It was never definite that we could talk to Rui Jordão, but our hopes were high that he would be seduced by the subject matter. Through a labyrinth of protective contacts, we had finally worked our way carefully to the point of being able to talk to the great man directly, but, far from that being the beginning of the plain sailing, it proved to be the beginning of the end. We never did get to interview Jordão, despite friendly conversations in which he graciously thanked us for our interest in him and expressed a willingness to meet up.
Our book about Portugal’s trials and tribulations across 13 finals tournaments, the Thirteenth Chapter, was the worse for not being able to include his thoughts. For many of a certain generation, Rui Jordão was a fixed reference point in the youthful process of growing to love football, but we were not to know at the time that football was no longer the main passion of his life.