The teachings of the World Soccer Coaches’ Congress

Medina 12More than 3270 soccer professionals (like coaches, assistants, physical trainers and soccer teachers), all around the world, attended the World Soccer Coaches’ Congress, held in Sevilla, Spain. The event had a very good level to celebrate the 100th year of RFAF (Andalusia Soccer Real Confederation) and became the biggest professional soccer event that ever held in Europe.

The Congress, organized by RFAF and supported by the Technical Committee of Andalusian Soccer Coaches, started with Prof. Dr. Julio Garganta’s lecture. He is a great scholar and searcher of Porto’s University, and talked about the soccer’s complexity and the necessity to study it deeply. His central thesis is the affirmation that “soccer is built with ideas”, but anyone who have good ideas to do the soccer management will have success in this knowledge area. Garganta also presented his studies about the relationship between talent and learning environment.

Another highlight moment of this event was the participation of Valencia’s Portuguese coach Nuno Espírito Santo. Although he has a short career yet, the former goalkeeper has been reaching good results, especially because his leadership and personality. After some seasons on the shadow of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Nuno Espírito Santo led Valencia on the road to the next UEFA Champions League after his team has finished the Spanish League on fourth position.

Medina 10The Congress also offered the opportunity to discuss various topics like: training methodology, psychology, leadership, media, internet in soccer, high yield performance analysis, social jobs done through the soccer and another subjects exposed by Spanish coaches and soccer professionals.

The closing was done by the teacher Lorenzo Buenaventura, the Bayern Munchen’s fitness coordinator. His lecture was incessantly applauded by people. Before the lecture, a book about Josep Guardiola (actually the Bayern Munchen’s coach) was launched.

Throughout the event, preoccupations about the formation and qualification of good professionals were evident. The investment and promotion to the soccer development always were on the focus of the Congress.

Medina’s words

“This World Soccer Coaches’ Congress, held in Sevilla, Spain, with high level lecturers and more than 3270 viewers (like coaches and other soccer professionals) showed us the need that Brazil has to urgently recycle the knowledge about soccer if we want to compete in high level against the countries which, a lot of years ago, discovered that soccer, like any human activity, must be studied and researched”.


Medina’s participation in the World Soccer Coaches’ Congress

Medina 4 João Paulo Medina participated in World Soccer Coaches Congress in Spain. This event happened in Sevilla, Spain, between June, 12th and 14th. The Congress, which started the celebrations of the 100th Andalusian Soccer Federation’s birthday, was attended by important soccer figures, like Joaquín Caparrós, Nuno Espírito Santo e Lorenzo Buenaventura (the Bayern Munchen’s physical trainer coordinator).

Medina was one of the more than three thousand participants from different nationalities around the world. They exchanged some experiences about themes like coaches methodological approach when they must work with young players and the opportunities, challenges and harms of the relationship between soccer and internet. The participants also saw a presentation about the social and educative job. The lecture was realized by a “street educator” who defends the soccer as an educative tool.

It is the soccer transformation through the knowledge which is occurring around the world.

Medina returns to Soccer University after worked as Coritiba’s CEO

After worked as Coritiba’s CEO for almost six months, Medina returned to Soccer University to do his daily activities. He left Coritiba in a friendly way and appointed his substitute (Maurício Andrade), who accepted the proposal of Coritiba’s president. Maurício was part of Medina’s team in the Soccer Department.

Medina said goodbye to the crowd and the media by a letter, where he explained the reasons for his departure.

Back at virtual world! A new era of medinafutebol’s site

Hi friends,

After an intense period, with a lot of private and professional appointments, which culminated with a short, but rich job at Coritiba, when I had the opportunity to coordinate (as CEO of soccer) the implantation of a new structural operation format to the soccer’s department, I’m back to do my activities at Soccer University and continue our fight to changes in Brazilian soccer.

Into a new format, this blog will promote more interactivity with readers that would like to participate and contribute with knowledge, opinions, debates and suggestions to find new ways to this lovely sport, which is target of critical reflections too.

I take this opportunity to announce our facebook page, available at this link ( On this way, we are able to interact much more, talking and exchanging information about soccer issues.

Welcome to a new era of this space.

Best regards,

João Paulo Medina.

The correlation of strengths in Brazilian soccer: the possible game of changes

Essay to the elaboration of brazilian soccer policy

The game is soccer, but it could be a chess match. In a careful analysis about the Brazilian soccer scenario on these days, it’s possible to identify two big tendencies, not always clear for the people. On one side, we have strengths which defend structural and conjunctural changes for Brazilian soccer. On another side, we have a thought, conscious or not, from people which defend the continuation. In every field, we have people who feed the status quo simply because they are unable to see the limitations of this scenario and others who defend this structure because they have a lot of interests, not always clear, right and ethical.

