Nelo Vingada is a wonderful person to sit down and have a cup of tea with. NEUFC's Head Coach has a treasure chest of stories to share and a wealth of experience to draw from. A charismatic personality with magnetic appeal, the former Portugal National Team manager has lead NEUFC to an impressive first half showing in the Indian Super League.
"It is my philosophy to treat all my players like a man. If you respect the man behind the player, the players will give their all for you" states Nelo when asked about his philosophies. He is not short on humor either, regaling the team with stories that make us laugh long and hard.
One of his famous stories is that of the Egyptian Taxi Driver. "When I was the coach of Zamalek in Egypt, one day I had to visit the embassy for some important work. I hailed a taxi as I was running late by 15 minutes. I asked him if we could reach the embassy in 30 minutes because in Egypt, cities are extremely crowded and there is a lot of traffic. He told me not to worry, "I am an Egyptian Taxi Driver Sir! Do not worry!". We started off and immediately skipped a red light. I shouted at him but he calmed me down, "Do not worry Sir! I am an Egyptian Taxi Driver." A few minutes later we again skipped a red light. By this time I was sweating profusely and asked him to stop the cab. The guy reassured me, "Do not worry Sir. I will get you to your destination on time. I am an Egyptian Taxi Driver." After 5 minutes, we arrived at a green light and our taxi screeched to a halt. I asked him why he had not carried on and he replied, "It is a green light Sir. There might be another Egyptian Taxi driver at the other end."
Commenting on the side and the journey so far, Nelo effuses positivity. "Our team is a family. The identity of the team has become such that it can absorb any player at any time. All the players are ready to step up and play whenever needed. We need to keep working hard, keep playing for each other and keep our heads down. The league is tight and intense. We need to help each other to give ourselves a chance of making it to the play-offs."
Stayed tuned for more from our Head Coach!