11 Feb 2015
Legendary Mauro Silva conceded an interview to La Voz de Galicia as he’s about to fulfill a decade after his retirement. The Brazilian talked of Deportivo and coach Víctor Fernández.

Q: Have you been following Depor on this season?
A: Not everything I wanted, because I cannot always watch the games. But off course I have lived with uncertainty the moments of great tension, like the death of a fan in Madrid. Here in Brazil there was an enormous impact.

Q: How do you interpret all this violence around football?
A: The violence is a problem of society and it’s sad that it ends transmitted to football. Unfortunately it happens in Brazil too. These are not the values of sport; what you are trying to convey is something else. Also from the pitch. The most important thing is that it cannot happen again.

Q: And how can you get that?
A: The big problem is impunity. When the price to pay is high, normally people would think long before acting that way. We must find the most effective measures, as other countries have done. England, for example, has greatly improved. We have to be inflexible. Then there is the second part, which corresponds to the players, the coaches...

Q: And what’s the responsibility of these actors?
A: The football field should be a spectacle, a feast; nothing to do with these other manifestations. Players, coaches and managers are responsible for getting that and must commit against violence, starting with their statements, never inducing the fans to do something wrong, because if their idol acts in a wrong way, then they can follow the example. It’s important that professionals understand that the more public they are, higher is their responsibility to the society they represent. Everyone can make a mistake one day, to say something inappropriate by the tension that was lived on the pitch. But once, not twice or three times. And of course you must learn to apologize. You can do much from within game to see football as a party without violence, such as theater or any other activity.

Q: Maybe the lack of competitiveness isn’t helping too much.
A: We all want to win and we must be competitive, but society already has enough violence without football. The lads know more Messi or Ronaldo than the prime minister of England and it is the responsibility of the stars to pass the appropriate values to create a better society. And it's a huge responsibility. You have to compete, yes, but honestly without disrespect.

Q: Iglesias Villanueva, a Galician referee at Primera Division, recently said in an interview: "As an honest player I stick with Mauro Silva, who was a gentleman and a mirror for children. They are people who magnify football”. If you ask other referees, they also name you., what do you think?
A: Oh, what a joy for me to hear that [clearly excited], thank you very much! The true is that I always tried to work in the field as I had a great friendship with Barros Botana, our delegate, who had been a referee and I have much appreciation for him. And he always said that everyone was putting pressure on referees. The true is that I have tried to help in difficult situations, and now to see them remembering me after so many years, it is very rewarding.

Q: How should this Deportivo face a season as difficult as this one?
A: Well, they need to be united and make a strong group. The division always favors rivals.

Q: Do you remember any particular bad time as a player?
A: We had a slack season once in which we suffered enough. It is true that we were not in relegation, but we spent quite a strain. And that's when you need to seek unity. I remember that I always insisted that it was easy to enjoy and get along great when everything is working out, but in life there are hard and difficult times, and that's when you know people better. In such cases it is important to measure well the statements. If a player has a specific problem with the coach or with a partner, then it’s preferable to resolve it at the changing room, because making it public it will only create a bad environment. The same issue takes on another dimension when it is made public. Humans have a tendency to think individually, but in difficult times, the key is to seek the best for the group.

Q: On February 22 it will mark ten years since your retirement.
A: Buf! Time flies and unfortunately, it doesn’t return. Memories of the thirteen years in which I was really happy at Depor, with the achievement of important titles for a city that I love and where I have many friends... But life is like this, bad and good times. When the good moments arrive we must be prepared to enjoy them intensely. Those thirteen years meant an intense relationship: the town hall, the media, the university... I owe the wonderful initiative of having my name in the campus, something that seeks, precisely, to teach children the values of sport, which are a lot. Now I'm home with my family, but it’s impossible to forget everything you have given to me in A Coruña. Hopefully the Deportivismo can enjoy it again as much as then, because we owe a lot to the fans: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan... I've never seen a crowd like this, and the environment at the Riazor has been the key to the success of the team.

Q: You coincided with Victor Fernandez, who at the time trained Celta. What do you think of him?
A: I know him personally and I wish him well. In addition, I have a great admiration as a professional. As a coach, his teams always played good football and were very offensive. In Zaragoza he made spectacular games against Barca, and Celta worked great. I think he has always been at a high level.

Q: What is your best memory as a player of Depor?
A: It's not easy to highlight a single event, but I think after what happened to us in the 1993-1994 season, winning the league in 2000 had great significance, because we thought we'd never get another chance. But it came. Of course there are the Copas, the games against PSG or Milan in the Champions League ... but perhaps La Liga has been the peak for the intensity.




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