This name may not mean much to you, but it is nonetheless very important in LOSC. Following his red card against Brest, Paulo Fonseca must be suspended for two matches and will therefore miss Saturday’s Derby du Nord. Therefore it is his first assistant, Thiago Leal, who should be on the bench. But who is he really?
Thiago Lille-Paolo Fonseca meeting in 2014
A poor player, Lille was soon drawn into coaching the team. Since 2010 he has made his amateur group in Portugal, with Paredes, in the U17. In the absence of results pressure, the Portuguese joined the big clubs, but still as an amateur. Being one of the only salaried coaches at this level, his stature gradually grew. Video specialist Thiago Leal grounds this style of analysis wherever it goes and makes it a true strength.
This is what will make him stand out in the eyes of Paulo Fonseca. Thanks to a video clip during the 2014 World Cup, related to the USA-Portugal match, the Mourinho de Peñafiel, the city of his birth, is witnessing a turning point in his career. In fact, this match analysis caught the eye of the current LOSC coach, who decided to meet him. This is how their collaboration was born, which will last for many years.
The Portuguese takes him in his luggage to Paços de Ferreira, a first-class club in Portugal. Although little known at the time, Lille caught Fonseca’s eye. “Thiago, I employ your eyes, what you see. Because what I see in your videos is how I see football.”the technician told him in 2014. Thus, the two men traveled together no fewer than four clubs before reaching LOSC. Paços de Ferreira, Braga, Shakhtar and then AS Roma have all seen this pairing exercise, with several trophies as key. Without a club since the end of the Roman adventure, Paulo Fonseca has invited Thiago Lille to become his first assistant, a dedication to the 37-year-old Portuguese.
Football manager detector?
If Will Still’s name is often mentioned when making parallels to Football Manager, there are others. Starting with Leal, who captured his senior football debut in the registerin 2018. “I began to be influenced by computer games at that time, such as Tournament Manager, later called Football Manager. After a few years, I felt Jose Mourinho’s influence on FC Porto and began to absorb this area of organization, training and exercise.I captured the assistant coach. Even today, his contribution in the video part cannot be denied, linking his status as “second” to Paulo Fonseca.
A thriving field in France, the video is gradually taking over in Ligue 1 and even at the lower levels. Since then, it has become necessary. Thiago Lille made that clear five years ago. “Football is so developed that at this level – I’m talking about European competitions for example – matches are decided down to the millimeter. And the most successful are those who know the game best. Analytics is an essential tool, I confess. The emergence of data has confirmed this trend. Today, almost all professional clubs have this tool.
What do you think of the “Paolo Fonseca Style”?
Since arriving at LOSC, Paulo Fonseca has imposed his philosophy. It’s simple: practice possession with attack and the ‘beautiful game’. His assistant at Shakhtar draws parallels and his influence on the team’s performance. “Paolo Fonseca has been a huge influence. The club has won many trophies, but never played like this.” The “Fonseca style” has to do with the thinking of Paulo Fonseca’s team: little or no chance for the opposition, to the pressing and relentless way he defends – usually defending very far. It also has to do with the aggressive and dominant attitude that the team has in the game. In general, you always have the ball and you score goals preceded by 18, 20 or 24 consecutive passes.”Lil said. Faced with Lens, would a LOSC bench coach do the same? Will he apply the same philosophy? probably. Anyway baptism of fire from “Don’t even think about being a head coach.” looks important.