During the course of his 13-year career, Brazilian centre-half Lucio has won virtually everything there is to win, from the FIFA World Cup™ and the FIFA Confederations Cup to the UEFA Champions League and the Serie A and Bundesliga titles. In all that time, however, the F.C. Internazionale Milano captain’s hunger for trophies has remained undiminished, further proof of which was provided on Saturday, when he added the FIFA Club World Cup to his hugely impressive haul of silverware.
After celebrating his side’s 3-0 win over TP Mazembe Englebert, the vastly experienced defender spoke exclusively to FIFA.com and looked back at the arduous route the Italians had covered prior to tasting glory in the UAE.
FIFA.com: This is your fifth title of the year, just one fewer than Barcelona managed in 2009. What does this latest achievement mean to you?
Lucio: It’s a great way to end what’s been a fantastic season for us and it’s the perfect reward for all the work we’ve put in this year, including our run to the Champions League title. It’s a valuable trophy for us. We deserve it and I’m sure it’s going to give us even more confidence and help us do it all again next season.
You seemed to be having a good time out on the pitch there. You did a lap of honour and then you all dived in front of the trophy. What were the celebrations like in the dressing room?
We were so happy, and everyone was fooling around. We had a lot of fun and it really was a special moment for everyone. It was something we shared among ourselves, among friends. We spend so much time together in hotels and on the training ground that we’re the only ones who know how much pressure we’re under and how much we have to suffer to win things. That’s why it was so important for everyone to let off a bit of steam.
It’s a valuable trophy for us. We deserve it and I’m sure it’s going to give us even more confidence and help us do it all again next season.
How can this Inter team motivate itself for the future?We know we’ve had a great season and we know we’ve got what it takes to do it again. Even after all we’ve won, we still have to have new dreams and objectives, and that’s what helps us keep looking to the future, to keep on winning and pick up as many titles as possible.
What about your own personal ambitions and a return to the Brazil side?
Obviously it would be a dream for me to return to A Seleção. Right now, though, that’s not up to me. It’s a decision for the new coach and we just have to respect that. That’s why I’m just focusing on my objectives here with Inter and why I try to keep on doing my best, to keep on working and winning, because that’s what counts. That’s the only way I can think about everything else.
One of Inter’s biggest objectives is to stay on top in Europe, but to do that you’ll first of all have to get past Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. How do you see that tie going?
There’s nothing much to choose between the teams at this stage of the competition. It’s a repeat of last year’s final but we could easily have come up against teams like Chelsea, Barcelona or Real Madrid. Bayern are a great side and they’re going to be tough to beat. They reached the final last year, just as we did, and we’ve got every respect for them – even though we’ll be doing all we can to beat them.
Tell us a little bit about Samuel Eto’o and everything he means to the team. He was voted Man of the Match and he also won the adidas Golden Ball as player of the tournament.
He has so much quality it’s unbelievable. But he’s not the only one. There a quite a few important players here, all of them with bags of character. He’s one of them. He’s our friend and he’s done so much to help us. Samuel’s a valuable player and it’s a great pleasure to run out alongside him.
You have a holiday to look forward to now. Will you be spending it in Dubai?
Yes, I will. I’ll be staying here with my family until the 22nd.