Manuel Machado considers that “it would be very good” for football to have a break in the hegemony of the ‘big’ three
Sp. Braga will strengthen its competitiveness against the big three in 2023/24 to ‘dream’ of an unprecedented victory in the Betclic League, believes coach Manuel Machado, who led the Minho team in 2007/08.
“The club has evolved in a very clear way throughout the century, both from a structural and logistical point of view, and in sporting terms. This very intelligent management is reflected, season after season, in higher quality squads, as well more structured and competitive. I know that there has now been a general increase and it also confirms that the coach [Artur Jorge] continue to be the same. When there is continuity, there is greater knowledge and capacity to be given a better response”, acknowledged the technician to the Lusa agency.
Artur Jorge expressed his candidacy to fight for the title in the pre-season, after Sp. Braga closed the League podium in 2022/23, with new scores, victories and goals records, accessing the third qualifying round for access to the group stage of the Champions League, which began to be disputed on Tuesday with the Serbs from Backa Topola.
Manuel Machado, 67, considers that “it would be very good” for Portuguese football to see a break in the hegemony of the ‘big’ three, who won 87 of the 89 editions of the competition, in a trend interrupted only by Belenenses (1945/46) and Boavista (2000/01).
“It won’t be necessary to call the witch of Fafe to guess that the positioning of the first four will be the same. There may be nuances in the scheduling of each one. The title has been fluctuating between Benfica and FC Porto, with that interference of Sporting in the end of almost 20 years [em 2020/21]. This picture would deserve a good reflection, in the sense of finding an altered competitive model, which would bring something more. By continuing like this, the League becomes so predictable that it verges on the boring,” he described.
The top 4 brings together the same clubs for six consecutive editions and had in 2022/23 a ‘gap’ of 20 points compared to the fifth position, occupied by Arouca, and 28 for Chaves, ranked seventh and first below the zone of access to continental trials.
“The shift is already substantial and it is not foreseeable that there will be fundamental changes. There is a leveling down and transverse, even at the level of technical commands. Our most accredited coaches are definitely not in Portugal. We see a new generation, which replaces the previous one. It is a natural and cyclical process and, therefore, nothing against it, but there are people who appear like mushrooms: they are born at night and, the next day, they are coaches. In a way, it is something that also influences the competitive level of the teams teams,” he noted.
Manuel Machado, who guided Vitória de Guimarães, Moreirense, Nacional, Académica, Sp. Braga and Arouca in the League, in a total of almost 450 games, detects potential in the centralization of television rights, which will have to be completed by 2028/29, but warns that “it will do little good” if a “very equal” revenue distribution is applied the current.
“We don’t have the capacity to retain our best cadres. Young athletes leave early and those who come from alternative markets, especially those in South America, make a bridge here for one or two seasons, at most, to quickly move to more competitive leagues. appealing. Having the need to sell them, we lose that quality, which would make our championship more interesting and competitive”, he concluded.
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