Everybody loved Alex

“What a great person,” says Kaizer Chiefs Football Manager, Bobby Motaung, about Alexandre ‘Alex’ Revoredo, who passed away on Wednesday, 30 August 2017. The Amakhosi goalkeeper coach joined Amakhosi in July 2016.

Alex, as he was known in the South African soccer world, was a hard worker, who forever seemed to have a smile on his face. “The man had great energy,” Bobby continues, “and he was a great goalkeeper coach.”

The Brazilian originally came to South Africa in March 2007 with his fellow countryman, coach Júlio Leal, when the latter took charge of AmaZulu. Revoredo accompanied him to the club as the goalkeeper coach. They managed to save AmaZulu from relegation, but the contracts of both coaches were, somewhat surprisingly, not extended.

Golden Arrows coach Manqoba Mngqithi, however, had spotted the goalkeeper coach’s quality and he recruited Alex in July 2008. He had seen how AmaZulu’s goalkeeper Tshepo Motsoeneng improved immensely in the few months that Revoredo had coached him.

The Brazilian stayed at the Durban-based side until June 2011, after which Revoredo joined Orlando Pirates.

Coach Joel Santana, meanwhile, started to use Alex’s goalkeeper coaching talents also for the South African national team. Revoredo continued to work with Bafana Bafana when Carlos Alberto Parreira returned to take over the coaching reigns. It resulted in Revoredo being South Africa’s goalkeeper coach at the first World Cup on the African continent in 2010. “I was part of history,” Alex would proudly reflect.

Before becoming a coach, the Brazilian was a talented goalkeeper himself, playing at the development level for Rio de Janeiro’s top side, Fluminense and, thereafter, at senior level, for sides like América FC, Friburguense, both from Rio de Janeiro, and Sampaio Corrêa in São Luís.

After his playing days, Revoredo joined the Brazilian soccer federation, CBF, where he coached goalkeepers at various youth levels. He was also the goalkeeper coach of the Brazilian national youth squads that won the Under-17 World Cup in 1997 and the Under-20 World Cup in 2003. He furthermore coached the goalkeepers at Brazil’s most popular club, Flamengo.

In South Africa, Alex won various trophies with Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates, including the Absa Premiership in 2011. He left the Buccaneers in September 2015.

“Alex loved South Africa,” Bobby Motaung says, “that’s also why he was loved at all the clubs he worked for. No challenge was ever too big for him. He was dedicated and always positive. As a real Brazilian, he wanted to hug us all every morning, which was something special and heart-warming.”

When the Brazilian joined Arrows in 2008, he was unable to communicate in either English or Zulu. Amazingly, Revoredo learnt to speak Zulu almost fluently. He was taught the language by the late Senzo Meyiwa during his stay at Orlando Pirates.

Alex worked with many great goalkeepers in South Africa, from Moeneeb Josephs, Rowen Fernandez, Senzo Meyiwa, Brighton Mhlongo, Brilliant Khuzwayo to Itumeleng Khune.

That’s also why Amakhosi coach Steve Komphela recruited the experienced goalkeeper coach to the Village for the 2016/2017 season.

The Chiefs supporters also came to love Alex, who would forever greet with his hand, through the fence, as many fans as possible before the start of the pre-match warm-up. It got them going, as, accordingly, every move of the goalkeepers during the warm-up, a save or a good kick, was enthusiastically applauded.

At airports, he would go out of his way to shake supporters’ hands and often gave them a big hug, mostly people he had never met before. But that’s how Revoredo was, a warm person who was proud in everything he did.

In the dressing room, Revoredo would loudly sing with the players and if he felt that the singing was a bit under par, he would bang the door, like a Brazilian drum, to get everybody a bit more energised. He had that ultimate passion and for this reason coach Komphela would often give Alex a few minutes to talk to the players, just to pep-up the players with a short talk full of emotion.

And, when the team left the dressing room or the game was about to kick off, the players would always hear Alex shouting enthusiastically, “Asambeni Chiefs (Let’s go Chiefs)!”

We will miss him and he will never be forgotten. We will always remember his dedication, his smile, his jokes, his hugs and his loud greetings in the morning, “Bom dia”, which means good morning in Portuguese, the language spoken in Brazil.

“Alex was such a likeable and jolly person, who was full of jokes,” reflects Chiefs’ Chairman, Kaizer Motaung. “He was always smiling. From the first day Alex came to the Village he blended in as if he was with us already for a long time. He loved his job and he was at home in South Africa. Alex will be missed by everyone. His spirit will live on.”

Alexandre Magnus Bezerra Revoredo was born on 21 March 1959 and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He passed away on 30 August 2017. He leaves behind his wife Deise, his son Gabriel and four sisters.