"We should send out a message from Leipzig!"
Jorginho talks about the "Samba Soccer Charity" in Leipzig
Jorginho, world-cup winner in 1994 and silver medal winner at the 1988 Olympics, is one of the biggest stars at the "Samba Soccer Charity" on 6 September at the Central Stadium in Leipzig. At the charity game for SOS Children's Villages, the forty-year-old Jorginho will appear with former Brazilian internationals like Aldair, Bebeto, Taffarel, Paulo Sergio and Dunga against a German World and European Cup XI.
Jorginho, on 6 September you will play with your Brazilian XI against the German team. Why is it so important for you to get involved in this game?
Jorginho: "I would say that's obvious, to get involved for the children, linking football with social awareness and commitment - that has been particularly important for me since the end of my career."
What can the fans expect from this game?
"I am sure they will be able to enjoy a nice, relaxed evening. And they will know that their entrance fee will be going to a good cause. We are all appearing without a fee and are hoping for a good turn out. I want to take the opportunity to invite people from Leipzig and nearby to come to the stadium. We should send out a message from Leipzig - link the 2006 World Cup to helping children. That's a wonderful thing!"
What do you think of SOS Children's Villages' idea of building and putting into operation 6 new villages for 2006 ("6 Villages for 2006")?
"It's a great idea. There are so many disadvantaged children in our world that need our help. And SOS Children's Villages gives them this help. What I find particularly great is how the 2006 World Cup is being linked with helping children. I think this can show the way for the future. Linking major sports events with social aid - that must be a goal."
What other social projects are you involved in?
"I've got a big project with children in Rio. We've got 1000 children a day there who we help to get their live in order. With help from lots of friends, I've managed to get various things going. In Brazil, nearly all the former players have got aid projects. Dunga and Taffarel in Porto Alegre, Bebeto and I in Rio, most of the others are doing things in their home towns. For me it's important, though that everyone do what they can within their abilities - by coming to see our game in Leipzig, for example."
You used to play with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern München; do you still keep in touch with German players and follow football in Germany?
"I've still got lots of contacts in Germany. We collect donations for our aid project for children in Rio here as well. I enjoyed my time in Germany, but most I have contact mainly with Brazilian players. It was really great for me, however, to talk on the phone to Jürgen Klinsmann again when making preparations for this game."
What do you think about him becoming coach of the German national team?
"I think Jürgen Klinsmann is a great man, and someone who really knows his football. It's significant that he doesn't just criticise, but also takes responsibility for things. It's always good for football as a game when such positions are held by people with a background in football, a good character and good morals. He is serious, knows what football's all about and is an example to children. Germany should be happy to have someone like that as national coach. There's a small problem though: since Germany are playing against Brazil two days after our game, he can hardly play in Leipzig just two days before that. He had agreed to play before becoming national coach and I've heard that he's in great shape. So maybe we'll meet in Berlin."
Have you already been to Leipzig and do you know the new Central Stadium there? If so, what were you're impressions of the town?
"I haven't been to Leipzig. I've seen the stadium a couple of times in the Internet and am really looking forward to playing in that atmosphere."
You are a religious man and Leipzig has two world famous churches in the Thomaskirche and the Nikolaikirche. Will you take the time to visit these?
"Sure. I'll take the time; we've already made plans. And I'm coming to Germany with my wife and three-year-old daughter a few days before the game - we're looking forward to it already."
Thank you for the interview, Jorginho!
Interview: Marko Mädge
Westend. Public Relations GmbH
Martin-Luther-Ring 13, D-04109 Leipzig, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)341 3338 131
Fax: +49 (0)341 3338 100
SOS-Kinderdorf International Hermann-Gmeiner-Str. 51, 6021 Innsbruck, Austria
Phone: +43/512/3310-0 Facsimile: +43/512/3310-27