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Soccer Technical Management Course represented a mark in professional capacitation and modernization

The Soccer University, in partnership with Brazilian Association of Soccer Executives (ABEX), concluded the Soccer Technical Management Course, which had a four month period (from August to November) and 70 hours of workload.

This project, unprecedented in distance learning courses, can be considered a mark of capacitation and modernization in professional programs at Brazilian soccer. Approved and praised by all the 84 students, in a class consisting of Brazilian soccer executives, journalists, former athletes and other professionals, the course presented an indispensable content not just for the people who already works in soccer, but also for anyone who wants to entry at this attractive labor market.

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The soccer corporative education concept

Processes and technical work methods in soccer clubs do not belong to institutions. The systematization and application are responsibilities of the professional who was hired by the club to make a technical management of his team (coaches, physical trainer, goalkeeper’s trainer and others).

But the truth is: these professionals don’t have other way to do their jobs, because clubs don’t have a work philosophy adapted to their realities and the game model that they want to deploy in their soccer department (professional and youth teams).

The idea of the club has its own methodological proposal for training and work is something new between us. But, even in Europe, where clubs tend to professionalize themselves quicker than in Brazil, some clubs don’t follow this concept yet. Even though, they are ahead of Brazilian clubs. Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal, Ajax, Porto and Bayern Munchen are clubs who are investing to build this methodological structure.

In Brazilian clubs, the major difficult to implant a consistent technical model of work increase because of common changes in soccer departments, especially in the coach position. Frequently, a good plan of work (of medium or long term) doesn’t resist many negative results.

In this way, a vicious circle is created. If one compares the club to a computer (hardware) and his soccer department methodology to a program (software), which is responsible to put the computer to work. Every coach or technical team change makes this computer empty, waiting for a new software.

Because of that, it seems that the contemporary trend is that clubs begin to define their work philosophy from their own soccer identities or team game model. In this way, clubs can hire better professionals and form their athletes as required profile to reach the objectives.

In this new context, emerge the need of clubs create their own learning environments, through the “Corporative University” or “Corporative Education” concepts. These concepts already are successfully applied into the executive world, but recently have begun the application at the soccer world.

This concept originally emerged on Jack Welch’s head. This brilliant CEO led, from 1981 to 2001, an innovator management process, which was responsible to put General Eletric as one of the major companies in the world.

For an example, he realized that it’s an error to send their best employees at the universities to update their skills in post-graduate or master courses for two basic reasons. Firstly, because the investment costs for these courses were very high. Secondly, but not least, because these skilled professionals were searched by other companies with better job offers. As a result, the high investment doesn’t bring practical effects.

Because of that, Jack Welch decided brings the capacitation courses inside his company. He began to train and develop their employees into the company culture. Instead of send their employees to universities, he brought the universities to their employees.

He institutionalized all the process, improved the “software” and discovered better conditions to develop better executives. He called this process as “Corporative University”.

Thinking on these reflections in a soccer scenario, we’re able to ask: How many clubs have a “Corporative University” or apply the “Corporative Education” concept?

And more: How many clubs will change their coaches in a season, throwing away a “software” and bringing a new one, feeding the vicious circle which is the Brazilian soccer’s big threat?

Eduardo Conde Tega and João Paulo S. Medina

Soccer: Learning and education. Reflections to teachers and coaches


What is learning to play soccer?

This question could have many interpretations.

But perhaps another question should be asked before: Why or for what people play soccer?

Somebody wants to become professional soccer players. On the other hand, people practice soccer to have fun.

But, whatever the objective, how people learn to play soccer?

Is indispensable learning soccer fundamentals (like dominate the ball, pass, kick to the goal and dribble opponents) to play better this sport? Or we can’t learn to play better simply if we play more often?

A lot of experiences and pedagogical theories show that technical gestures, like dominate the ball, pass and kick to goal are most effectively learned with constant repetitions. And these repetitions happen when people play soccer.

So, it is through the game that we can take more aware that we need to improve and not vice versa.

Pedagogues and educators teach us that we learn better what make sense. So, it isn’t enough if the teacher or coach says to his athlete to develop only one fundamental. If this athlete doesn’t perceive this need, the training becomes boring. You have to experience this shortage in the game to improve the quality of training. The quality of game is more important than quality of fundamental. After all, one player doesn’t need to have good movements to become a great striker. Or he doesn’t need to be a faster player in the game to play well. Or if he doesn’t have good skills, he still can be very effective in the game.

