Central Diogo Amaro settled in eleven at the age of 18 and is grateful to Tiago Moutinho, pointing to other levels; Brother of André Amaro, from Al-Rayyan, welcomes « ever greater union » of the city and the club to rebuild Briosa. He reconciles football with the Mechanical Engineering course; as a kid they even called him « Zé Button ».
Diogo Amaro, 18 years old, is one of the names of the moment in the good start of the Académica season. The centre-back, and brother of André Amaro, a former V. Guimarães player transferred to Al-Rayyan (Qatar), appreciates the trust given by coach Tiago Moutinho, but shows ambition to go further in football.
How does an 18-year-old who is a starter at Académica feel right now?
-I feel very good. I worked a lot in pre-season, this effort came from last season, the coach gave me confidence and things are going well.
Despite being at Académica since he was under-15, it was at Naval that he started playing…
-Yes, I am from Figueira da Foz and I started playing for Naval. In the year that Naval ended, I came here. When I moved, I came as a rival to Académica, but I always had the ambition to play for the seniors and for Municipal de Coimbra. I became an academic.
He has closely seen these years of lesser glory for Académica. How does the city currently look at a club that is in Liga 3?
-The city is uniting more and more with Académica. We are trying to resurface, it is true that we are in the worst phase of our history, but the city is supporting, taking supporters to the stadium, and that is very good because we want to take Académica to where it deserves.
Does the goal go through the ascent?
-The objective is to try to finish in the top four. We have a very competitive Liga 3 and it’s a war every weekend to get the three points. Only after we are in the first four will we be able to think about other things.
Tiago Moutinho saved Académica last season. What did you bring back?
-It was a breath of fresh air. It brought new ideas, an immense desire to work and we really wanted to get Académica out of the descent. We all rowed in the same direction, the relationship with the players is very good and that’s what characterizes the mister. The group spirit is fantastic, I’ve never had such a good spirit as this year.
It was with Tiago Moutinho that he made his senior debut. Do you feel this is a personal bet by the coach?
-I have to be very grateful to the mister because he was the one who put me in there, but I feel like I’ve been working hard for it.
Off the field, what does Diogo Amaro do?
-Study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Coimbra. It’s not easy to reconcile with football, it’s not just training in the morning and I have the afternoon free, as many people think. Football requires a lot of work, rest is also work, and if I manage to complete one year of the course in two, I’ll be satisfied. Mechanical Engineering? My parents called me Zé Button because they always said I was going to be good at engineering, because I worked with everything. I think this is the most comprehensive engineering. It’s important to have a plan B, as a football career is short and it’s important to have a solution if it doesn’t go so well.
He is two years younger than André, his brother. That is, they never crossed paths in formation?
-We even played a game or two together at Naval, then we both went to Académica and, there, we never crossed paths. We have this goal of playing together. We would be a duo with a lot of complicity, but that would also demand a lot from each other.
Has André’s move to Qatar been difficult for the family?
-It was a shock, let’s say, when we heard the news, but we always supported him. Only we know what was presented to him and of course we are always supporting him whether 30 meters from each other or thousands of kilometers away.
How did your family give you two centrals?
-My father played football, but he tells me he was weak. Sometimes he jokes and says that we are adopted, because he was very weak. He was also central, he even played for Académica, or trained, as he used to say.
Rúben Dias, his brother and Ronaldo: references in position and in life
Diogo Amaro looks to his brother, André, to Rúben Dias and to Cristiano Ronaldo as the great references in football. « My brother is for what he has already achieved in football; Rúben Dias, because I see myself a lot for the leadership he has; and Cristiano Ronaldo is not central but it is a reason to be proud that he is Portuguese. on it, » he said. As for Liga 3 Serie B, the danger is unpredictable. « It’s a war every weekend. Every game is very difficult and it’s always going to be a fight, » he predicted.