editor

I don't remember a smile, not even one. Not while playing, at least. And probably this was one of the reasons why I liked Fininho as an undisputed icon from the best sport on earth. But you must know that actually Fininho is a very kind (and smiling!) person, his version on the pitch was just given by his professionalism and concentration, two keys to succeed.
The other reasons... well, they were clear in the pitch: outstanding player, huge charisma, volumes of what they call "garra", every match lived as a (sport) battle.

Now Paulo Sergio Lira Goes, the man known as Fininho is a promising coach looking for new opportunities also abroad. So you'd better think about it!

I'm not going to lie: Fininho was that kind of player who make me say... thank you, futsal! #BestSportOnEarth



No doubts for me: you're an absolute legend and your curriculum vitae is there to prove your endless career in futsal. But looking back at the whole journey if you had to choose a special moment in your life as a player, which one would you point out?

All the moments from my career are important, great memories. But what I point out is from the year 2004 in the Intercontinental Futsal Cup played in Spain with Carlos Barbosa. After we lost in the World Cup 2000 final, we lived four years with Spain on the top level: their futsal was considered as the best in the world, and that was surely right and deserved. That's why to me was a great achievement playing and winning in Barcelona (editor note: final vs Playas de Castellon) with ACBF, being selected as best player and ending as top scorer of the tournament. Due to these reasons this tournament is marked in my memory as one of my best ever moments in futsal.




Why futsal? How did you start playing and why did you prefer futsal to football or other sports?

Actually I began playing football in my native town João Pessoa, state of Paraiba. But i was also playing futsal and got an invitation to play futsal professionally in Recife (editor note: Votorantim Futsal, state of Pernambuco). So I was playing futsal in Recife during the week and then football in João Pessoa in the week-end. And I kept reconciling my commitment in both games until 1992, when I was selected for the first time with the Brazilian futsal national team to take part in the World Cup Qualifiers. In that moment I took the road to futsal, as the doors were open for me. Thanks God, this had great consequences in my sport career.

A young Fininho playing for Votorantim. Familiar faces in the picture, standing up with him there are Matheus and Acidesio. The second line features Pica Pau and Joan: what a starting five! (Photo courtesy: Associação Social União Arapoti)




I remember that I was always wondering why a strong player like you never went out of Brazil in order to play in Europe. You have just a unique experience abroad in Italy, with Augusta, when you already was 40 years old. Did you get offers to play abroad? And why you didn't move?

Yes, I've alway got invitations to play outside Brazil, especially from Spain. And I wanted to play there to be honest. The offers were not bad at all, on the opposite they were quite good. But to be honest I had the same financial conditions in "my" Brazil, so in the end I decided to stay. For sure it would have a huge pleasure having the chance to play abroad, I didn't accept very good offers to stay in Brazil. Yes, I've moved to Augusta when my playing career was already ended, I got an invitation from their coach to support the team and try to help them. So I decided to go and I could play with the team: I have to say that was a very good and learning experience.

Fininho playing for Augusta, in the Italian league: the only "foreign" experience for the brazilian legend (Photo courtesy: Fininho private archive)



Augusta team with Fininho in the roster (Photo courtesy: Fininho private archive)




What does it mean "playing for Brazil", wearing the canarinhos shirt? You lived the golden era of the national team, when being selected in the roster was not that easy (as also nowadays!). What's your best memories from the national team career?

When a boy is young, he's always dreaming about being a football or futsal player, same if we talk about every other sports, and have the chance to represent his country with the national team. So I also had this dream and when I was growing up in João Pessoa I always liked to imagine that moment. And thanks God I could be so happy to reach the national team with Brazil futsal and to defend our shirt colors for 13 years in a row, being selected between a large numbers of great players. This has been really a huge achievement for me. A special memory? I would say my first triumph with Brazil in 1992, with just 19 years. I always remind that time with great pleasure.

Fininho #6, World Champion 1992 with Brazil
Serginho, Manoel Tobias, Rogerio, Ortiz, Chiquinho, Fininho and Mazureiq
Vander Iacovino, Jorginho, Edinho, Morillo and Serginho (Photo courtesy: FIFA)



WATCH BELOW VIDEO ON YOUTUBE (not allowed from this page)




Let's travel in the past and relive your playing career: can you tell our readers your previous experience in Brazil and if one of them was most important for you?