What we learn when we’re playing soccer?

People who have a technical vision of soccer would say that you learn to pass and kick, to dominate and control the ball. They would say too that players learning to distribute themselves on the pitch, to play at different positions (defense, midfielder and attack), and players learn the rules of the game.

People who have a human, systemic and complex vision from a soccer game would say that beyond the fundamentals, the positions, the rules and the game itself, players should learn to relate themselves into a group, understand the differences, overcome prejudices, to be smarter and understand that who knows more in a team (or has more skills) has a higher responsibility than other players. After all, the weakest link in a chain, reflects the strength or resistance of the entire chain. So, this is the way to know how a soccer team works.

On this perspective, we can improve our soccer skills but we are able to improve our skills to the game of life too. Through the game, we have the opportunity to become better people.

So, the teacher or coach is responsible to create his learning environment, according to his vision.

And what is your vision?

To think carefully

You need to learn the rules before you play soccer?

Can we learn or create the rules during the game? Or is it an absurd?

Can the athletes discuss their own practice? Or the only person able to say is the teacher or coach (who supposedly knows more than their pupils)?

Is possible to learn the technique of soccer only with the repetitions?

Attitudes, values and behaviors can change with soccer? How?

How we can educate someone through the soccer?


Test to someone become a high-level soccer coach

If you want to be a high-level coach or if you already are a coach and want to reach ambitious goals in this profession, I’m inviting you to do this test.

This test was developed by the Soccer University, after some interviews and contacts with a lot of different level coaches. Some researches about main essential characteristics to a soccer coach becomes a successfully professional were made too.

Many things can influence coaches’ performances, many of them linked to the context in which the professionals are included. In this way, the coach formation is crucial because it will help the coach to adapt himself in a soccer scenario and try to do his job with efficiency and efficacy.

Considering that good academic background and soccer player experience (well used), can constitute important elements for coach success, we give equal weights to these aspects. Leadership (the major quality) and professional updates (indispensable to get the excellence in this activity) complete four basic characteristics.

Look ahead the four basic element and their respective weights:

  1. Experience as a soccer player – Weight = 2;
  2. Academic education – Weight = 2;
  3. Leadership – Weight = 3;
  4. Professional Updates – Weight = 2.

All of these elements were evaluated through four levels and received a score that varies between 0 and 3. Look ahead:

1.      Experience as a soccer player:

Score 0 = You don’t have experience as soccer player;

Score 1 = You have experience as amateur soccer player or as professional soccer player, but you played professionally for five years or less.

Score 2 = You have experience as professional soccer player for more than five years.

Score 3 = You have experience as professional soccer player for more than five years and exercised a leading role, at least, for some situations in your career.

2.      Academic Education:

Score 0 = You don’t complete high school;

Score 1 = You complete high school and frequents a college;

Score 2 = You have a university degree;

Score 3 = You have a university degree and frequents (or finished) some postgraduated or specialization course in soccer or sports training.

3.      Leadership:

Score 0 = You have little skills to deal with people;

Score 1 = You have some skills to deal with people and specific groups;

Score 2 = You have great skills to deal with people and groups in general;

Score 3 = You have undeniable skills to deal with people and groups in adverse and high pressure conditions (internal and external).

4.      Professional Updates:

Score 0 = You don’t have any professional update. Just follow the news through the media and watch matches on the stadiums or TV;

Score 1 = You follow the soccer frequently and is used to read magazines, newspapers and books about this sport;

Score 2 = You follow, read or did specialized courses about soccer in the last two years or worked at some club as a coach or coach assistant;

Score 3 = You follow, read or did specialized courses about soccer in the last two years, worked at some club as a coach or coach assistant and were the responsible to implant a consistent professional update plan (classroom courses, online courses, lectures and specialized congresses).

Do the test with enough criteria and honesty. See your ranking and think about it. Read the comments about your result.

Copy or print the table below and make a circle over your score (0, 1, 2 or 3). Then, multiply by the weight of this item (x2 or x3). Then, put the total score. After you answer all the four items, adding the results and see your classification.


 Experience as a soccer player








2  Academic Education


















 Professional Updates








Total points >>>

Now, see your classification:

0 to 6 – Weak – You have a long way to reach your objective to be a high-level coach;

7 to 13 – Regular – A good plan and strategic investments can better prepare your career and help you to get the objective to be a high-level coach;

14 to 20 – Good – Some concentrated efforts will make you more prepared to seek your opportunities with less difficulties in this labor market.

21 to 27 – Excellent – You are ready to find your way and the best opportunities in this attractive and competitive labor market.