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Exclusive: Lucio

‘We have to help each other out in defence'

Lucio has won the domestic double with Bayern three times in the last four years. The Brazil skipper is now determined to add to his medal collection in his fifth season in Munich, where he has stepped up to the position of vice-captain. fcbayern.de spoke to the centre-half about his new responsibilities, the season opener against Hamburg, and how the men in red can tighten up in defence.

Interview: Lucio

fcbayern.de: Lucio, Brazil have been beaten 3-0 by Argentina in the Olympic semi-final. How disappointed are you?
Lucio: “I saw some of the match, and unfortunately I have to admit Argentina were the better side and deserve their place in the final.“

fcbayern.de: You’re captain of Brazil, and you’ve just been made vice-captain at Bayern. Were you surprised at Jürgen Klinsmann’s decision?
Lucio: “I always try and do my best for the team in any case, but I’m delighted the coach has chosen to place so much faith in me. Jürgen Klinsmann wants me to support the younger players with my experience, and help the team stay cool in the heat of the action.“

fcbayern.de: Is it something special for a Brazilian to be vice-captain at Bayern?
Lucio: “It certainly means a lot to me. As a foreigner, I’m honoured at the faith shown in me by the coach and my team-mates. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say it’s the most important thing in my life.“

fcbayern.de: Do you feel even better integrated under Jürgen Klinsmann?
Lucio: “I think it would be fair to say that. The new performance centre which Jürgen Klinsmann has had built is helping to bring the team even closer together. We have every opportunity to sit together over a coffee or have some fun. You get to know people better and friendships are developing, we’re more like a family. In the past we just used to train, shower and go home.“

fcbayern.de: Your contract expires in 2010. Is there a chance you might remain at Bayern after that?
Lucio: “I could certainly see myself extending my contract here. We’ve talked about it already, but it would be wrong to say we’re at the negotiation stage. We mustn’t forget how quickly things can change in football. I’m extremely happy at Bayern at the moment and want to win trophies here, but you never know what the future holds.”

fcbayern.de: You’re happy at Bayern, but how happy are you with the start to the season?
Lucio: “I’m not happy about our 2-2 draw with Hamburg. We were 2-0 up, and you have to go on and win from there. I have a feeling we shifted down a gear as a team after opening up the lead, and obviously that can’t be happening. But it’ll take a little while before we fully learn the coach’s new philosophy.“

fcbayern.de: What does Jürgen Klinsmann’s new philosophy mean for the defenders?
Lucio: “Not a great deal, the defenders are just being asked to play a little higher up the field. That makes us a lot tighter as a team, because we’re not as far away from the midfield.“

fcbayern.de: You set a new defensive record last season, but this term you’ve conceded three against Erfurt and two against HSV – what’s the problem at the back?
Lucio: “Last season we defended superbly, not just the centre-halves, the whole team. That’s the decisive factor. The whole team - strikers, midfield and defenders – have to work together in defence and help each other out.“

fcbayern.de: Martin Demichelis is still injured, Breno is at the Olympics, and Daniel van Buyten is away on international duty, so you’ve not had much chance to work on defence this week. Why will the defending be better in Dortmund on Saturday?
Lucio: “It’s very simple: because none of us was happy after Hamburg. We’ve learnt from our mistakes, and we’ll be a great deal better in Dortmund.“