October 1, 2023
″I believe that Iván Jaime will be better at FC Porto″

″I believe that Iván Jaime will be better at FC Porto″

Miguel Ribeiro, president of SAD do Famalicão, at the “Thinking Football Summit”, on the panel “the success story of FC Famalicão”

Famalicão: “I believe it’s a great example of how to do it. Having made the film for five years, maybe we’re better than we expected five years ago. That fills us with pride, but it also gives us responsibility to do more, because we can’t stop and follow a well-defined route and philosophy, since the transformation of SDUQ into SAD, always with the relationship between clubs. The way in which it is possible to make a club from a city, a municipality a union around its club.”

How did you design the Famalicão that it is today? “The first measure was to become a second-class club, the challenge was to create a first-class club in the second class, because we knew we had the capacity so that when we reached the First League we were prepared from a structural point of view. It was a good decision, Famalicão structured – if from the first day – financial, administrative, marketing, commercial department, within the football department create necessary skills for the team to operate at a good level. Then the path – with some happiness, because having promoted in the first year helps a lot; one wonders if we were convinced in the first year that we were going to go up, in August we were not; in January we were convinced that yes, because it was a club that had been out of the I League for 25 years, the acquisition was made on June 28th and we started to July 1st the undertaking of reformulating the squad, hiring a coach and the first six months were the hardest also due to the precariousness found in the club’s structures and infrastructures, mentality, professional culture. This initial injection of making a first-class club in the second raised it to an interesting level. We reached January, reinforced the team and moved up. Moving up in the first year was a turning point. In the I Liga we have given a good response, working on a philosophy based on the game and the player, we always try to have technical teams, performances, performance, doctors, the entire support structure, secretariat, team manager, scouting, communication all around the game so that these people remove the stones from the path to walk effectively. The player has always been a pillar in our operation. Fortunately we have been successful.”

What is a Famalicão player like? “He is a young player, with a lot of potential, capable that we can develop, but essentially the next club will be able to benefit from it even more than we did, because in the upward curve that he has, and I quote Pedro Gonçalves, I believe that he was better at Sporting than at Famalicão; Ugarte was better at Sporting, I believe he will be better at PSG than at Famalicão; Iván Jaime I believe he will be better at FC Porto. This player philosophy is very much based on looking for players who have the ability to be even better, if we help them to improve and based on their ability, they will still be better. The market believes this, the market knows that when they sign a Famalicão player they will become a very good player at their club. Whoever asks how Famalicão sells players for the prices it sells, it is the certainty of those who buy, buying players with a lot of quality. Our recruitment process, of improving the player, is at such a good level that it creates conviction in those who buy. We have a competent and effective process. The satisfaction that gives me to see Ugarte labeled as PSG’s best signing is more the satisfaction of Famalicão’s competence in the Ugarte process. I think this gives us a very interesting brand, a seal of quality.”

Investment: “It’s an industry path. The challenge of sustainability is that our operation has to be profitable and, ultimately, pay for itself. Today we achieve a lot with market revenue and for that we have to have a good factory. Our investment is in human resources, players, coaches… Our training center, today, is a whim or Instagrammable… it is a training center that is a factory where we work our raw materials to produce a product of excellence. We still have a big handicap, which is the issue of the stadium and we started to intervene in the infrastructures where we really suffer because we have 17 home games and we do 320 training sessions and the entire operation was centered on the stadium and I believe that we will soon do it at the stadium . The support of the shareholder Quantum Pacific Group allows us to have the capacity to invest. Our players are very harassed and this is the most difficult part of the operation.”

Trainer: “When we have more than 200 Portuguese coaches abroad in a country of our size, recruitment becomes difficult. I am privileged because Nuno Espírito Santo started with me, Luís Castro was Porto’s formation coordinator and started coaching with me again; Pedro Martins was in Marítimo’s B team and moved to team A with me. I have had a very happy experience with them. Anyone who works in clubs must have the ability to learn from coaches not only because of the knowledge of the game they give us, I learned that we have to respect and absorb. The coach is the key player. We have had coaches until now, a few coaches, more than I would like. What I would like is to have João Pedro Sousa until today and when he left, I confess that I was always convinced that he would return. Today Famalicão would be even better if João was in his fifth season. My biggest regret in this five-year journey is that João Pedro Sousa is not now in his fifth season because of his competence, because of what I like about him, because of what he brings to the model of Famalicão, by example of what a coach should be for a club like Famalicão.”

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