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Ramires Interview

02/01/2015

What age did you start at a professional club in Brazil?
I was 17 years old. Before I turned professional at Joinville I was an amateur learning a lot off my brother especially.

What positions did you play?
I started as a right-back, and that was my first position as a professional. However I became either an attacking midfielder or a box-to-box player after that.

How did you get to training?
At Joinville when I was living with my then girlfriend, now wife, I used to get the bus that stopped right in front of her house and went straight to the stadium where I would get changed and train. Other times I used to go with a friend of mine by bicycle. It was funny because he had a bicycle and one of us would pedal and the other would get on the back. Then on the way home we used to swap because the training was very tough and we would be tired!

Favourite music during your academy years?
I liked all types of music but my favourite has always been samba pagode. My favourite band was a group called Revelação. When I have a chance I try to see a show and now I even have friends inside the band.

Any dodgy haircuts?
When I was young I had lots of different types of hairstyles. If we saw something we liked we used to do it. I had one where you grow the hair up on top, then you cut the sides and you use a comb to keep it up in a quiff. Sometimes I would cut it with some lines on the head but after that I grew up and was bald or had very short hair. Recently I decided to start changing it again…

Did you win any competitions?
When I was in Joinville I won some reserve competitions and I also went to a state final. With Cruizeiro I won a couple of State championships and also went to the final of the Copa Libertadores.

Tell us about the moment when you were offered a professional contract.
In February 2005 I was in the junior team at Joinville and we had a little break for summer. When I came back we had a game against the senior team because they needed some of the youth players to step up so they were allowed to compete in that season’s competitions. We had a new coach who liked my football during the game. He asked me to come to his office and offered me a professional contract which was 400 reais a month – about £100.

Looking back, best piece of advice you received?
There is a saying in Brazil: ‘When the horses come out of the traps very quickly they won’t stop. If you see it you have to jump on and grab your chance.’

An administrator at Joinville told me that and I took that advice to heart and decided that when I have a big chance I have to go for it. I have always taken that advice with me and followed it to this day.