Vitor Matos has explained his role at Liverpool in detail and says working with Jurgen Klopp is “like having a masterclass”.
Matos arrived at Anfield at the start of October as elite development coach, arriving from Porto where he spent time as an assistant coach of the club’s B Team during the 2018/19 campaign.
The 31-year-old effectively replaced Pep Lijnders in the position, with the Dutchman having been promoted to Klopp’s assistant.
And Lijnders recently labelled Matos as Liverpool’s “signing of the season” with Liverpool’s website branding Matos the “connector” – a fact which has amused Matos.
Speaking about his role with the table toppers and what life is like under Klopp, Matos told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Working with Jürgen is like having a masterclass!”
“I am very pleased and happy for the opportunity to work with the best. Really, Jürgen is not only about understanding football, a player or a youth player, he is more than that, it is how he understands life and its values.
“For me, this fascinating way of seeing things is unbelievable, it’s really unbelievable.
“Normally we say that the character of the team is the character of the coach and we can see Jürgen’s impact on everything in the club. The way he is as a person makes an influence on the training sessions, in the pre-match meetings, on the environment at Melwood.
“There is a famous doctor in Portugal who says, ‘They who only know about medicine, don’t know anything about medicine’ and I say that a coach who only knows about football doesn’t know anything about football. Jurgen is the perfect example of that.
“The way he fills all the game ideas, all the tactical principles, all the team organisation with passion and with love is amazing because that is what gives you the way of playing. It’s been really amazing to work with him.”
Asked about the specifics of his role with the club, Matos added: “My biggest goal is to create development. You can create development in different ways but the most important thing is that you understand football as a collective game.
“It’s something that is built on the interactions between the players and these interactions that you have are related to your way of playing, to your identity, so you can see: ‘OK, this is Liverpool ’s way of playing.’
“Development or individual development is also connected with this: these game ideas and this way of playing will force the individual development of the players.
“My role is to say: ‘OK, we have these Academy players. How can we help them learn the game ideas of the first team, and how can we use those game ideas to continue their individual development?’
“My first idea when I arrived was that I needed to know every one of the U18 and U23 players and discuss, ‘What’s the big idea for him?’
“I needed to know which person I need to speak to and work with to achieve this. It’s about knowing the club, knowing what the expectation is for a youth player to come and train here [at Melwood].
“And about being the club’s connector, it’s funny. That’s something that is involved with the role because we have to make sure information goes around the different departments properly.
“For example, with a player who trains at Melwood and then plays at the Academy the question is what happened here in the training session that we need to continue at Kirkby, so he is not only doing it at Melwood? How we can work that, that’s my main role.”