Samba Gold nominee Vagner Love: Exclusive interview with Sambafoot
What is life like in Russia? How is footbal there different from Brazil?
At first people said I was crazy for coming to play in Russia. But now, many Brazilians would like to work here, mainly because of the infrastructure being built around the 2018 World Cup. Russian football is growing every year and I am very happy to participate in this period.
Would you recommend Russian football to other Brazilian players?
If it were for one of the big teams, it is easy to adapt. They give so much support on and off the pitch. The country is good, it's improving, it's all good and getting better. In a few years, Russia will be a power in world football.
In 2005, Corinthians ordered in shirts with your name on and the deal was seen as confirmed, why did not complete the negotiation?
At the time, I wanted to return to Brazil because I was lonely for the first six months here in Russia. The opportunity arose to go to the Corinthians and Kia (Joorabchian) spoke with the president of CSKA to negotiate, but ultimately failed. Thank God I stayed here and I was able to win an important title for the club and for Russia, which was the 2004-2005 UEFA Cup (now Europa League).
In 2009, you returned to Palmeiras. However, problems with members of organized supporters groups caused you to leave the club. Recently the midfielder João Vitor was also assaulted near the Palestra Italia. How do you see that?
It's unfortunate. People working at the club should take action. I think the fans have to be passionate, but in a healthy way and not trying to attack players. This causes players to think hard whether it is worth returning to Brazilian football.
Is there any chance of returning to play at Palmeiras?
To this day I am hurt by what happened. I will not say never to playing at Palmeiras again, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. But, with the hurt that I felt at Palmeiras, it would be hard to return.
You said you want to return to Brazil. Are there negotiations going on?
There are no negotiations. I do have a great desire to return to Brazil and maybe I will not find a club. There has been some speculation, but nothing concrete. Any team who are interested have to try to resolve the best solution possible with CSKA. I hope that happens and I go back to Brazil to do what I like doing the most in my life, which is to play football.
Your a fan of Flamengo and the supporters want you. Was there a lack of effort to bring you back?
To date, I do not know if they really lacked commitment. These are things only Patricia Amorim and others within Flamengo can answer. I did what I could. I talked to the president (CSKA) and told him that I wanted to leave, but unfortunately it did not happen and I continued working here to the best of my ability.
Would Flamengo still have priority in negotiating a possible move?
Priority will be given to the team who makes a good proposal for CSKA, wants me and has good working structures in place. Flamengo have no priority. I am a professional and I want to play for a big club in Brazil.
Would Vagner Love and Ronaldinho would be a good match? Better than the Empire of Love (Adriano and Vagner Love's partnership)?
Playing with Ronaldinho is always very good. I had the opportunity to play with him in the Seleção and I know how clever he is. But, the Empire of Love also worked very well. Perhaps it could happen.
Is it possible that you could partner with Adriano once more?
We formed a good partnership together Flamengo and now he's at Corinthians. Who knows if we can play together again.
Do you think of a Seleção return? Do you think being in Brazil would help?
It is more likely because of the increased visibility. I think if I am in Brazil, the dream of returning to the squad and playing in the 2014 World Cup increases. If I stay at CSKA, I hope Mano will look at Russian football.