Interview: Tuta Talks About His Experience of Living in Germany and More

After a 2-1 win in Betis last week, Eintracht Frankfurt hold a slender advantage going into their Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg tie tonight. Oliver Glasner’s men are also moving up the Bundesliga table, and a win this weekend against Leipzig would bring them another step closer to the European positions.

This week, Frankfurt’s 22-year-old defender Tuta talks about his experience of living in Germany, the season so far, differences between the Bundesliga and the Europa League, and Frankfurt’s aims for the remainder of the season.

The Interview

How do you feel about living in Germany after almost three years?

Yes, it’s been about 3 years since I arrived here and I feel very happy. I am very pleased to be here, to be able to enjoy not only football in the Bundesliga, but also to enjoy the city of Frankfurt and the whole of Germany, as well as being able to travel with the club. As it’s my first season playing the Europa League, it’s also been great to travel and get to know other countries. So, for sure, I’m very happy with that and with all these years here.

Are there similarities between Frankfurt and Sao Paulo?

Yes. In terms of structure, there are many things that are similar. Of course, things in general are better preserved here. But I believe there are a lot of similarities, but there are also a lot of differences. But some things are connected and similar, yes.

What is the food like in Frankfurt compared to the Risotto cooked by your wife Victoria after victories?

The risotto after the victories is very good, of course. But with all due respect to her, here in Frankfurt and in Europe, as elsewhere in the world, there are always great chefs and cooks. Her risotto is perfect, but we’ve also been to a lot of restaurants we liked.

There is a Brazilian café in Frankfurt that you like to visit. Have you made a lot of friends there?

Coincidentally, last week if I’m not mistaken, Kevin Trapp was there with his girlfriend. He sent me a message saying he was there having a coffee and eating a Brazilian cake, which is something that Brazilians here in Europe miss. I think for those who like the Brazilian style, it is a good place to go.

Are you proud of what you have been able to achieve with the team?

Yes, for sure. Today I’m very happy with everything I’ve been achieving, with everything I’ve been doing. I want to continue like this, working hard, which has always been the main factor for me. I’m certainly happy with everything I’ve achieved so far, and I still want to accomplish many more things.

Do people recognise you a lot on the street and talk to you?

Yes, especially on the days after the games, when I go for a walk with my wife or with my dogs. People who live in the neighbourhood, who already know me, sometimes recognise me from afar. I joke with my wife, maybe it’s because of my hair, maybe because of the tattoos. I think people already look at me differently, they already hope that it might be me. And when they get close, they finally recognise me. People greet me, ask if I am happy with the last game, congratulate me. So that’s also really cool.

Your team is performing very well in the Europa League. Is there a different approach than in games in the Bundesliga?

I believe they are two completely different competitions. Whenever we go to the Europa League, we look at every game as a final. We also see the Bundesliga as a final, but of course we must adapt to many other things. The Bundesliga is a championship with a very high intensity. The Europa League is perhaps a slightly more strategic competition, and that’s why it’s different. But in the League, we are looking again for the top of the table, and in the Europa League we are totally focused on the next game against Real Betis.

How would you describe Oliver Glasner as a coach?

Oliver Glasner is a coach who likes to play aggressively, with aggressive marking. He likes each player to focus on winning their duels, both individually and for the team. I believe this is a very important factor, because if all the players are focused on their duels throughout the match, things tend to go the right way. I think this is perhaps the best way to describe him.

Do you prefer a formation with three or four defenders?

For me, the best thing is to be playing. It’s always going to be good if I’m playing. But I think the system that suits me the most is the one with a line of 3 defenders, that’s how I feel most comfortable. Because defensively, I have support both from those in front of me, on the right, and from the other defenders. And it’s also a system that gives me freedom to move forward, to press higher on the pitch and to play, too. So, I feel more comfortable playing in a line with three defenders.

What do you remember about your very first Bundesliga goal against Leipzig?

It was a very emotional moment. My first goal came against a great team, in a great game, in which we were losing, but fighting until the end. And with this scenario, a full stadium, with many fans cheering us on, so the goal came at the best time. It was a very emotional, joyful moment. I think it was a great time to score my first goal, it was very exciting.

What is Eintracht’s target for this season?

Of course, we’re always thinking game after game. The focus is now 100% on advancing in the Europa League and, trying to go as far as possible in this competition, always thinking game after game, always fighting. I’m sure that if everyone has the same goal, with the same will and determination, we can reach the Europa League final and we can think again about reaching the top positions of the Bundesliga, in order to fight for a spot in the next Champions League. We want Eintracht Frankfurt to play international competitions, this is the most important thing.

Is representing Brazil in this year’s World Cup a dream of yours?

Of course. It is something I regularly think about, and I have always dreamed of playing for the Brazil national team. But in my life, things always happen naturally. So, I need to keep working, pushing myself, working hard and dedicating myself to the fullest, growing and evolving. I’m sure things will fall into place and what will be, will be. Wearing the shirt of the Brazilian national team one day is something that I certainly aspire to. But I’m patient, I know that one day I can get there, so anything can happen.”