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Former Brazil goalkeeper Dida reveals penalty-saving secrets

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Former Seleção goalkeeper Dida has revealed the secrets behind his penalty-saving ability.

The 39-year-old, who signed for Portuguesa earlier this year, is known as a penalty-saving specialist in the game.

Dida has stopped numerous spot-kicks and saved his team in many penalty shootouts, including three for AC Milan in a shoot-out against Juventus during the Champions League Final in 2003.  

The former Cruzeiro and Corinthians stopper has revealed that preparation is the key to his success.

Dida said: "It’s all about preparation. You need to train well on a daily basis, be happy in yourself and always stay fully focused.

"I really enjoy being able to help my team on those occasions, because it’s not easy for [outfield] players to handle the pressure, particular when it’s a shoot-out.

"I don’t think that keepers have as much responsibility on their shoulders as the other players at times like those, but we're still expected to do something.

"With God’s help I’ve been very dedicated throughout my career, and I still am today, so I’m able to do a good job.

"I don’t think it’s any different when it comes to penalties. You have to be focused if you want to save as many penalties as possible."

Dida is currently enjoying life in the Brasileirão with São Paulo-based Portuguesa, having joined the club until the end of the season after a two-year hiatus.

He added: "When my Milan contract expired, I stayed on in Italy for another year trying to find a club in England, since it was my dream to play in English football.

"That didn’t happen for me, as being a non-EU player made the situation even more difficult. So, after that I decided to move back to Brazil with my family.

"I love my country and I’d always planned to live here once I'd retired from football. But then an offer came along and I signed a contract."

The veteran goalkeeper, who was capped 91 times and won the World cup with the Seleção, has made 26 appearances for 13th-placed Portuguesa this season.

 
 

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