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My opinion – by Rui Oliveira

Motivation for success


Success! Word that means “Being successful at something”!

In sporting terms, I think we can divide success in four different roads:

  1. Those who make a sports career with dedication as good athletes of their favorite sport, but without titles or financial gains;
  2. Those with talent, but that can’t achieve either sports or financial success;
  3. Those with talent,that make lots of money often in different clubs and different countries, but don’t win titles;
  4. Finally, those who earn titles and money. 


I will talk about the second and third group.

During the process of training young players, over the years, I have identified a lot of youngsters with high potential that lost their way in the hard route to professional soccer, while others succeed. This led me to reflect and to research the key factors that influence the different pursuit of goals. 


Starting with the talented youngsters that “vanish” during the formation journey, there are several factors which led to that. One of the factors is intimately connected to parents’ behavior. First, there are the parents who, absolutely convinced that their son will be a superstar, want to “coach them”, override the coaches regarding decisions and instructions. Simultaneously, there are the parents who try to “put their children to auction”, when big clubs get in touch. Over 30 years, I have never met a youngster within these frameworks, who had reach the First League. I met a goalkeeper (who fits the description above), absolutely fabulous (as an U15/U17), that only have played in the second league, never reaching the high levels for which he was skilled. 


The third group, is characterized by youngsters with an absolute lack of intrinsic motivation, or even lack of goals, often without the will to learn, and sometimes diverted by other interests or even by friends, ending up “passing alongside a great career”. I could mention many names, but I do not intend to expose anyone, as I have a great respect for all of them. However, I can mention a name that is public and that has been reported in Sport Tv – Pêpa – it is worth seeing this story, for the great courage of exposure and for being a good example to the younger. 

Among these group are also those who, thanks to their technical quality, manage to play in different clubs, often only a full season in each one, earning good wages, but never titles. 


To finish this chronicle I will mention another two contrasting examples, that are also public and could be seen at Youtube – Fábio Paim and Cristiano Ronaldo, by coincidence formed in the same club, during the same period, with the same coaches and with an immense talent that promised a lot.

In these interviews, both almost the same age, they gave completely different answers, due to their personal motivations – Cristiano Ronaldo appealing to his inner motivation, passion and main goal; Fábio simply his extrinsic motivation. 

At the end of the annual tournament of CAC, in which Fábio Paim was the best scorer, he was interviewed again. The reporter asks: “… After your formation is complete, if you are called to play in another club, if you think it is good for you, what will you do?” Fábio answered: “It depends on the contract…”, then the reporter asks  “and the love of the game, where does it stay?”, Fábio answered “In the pocket…”.

Cristiano Ronaldo, questioned on what he would like to be in the future said “I would like to be the best player in the world!”.

I leave you with a Dalai Lama quote:

“Determination, courage and self-confidence are decisive factors for success. It doesn’t matter what are the obstacles and difficulties. If we are possessed of an unwavering determination, we will succeed in overcoming them. Regardless of the circumstances, we must always be humble, self-centered and naked of pride.”

Rui Oliveira

Rui Oliveira

Co-founder of Player-rate ( – Consulting. Is one of the most respected teachers in Portugal. With UEFA B coaching license and a post-graduation in Youth Training, Rui Oliveira has worked as a coach from grassroots to senior team of SL Benfica, during 19 years, also as a Technical Coordinator of youth and Coordinator of the prospecting department. Is a member of the Youth and non-professional committee of the Portuguese Football Federation since 2012. Co-fundador do Player-rate ( – Consultoria. É um dos professores mais respeitados em Portugal. Tem a licença UEFA B e uma pós-graduação em Treino de jovens. Rui Oliveira trabalhou durante 19 anos como treinador em todas as camadas jovens e nos séniores do SL Benfica, bem como Coordenador técnico da formação e Coordenador do Departamento de Prospecção. Desde 2012 é membro da Comissão para o Futebol jovem e não profissional.

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