Former Santos manager Muricy Ramalho has been visiting FC Barcelona this week to learn more about how the club works. Currently without a coaching position, he is in Europe observing the methods of a number of different clubs, and says that "it’s a dream to have been able to learn about the structure and secrets of a winning club like Barça. Neymar’s family have helped me to do this.”
Ramalho was already highly familiar with Barça, but felt compelled to say that “the organisation is what has surprised me most … And the mentality, culture and most of all professionalism. In Europe they are much more professional than they are in Brazil".
The Sao Paulo star of the seventies also described how he himself encouraged his former charge Neymar Jr to join Barça. “His father asked me what the best options were” he revealss. “And I said he should go to Barça because they play a similar kind of football here to what he was used to back home. And I think he made the right choice".
Two seasons later, and Ramalho is still convinced that "one day he’ll be regarded as the best player in the world. He’s being patient. He’s getting himself ready and there’s a whole structure behind him to ensure that he becomes the future leader of FC Barcelona”.
The chance to explore the Ciutat Esportiva from within is something Ramalho intends to recommend to his colleagues back in Brazil. “It is very important for a coach to get experiences like this” he explains. “If any boss gets the chance to come here, then I am sure that they’ll go away very happy.”
He also got to see Barça as they beat Eibar 3-1. "It was a really good game” he said afterwards. “I’m a huge fan of Barça and always try to catch their games on TV, especially now that Neymar is here. They really are a very skilful team, well-organised and they have very well informed supporters. It really has been great to be here.”
He has also been thoroughly impressed by the city of Barcelona, saying that “what I like best is the tranquillity. It’s a very peaceful city, nothing like where I am from. Living in Sao Paulo is crazy. Here the people are polite, they drive carefully and the food is wonderful. It’s the same all around Europe, things are so well organised.”