Vitor Matos, who arrived in October 2019 from FC Porto, is no different. With a personal recommendation from Pep Lijnders, who had worked alongside the Portuguese during his time in Primeira Liga roster, the 32-year-old came with a great reputation.
He also arrived to fill the same role Lijnders held before he was promoted to Klopp’s right-hand man.
Lijnders first worked as a Liverpool U16 coach, before becoming what Matos is now: the man to help young players move from Kirkby Academy to Melwood.
This role will be made easier once Liverpool move into their new training ground, where the junior and senior teams will be at the same venue, but the work will remain just as important.
Lijnders and Matos arrived from Porto. Both have a reputation for being excellent developers of young players. There are five years between the two but the similarities in their career paths are clear.
When Matos arrived at Anfield Klopp was clear about the attraction: “He’s smart, his English is very good – which is obviously important – and he has worked at different clubs. But he was educated in Porto, which is good for us because Pep is from there too. ”
Jose Tavares, who held a management position at FC Porto academy for over a decade, worked with Lijnders and Matos at the Portuguese club.
Listen to the full podcast of Pep Lijnders and Vitor Matos by clicking HERE
Speaking on an exclusive Blood Red podcast, he explained: “Being someone who knows Vitor and Pepijn for sure, if Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool need a great manager to accept the reserve team or play a different role in the first team, Vitor will be ready.
“He’s a really smart man who always finds solutions and looks for how he can be better every day.
“He has the culture of victory in him and he already knows the club so he’s one of Liverpool’s best assets for the role they needed.
“Sometimes when we talk about friends it’s easy to say good words, but for me it’s not about good words, it’s reality for me!
“The way of both, and now with Vitor, is proven. When he has certain challenges, he is always successful. ”
Matos has remained for him so far at Anfield, out of the spotlight as much as possible, with minimal public interviews.
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Tavares added: “He knows when to be in the spotlight and when to be shy. On training sessions, he’s a dragon! A real leader on the workout.
“He may sound shy, but when he’s with friends and talking about football we can see Vitor growing up. When Liverpool give him more light, he will prove himself as we know him. ”
It would be too simplistic to suggest that it is only because the two arrived from Porto and have held similar roles that Matos follows Lijnders’ success.
But the signs are there that the Portuguese could be in line for an even bigger role in the years to come, just as Lijnders has now assumed, given the rave reviews from Porto and Liverpool so far in his career. .
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