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Bundesliga Kick off!

On the spot: Lúcio

We meet Lucimar da Silva Ferreira, a.k.a Lucio, in one of Bayern Munich's immaculate dressing rooms. The 29 year-old isn't just a pillar of Bayern's central defence -- he's also the captain of Brazil's Selecao.

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Deutsche Welle:

In Brazil they call you "Cavallo" -- the horse...

Lucio:

They do -- some of the players call me that because I run so much. Always up and down, up and down the pitch. So sometimes they compare me to a horse. But that's mostly when I play for Brazil, not Bayern.

DW:

So it's actually meant as a compliment?

Lucio:

Yes, sure, although it is kind of meant as a joke. That's pretty normal in a football team though -- nicknames are all part of the fun.

Lucio didn't sharpen his skills on the Copacabana beach, but in the concrete jungle of Brazil's capital, Brasilia. Eight years ago, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen from Internacional Porto Alegre. In 2002, he won the World Cup with Brazil, and was given a hero's welcome by a million fans when he returned to his hometown.

DW:

After the 2002 World Cup, you could have gone to practically any club you wanted. There were offers on the table from Italy and England. But you chose to stay in Germany. Why?

Lucio:

Quite simply because I got the best offer here. Bayern showed a lot of interest in me. And I think in the end I made the right choice because I like it here at Bayern. It's one of the greatest clubs in the world and I'm very lucky to have the opportunity to play here.

DW:

So when can we expect other Brazilian stars like Ronaldinho or Robinho to come to Bayern?

Lucio:

Oh that's difficult to say. Brazilians often take issue with the German weather. There are also other countries where Brazilians find it easier to fit in culturally.

DW:

Is there anyone here at Bayern you have learnt a lot from?

Lucio:

No, there's not really one specific person. At Bayern Munich, we’re all under constant pressure, and you have to learn to deal with that. And that's the kind of thing you learn by simply being here on a day-to-day basis.

Lucio moved to Bayern in 2004, and has been the team's enforcer since then. He made a vital contribution to Bayern's Bundesliga title wins in 2005 and 2006.

DW:

Have you always been an emotional and motivational player?

Lucio:

Yes, I was like that when I played in Brazil. I realised that when I saw old videos of me playing for Internacional Porto Alegre. The one thing that has always been important to me was to fight to the end, and not to lose. We have to accept it when we get beaten, but we shouldn't like it. That's always been my attitude.

DW:

Isn't your more natural position defensive midfield?

Lucio:

Yes, I've played that position in the selecao. It's an interesting position because it allows you to better combine attacking and defensive play. But I suppose that basically I am more of a defensive player.

Attack is the best form of defence. And Lucio has never been afraid to go where most defenders fear to tread -- even if it means disobeying the coach's orders.

DW:

What is Bayern's aim this season?

Lucio:

To win the Bundesliga...nothing less!

DW:

Which other Bundesliga teams do you see as title contenders?

Lucio:

I think the main contenders apart from us are Bremen and Schalke. Those two teams are always near the top.

DW:

You're contracted to Bayern until 2010. Are you going to move on then?

Lucio:

It's difficult to talk about the future right now. I want to concentrate on playing good football at Bayern. This is where I earn my living now and I want to give it 100 percent during the rest of my contract. But I've made no secret of the fact that in the future, I would like to play in another country if I'm offered the opportunity.

DW:

And your preferred destination? Spain or Italy?

Lucio:

The most important thing is that I do my job well here and that other clubs see that. But it's really difficult to say. I think in some respects it would be easier in Italy or Spain simply because their culture is more like Brazil's.

DW:

OK that's it.

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