Benfica president Rui Costa confirmed on Wednesday a disagreement between footballer Pizzi and coach Jorge Jesus, who left the club due “to a consequence of episodes” that culminated in a “break of relationship”.
In an interview with the ‘incarnates’ channel, Rui Costa told the whole process that led to the departure of the 65-year-old Portuguese coach, addressed the squad’s support for Pizzi, but stressed that, however, the player was not responsible for leaving the coach, assured the manager.
“In fact, there was this disagreement between player and coach, who always got along very well, to which the team expressed support for Pizzi. After that incident, what I did was coordinated with Jorge Jesus. Pizzi was not excluded until the end of the season, it was just a punishment that day”, began by explaining Rui Costa, in detail.
However, he added, “what later led to Jorge Jesus’ departure was not the Pizzi issue”, but the fact that the players were “on the other side and not on the other side, because the incident happens in the game with FC Porto, where Jorge Jesus was not even in the dressing room”, then realizing the technician “that there is a break in the relationship”.
In this way, Rui Costa and Jorge Jesus arrived “to the conclusion that the whole way forward would be more complicated”, in the month of December of “extraordinary difficulty”, with hard defeats against rivals Sporting (3-1) and FC Porto (3-0 and 3-1).
“Perhaps an explanation was required on my part right away. I didn’t want to create more friction around the situation and prepare the team as best as possible for the championship game. I didn’t want to take the focus off the new coach, just talking about what happened before”, he stressed.
Also the story related to the alleged interest of the Brazilian club Flamengo in the return of Jorge Jesus, having even had meetings between the parties, was spoken by Rui Costa, who spoke in a “daily massacre” and in which he revealed that he had asked Jorge Jesus to “clear your head” and to say peremptorily that he wanted to continue at Benfica.
“This was followed by the rule and João de Deus, in the press conference ahead of the game, said just that. Jorge Jesus wanted to fulfill the contract until the end. This commitment was made and fully respected by both. It was so respected that when Jesus left, Flamengo already had a new coach”, highlighted Rui Costa.
The bet on Nélson Veríssimo, promoted from the B team to the main one, was due to being “a man of the house, a staunch Benfica fan, young with enormous determination and who already knew part of this squad”, being a change “with some knowledge of what was inside”, but with the intention of “give a heat shock to the paradigm”.
“I have the greatest confidence in Nelson and I know how much he suffers for the club. He has done a fantastic job in terms of training, which is a bet we always want to make. He is the ideal person to turn around the fateful month of December and the coach who will take us through this moment.”, guaranteed the former football player and leader of Lisbon.
For what remains of the second half of the season, Rui Costa hopes “the natural reaction of a team with an extraordinary squad”, expressing that their hope and ambition remain intact in the goals, calling for “nobody put your arms down”.
“In these last two years, it’s true that we’ve made a big investment, but it wasn’t a waste of money on players that no one knew. The future project will involve a mix of increasingly training with hired footballers who bring experience, creating stability in the squad”, said the president.
Benfica currently occupies the third position of the I Liga, with 40 points, seven behind the leader FC Porto and four behind the champion Sporting, being still in the ‘eighth’ of the Champions League and in the ‘final four’ of the League Cup, having been eliminated from the Portuguese Cup.
Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.
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