In his career there are two miraculous saves; Maritime of Funchal and Reading.
Especially Reading for its internal problems. They had 40 players on the roster. There was no hope of anyone at the club to avoid relegation. We started to work hard, to reduce players in the squad and show that they were part of the solution and not the problem. In the end the fans organized a ‘Portugal day’ at our house, with flags and scarves from Portugal. It was very moving as a thank you for saving your club. In the Maritime, things were similar, but it was not so difficult. It was about bringing people together.
The Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez has been made an international.
It was one of the players I brought. I wanted to play. He brought positive energy and a smile from ear to ear. And it had quality.
We continue with porters. Will Makaridze succeed?
It has a lot of good things. It is very strong in the exits. He is tall, analyzes the trajectory of the ball very well and comes out well. His position is almost perfect. Do you remember Calatayud? He was a goalkeeper for Málaga and I worked for him at the Videoton in Hungary. I signed him when he was 35 years old. I didn't play for Mallorca and he told me: “The difference between a great goal and an easy save is the goalkeeper's position in goal. If misplaced, a ball can be a great goal in people's eyes. But if you analyze the trajectory it would be an easy stop ”. At this level Makaridze is almost always fine. He plays very well with his feet. And Fernando is a good goalkeeper and a great professional, a great captain. Almería is very good in goal.
How did you discover Sadiq?
They told me about him and I started to analyze games. We needed a tip because Darwin Núñez went to Benfica. I immediately remembered Sadiq (he was at the Partizan in Belgrade). I started fighting and trying to convince myself that Sadiq was our great solution. People were not very convinced. But little by little they learned that, apart from his somewhat messy career, he had wonderful things and a lot of football on his mind. It is very heavy on defenders; He has long legs that look like they will grow when you squeeze. And he uses his body very well. It looks like it's going to slip, but it balances and keeps going. He also has a very strange way of moving, but he scores goals. He's fast, hard to stop, and he knows how to play. If we are in an organized attack, it makes a short game with the means that can make walls and combinations. And it has speed to take advantage of the spaces. With how tall he is, he can score head goals if he improves this aspect to play at a higher level.
Almería paid five million and now asks for 30.
I think he will sell him because players who score goals are always difficult to find. He knows how to do it. It can be useful in any Primera team in Spain. I remember his first games in which he slipped and people, at a press conference, my journalist friends, said to me: “Mister: do you think Sadiq is going to be our solution?” I said before the start of the season: “If Sadiq is not injured he will score more than 15 goals.” People laughed in my face. And look at the goals he has made.
It's very fast. He has a very good definition and shoots very well on goal. You must make better use of your speed. The first control of your body before having the ball should improve it to take advantage of that speed. He had bad luck due to a health problem when we were in Marbella (preseason concentration) and he had stomach surgery. A health problem that could be serious and that took him off the team. Later it was yielded.
Watch out for Ramazani.
He is the child of the family who is always going to do something, break a window or steal a chocolate. He is that child that everyone likes and likes because he is very funny, dynamic and has a lot of energy. I have hit him on the ears many times to help him find that maturity necessary to teach his football and not be silly in games. I would say to him: “look, you haven't done that well.” And it got him down to team B. He stood out. He scored goals and broke the defenders' heads. He would come and tell me: “mister, I've been phenomenal.” I have loved working with him. Apart from the speed and quality it has that very strong competitive aggressiveness. You have to control him by the cards. He is short. He always faces rivals and is not afraid of anyone. It has a high level and quality. He dribbles very well. It does spectacular things.
Now let's talk about Arabia. How is that league?
The first year I was here there were only four foreigners. We are now seven and this has helped raise the level of Saudi Arabia. We can't go wrong. This is not Qatar or the Emirates where managers almost pay people to attend games. People here love football. He follows him, goes to the stadium and there are programs talking about football 24 hours a day. People here consume a lot of football. They follow their clubs on Twitter or Instagram. The fans are very into their clubs. Women, who couldn't enter stadiums when I was in my first stage, can now. They go to football and they like it. Whole families go to soccer. It is the strongest league in the Middle East.
Have you met Turki Al Sheikh?
Not yet. Let's see if one day we have a coffee and eat some dates as he likes to do. And chat a bit.
What was your relationship like?
Good. We always talked about football because he loves it. He is passionate. He loves to discuss and know the opinion of the coaches. It is very interesting to talk to him.
Are you involved with Almería?
Yes. He wants to transform Almería into a European team. And it has the power for that. You must be patient to get your project where you want it to go.
Is it true that you could sign for Valladolid?
It is true that we had conversations. The thing was in a good line. But later, Valladolid had a major change in its structure and organization. And they have decided otherwise.
Will Almería be promoted to First?
I don't know how he's playing. But, because of this relationship that I have with the people, the city and the club, I would like to see Almería in the First Division. Because I have felt a lot of affection despite not having people in the stadium. I will never forget that.