Fernandinho savors life in his native Brazil

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Roots have always been important to Fernandinho. So it was at Athletico Paranaense where he started and for eight years at Shakhtar Donetsk before his move to Manchester City.

He has become the most decorated Brazilian in the Premier League and an idol at City and is now back in Brazil to fulfill his desire to give something back to the club where it all started.

With Luiz Felipe Scolari at the helm, things are going well. Athletico are in the Copa Libertadores final, where they will face Brazilian rivals Flamengo next month. But Manchester is never far from his mind, especially when the derby looms.

Fernandinho relishes life in Brazil and looks forward to a Copa Libertadores final

“City are one of the few clubs where I used to sit on the sofa and watch them play,” Fernandinho told Sportsmail. The Brazilian won five Premier League titles in nine years at the Etihad Stadium and 53 caps for his country.

“They play football beautifully and I feel privileged to have made history there.

“What makes them different is the work behind the cameras, with all the responsibility and commitment. I think they will continue to dominate English football. I hope.

The Brazilian said he enjoys guiding the young players in the squad with his experience

The Brazilian said he enjoys guiding the young players in the squad with his experience

“The Premier League has a lot of excellence. It’s different there. Every stadium is full, which creates a different atmosphere. It has the crowd, the interest and the social media.

Fernandinho helped set a trend of Brazilian footballers in the Premier League. This season started with 29 at 14 of 20 clubs.

“Football is turning to the Premier League, as it once did in Italy and then in Spain,” he added. “I feel like I was able to pave the way for the players and I was able to help other guys.

“Gabriel Jesus is an example of that. The more experienced players must help the younger ones when they arrive in a new country and a new language. He was always humble, always wanted to learn and gave his best on and off the pitch. The good results we see from him now are the consequence of his work.

Fernandinho left Manchester City this summer after nine glorious years with the club

Fernandinho left Manchester City this summer after nine glorious years with the club

Fernandinho joined Athletico in June, a return that inspired the club to new heights with his wealth of experience helping young players improve.

“I’ve always said I’d like to come home,” said the 37-year-old, who surprised City boss Pep Guardiola when he confirmed his intention to leave at a conference call. Champions League press in April.

“I was contacted by a few clubs, but my heart was already set on returning to Brazil and Athletico. Once I renewed my contract for the last time at City, I was clear on my choice. Of course, there was surprise when I answered the question during an interview, but everything was fine.

His final act as a City player was winning his fifth and final Premier League title with the club.

His final act as a City player was winning his fifth and final Premier League title with the club.

“Discussions with Athletico were good. They wanted me and I wanted to come back. Athletico have a great structure, probably the best in all of South America, and I felt they just needed a bit of experience. So after Felipão (Scolari) and I joined, I guess we were able to provide that.

Scolari is still going strong at 73, 40 years after a coaching career that has included Brazil, Portugal, Chelsea and several Brazilian football giants.

“I see that Felipão loves what he does, and the club benefits the most by having a great coach by his side,” Fernandinho said. “It was great to be back here.

“Some of the young players were shy to talk to me at first, but I opened up to ask about their families and their lives, giving advice on and off the pitch.

Although he played a minor role last season, his value to the team was reflected in the end

Although he played a minor role last season, his value to the team was reflected in the end

“It’s about giving back to the club. I know how things work, how this world of football works, so I have to share it. I like to help.’

Fernandinho has made 11 appearances for Athletico, including the entire encounter against Palmeiras in the Copa Libertadores semi-finals, and his eyes are on more trophies.

“My most precious moments at Manchester City were the titles,” he said. “I can’t tell you a single moment, because I was there a lot. Unfortunately not the Champions League, but that’s how life is.

“My passion and my goals will be the same here at Athletico, to win titles.”

He revealed that the interview

He revealed the ‘surprising’ interview he gave in which he said he would be leaving turned out to be no problem

He has signed a two-year contract and is studying to obtain football management qualifications at executive level, possibly to follow fellow Brazilian Edu in a sporting director role. But he does not rule out the idea of ​​extending his playing career until his forties.

“Honestly, I don’t know what I will do after my career is over,” says Fernandinho. “I can’t say that I will definitely retire when my contract with Athletico ends or I play for another year.

“To be honest, I don’t see myself as a manager. I study to learn more, to learn more, especially about football management. I hope to work away from the cameras but life is full of surprises. I am ready to live accordingly.


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