There are different experiences in my career, in twenty-three years as professional player between the "four lines". The first one I want to mention is my "departure" from the North-East of Brazil (editor note: Fininho grew up in Paraiba state and previously had played in Recife with Votorantim, Pernambuco state and with Sumov in Fortaleza, Cearà state: all of them are in the "Nord-Este" zone of Brazil) happened due to the chance to play in Paranà (south of Brazil) state with Inpacel, a great club with a fantastic structure at that time. That was an absolute different experience, as I was a "nordestino" moving there in the South, I had to adapt myself and in the end I was able to show and prove my work there. Also, my departure from the "giant" Enxuta to the almost unknown ACBF from Carlos Barbosa. That was a little troubled transfer cause Enxuta was a very famous club while I can't say the same at that time for ACBF which now is a powerhouse in worldwide futsal. I reached Carlos Barbosa in 1996 and we started working hard to increase the standard of the team. Some memories marked my life until today: in the first seasons we could not even be in the best 8 clubs of the state (Rio Grande Do Sul) and when we achieved if for the first time everybody was celebrating with us. Then we reached the best 4 and 5-6 thousands people were celebrating us in the main town square. So in that moment I thought... if they do this as we've reached the semifinals, then I can't imagine what's gonna happen if we win the Estadual (state title) league. Rio Grande Do Sul since a while was the bigger and best state league in Brazil, so that my experience there in Carlos Barbosa is just unforgettable. Today ACBF is a huge club of Brazil and thanks God I can say that I was there when they got their main and first titles in futsal. I had many other experiences in futsal but... it would take some time to mention all of them!!

Fininho scoring a goal for Carlos Barbosa, here observed by Danilo (Photo courtesy: Associação Social União Arapoti)



Fininho wearing the ACBF shirt (Photo courtesy: Carlos Barbosa)




After ending your journey as active player, you've started working as a coach. Is this your purpose for your future as well? What do you think you can bring to your players and what's your next step? Would you be also available to work outside Brazil?

Yes I'm currently working as a coach, during the past year I was with Uruguaiana in Rio Grande Do Sul state. Now nothing is defined for the future, but I can talk about my way of playing. I ask for great intensity, strong discipline though leaving the athletes free to play with their will and responsibility. When you have a very strong team spirit, the individuals values always come out. As happened in my time as active athlete, if a player has good individual skills you have to leave them flow naturally and let him playing according to his will.

Regarding the chance to work abroad, I would surely evalute this chance. I'm sure it would be a good experience for me, I have to prove my work as a coach so it would be a pleasure to get offers outside Brazil as well.



Fininho signing his agreement with Associacao Esportiva Uruguaianense (Photo courtesy: Futsal de Primeira)




As mentioned before, you were in the "restricted group" of best players in the world. So, according to you, who was in that period the best one? Or the most influential in order to conquer a title?

That's true. At that time there were great players. We came from a generation of "craques" belonging to Brazil's futsal and we managed to keep up this sequence with new outstanding players. Many people say that this was the golden era of brazilian futsal, for sure I can confirm that Iìve worked in teams with high-quality players. In my opinion the most complete one, a player who helped me a lot in the pitch, was Manoel Tobias. I really liked playing with him, he was always present in training sessions and games, he was always supporting his team mates and never leaving them alone. Until today I guess he has been the most influential and complete player in Brazil.

Fininho included in the LNF hall of fame! (Photo courtesy: LNF)



Jogo dos craques: Fininho with Manoel Tobias and Lavoisier. All stars! (Photo courtesy: LNF)




Present and future of futsal. What should we do to improve our sport? What's the basic point: organization, management, players formation, marketing... what else?

In my opinion you need to count on people who lived and managed futsal in first person in and outside the pitch: everything is about people. Every person involved in futsal must give his contribution to the game in his area and position, offering his best: a player in the pitch, a coach on the bench, the management knowing what's best for the players and staff in order to develop their work, all the people organizing competitions as well and selling our product. Only people can make things easier and better.

Thanks for your time Fininho, absolute legend of worldwide futsal!





A family tale: Fininho and his son Pedro pictured some years ago. Pedro is a professional futsal player as well! (Photo courtesy: Fininho private archive)



A very young Fininho playing during his time with Inpacel (Photo courtesy: Associação Social União Arapoti)



Fininho in the rich trophy room of Inpacel (Photo courtesy: Associação Social União Arapoti)



The glorious Inpacel Futsal (Photo courtesy: Associação Social União Arapoti)



An "Hollywood style" Fininho during his times with Inpacel (Photo courtesy: Associação Social União Arapoti)



One more picture of the great Inpacel roster (Photo courtesy: Associação Social União Arapoti)



Fininho playing for Vasco Da Gama, here vs Flamengo (Photo courtesy: Fininho private archive)



April 2013, the last playing experience of Fininho with Vento em Popa (Photo courtesy: Fininho private archive)



A triumph with Brazil for Fininho and mates (Angelo Guerra, Indio, Falcao, Rato, Franklin, Gabriel, Jonas, Igor, Neto, coach Ferretti, Carlinhos and Lavoisier) (Photo courtesy: CBFS)



Guatemalan Nuestro Diario magazine cover page featuring Fininho during the World Cup 2000 in the country (Photo courtesy: Nuestro Diario)



World Cup Champions 1996 in Spain
Manoel Tobias, Bagè, Danilo, Marcio, Fininho, Waguinho, Serginho
Clovis, Choco, Sandrinho, captain Vander Iacovino and Djacir (Photo courtesy: CBFS)



Revista Placar poster featuring one more picture of the team conquering the World Cup title 1996 (Photo courtesy: CBFS/Placar)

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