Liverpool’s backroom team is extensive, with each member having a specific role to play within the setup.
Jurgen Klopp heads up the operation, with experts in every area delegated tasks and given the responsibility of completing their job as they know best.
Vitor Matos, who arrived in October 2019 from FC Porto, is no different. With a personal recommendation from Pep Lijnders, who had worked alongside the Portuguese during his time at the Primeira Liga outfit, the 32-year-old came with a big reputation.
He also arrived to fill the same role that Lijnders had held before being promoted to being Klopp’s right-hand man.
Lijnders first worked as Liverpool’s U16 coach, before becoming what Matos is now: the man to assist young players making the move from The Academy in Kirkby to Melwood.
That role will be made easier once Liverpool move into their new training ground, where the youth and senior teams will be on the same site, but the job will remain just as important.
Both Lijnders and Matos arrived from Porto. Both came with a reputation for being excellent developers of young players. There are five years between the pair but the similarities in their career paths are clear.
When Matos arrived at Anfield, Klopp was clear on the attraction: “He is smart, his English is very good – which is obviously important – and he has worked at different clubs. But is educated at Porto, which is good for us because Pep is from there as well.”
Jose Tavares, who has held a senior role at FC Porto’s academy setup for more than a decade, worked with Lijnders and Matos at the Portuguese club.
Listen to the full Pep Lijnders and Vitor Matos podcast by clicking HERE
Speaking on an exclusive Blood Red podcast, he explained: “Being someone who knows Vitor and Pepijn, for sure, if Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool needs a great coach to accept the reserve team or being in a different role on the first-team, Vitor will be ready.
“He is a really intelligent man and is always finding solutions and looking how he can be better every single day.
“He has the winning culture inside of him and he is already knowledgeable about the club, so he is one of the best assets within Liverpool for the role that they needed.
“Sometimes when you talk about friends, it is easy to say good words, but for me, this is not about the good words, it is about the reality for me!
“The pathway of both, and now with Vitor, is proven. When he has certain challenges, he always has success.”
Matos has kept himself to himself so far at Anfield, out of the spotlight as much as possible, with public interviews minimal.
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