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11.10.2007 10:58

“Things are on the right track”

Marc Guillén

Edmílson is back in Barcelona to continue his recovery from a knee injury. This is no new experience for the Brazilian and he is therefore well qualified to speak about his present situation.

After a month of intense work in Brazil, Edmílson’s recovery programme now continues in Barcelona. The midfielder’s knee has given him considerable bother since he joined the club. With his accumulated experience and desire to get back with his colleagues, Edmílson senses that things are on good track, as he explained in an interview for Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat.

How are you? What stage of your recovery are you at?

“I’m fine, on the 21st it will be four months since my operation, and the first two months were a bit difficult, they were tough because I was on crutches for so long, but now I am able to work harder. I have got through the aerobic part, and I am now at the more advanced physical stage and I think things are going well for me.”

What are you doing? Are you running, kicking the ball…?

“No, no, I am trying to walk faster and faster, up and down, I walk for about an hour and a half in the morning. In a week’s time, fifteen days, I will start doing tougher running work and I think in mid to late November I will be fit to train with the rest of the group.”

The hardest thing for an elite sportsperson must be the psychological aspect when you have to get over such a long-term injury. How have you dealt with that?

qm3d6267.jpg“Since I arrived in Barcelona I have difficult times. I never thought my career would face such delicate moments but God has helped me a lot with the psychological part. With the motivational part, with wanting to get back to playing and training. I think my family, my wife, my daughters, and also the work I do for my Foundation in Brazil, these things give me the strength and desire to play again and feel good again. Only people who have been through something like this appreciate the good and bad it involves, but these things happen in life and you just have to get on with things.”

You have already had a serious injury here in Barcelona. Has it helped to have already had some experience, or does it make it even harder?

“Truth is that when you have to have an operation it is tough, another break and another period out of action. Then you just have to look to the future, and forget what’s happened. What I try to do is look to the future, see what chances there are of playing again, and enjoy playing and doing the best I can to get fit again.”

You spent some time in Brazil. Now you are back in Barcelona with your team mates. What is it like to be back?

“Fine, really fine. I didn’t really have a holiday. Me and Puyol had our operations on the same day, Puyol with a slightly simpler injury, but we working through June and July and in August as well. I went to Brazil in September for a change of air, of work, and to be with my family. It was great, to change the routine because if you spend too much time in the same place, with the same things, you don’t get a change, you just go mad.”

Yes, because people think you just went to Brazil on holiday but quite the contrary, you had to work even harder.

qm3d6256.jpg“People think we Brazilians just go there on holiday, but we don’t, we work hard over there, I trained at seven each morning and didn’t get home until four in the afternoon. I also wanted to be in Brazil to do social work because we opened the centre in December and I wanted to see how the children at the Foundation are coming on. It was great for me, to see them and feel their energy.”

Have you watched the Barça matches? How do you see things?

“Yes, good, we have built up a good dynamic. Messi is in formidable form. New players have come into the team who have a winning mentality, who want to drive the team forward, and thanks to God, things are going well at the moment and we hope things stay like that because this desire to win and do things well is very important for a team like Barcelona.”

After two away draws people said things were awful and six games on and they are saying the team is unstoppable. What do you think?

“I think we have to keep calm because neither are we unstoppable nor are things quite so bad. We drew two games early on in the season, there had been a lot of changes, new players, but I am one of those people that doesn’t worry about what people say. We have to get out on the pitch and make the most of our capabilities to make sure the crowd and the Barça members are happy. Up until now, the people seem happy, and me too because I am like a fan myself right now. I am happy because I can see the team is enthusiastic about its football, and I’m happy to be with them and to play my part in team.”

One of the most outstanding signings has been Touré Yaya who plays as a defensive midfielder. What do you think of him?

“I didn’t actually know of him before, he played for Monaco but I hadn’t seen them, I had never seen him play, but I’m delighted. He is a young player who positions himself well, he is a player the boss wanted and he has a great future at Barcelona. He is a player who will contribute a lot to the club. I am pleased because we needed a player of his calibre, a defensive player. Barça have a lot of good midfielders but we needed somebody like him for certain difficult games, both at home and away, you need a player who is not just skilful but also physically strong like Touré and I think he was one of the best signings this season.”

He has adapted very quickly, don’t you think that might make it hard for you to get back in the team?

“At the moment I am just thinking of playing again. I really want to be able play without limitations. Last year I was limited in what I could do, what I want to do is play again, to get fit again, I think all the injured players just want to be one hundred per cent fit again. I will find my place in the team.”

When Touré was injured, Iniesta took his place, a smaller and weaker player, but Barça kept a clean sheet. How do you explain that?

“There are different kinds of games, some games where you need a lot of strength, and others where you need staying power. At home we don’t usually have many difficulties, but there are away games when you need some more defensively minded players.”

“Things are on the right track”

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You are an international player. Is it possible to make these transatlantic journeys and come back in full form?

“It’s difficult, especially for the Brazilians, as we have time changes and lots of games in a row. Now FIFA and the clubs are talking about the issue. I think it needs sorting out because players aren’t machines, it needs sorting out between the Federations, FIFA and UEFA, but at the end of the day, the people that really suffer are the players.”

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