An Exclusive Interview with the Mysterious and Benevolent Portuguese Player

Thursday, January 13th – Rumor has it that Goon…
…lost his virginity before his own dad.
…sleeps with a pillow below his gun.
…one time shot down a plane just by pointing his finger and yelling ‘Bang!’
…can cure cancer with his tears, but unfortunately he doesn’t cry

So I was sitting on my desk when I started hearing buzz in the Portuguese Magic community about a mysterious, unnamed Portuguese Magic player who was credited by the soon-to-be World Champion, Guillaume Matignon, as pivotal in putting him back on track. What? Who? That was my and pretty much everyone’s reaction. Being Portuguese, I was soon able to find out it was
Narciso “Goon” Ferreira,

a decently well-known player inside Portugal, who agreed to spare some of his time to talk with us about Worlds, Magic, and life.

Before I start the interview, I’d like to present a brief introduction about Narciso “Goon” Ferreira. The following words were written by Gonçalo Pinto “Madcat” and originally posted on his blog on August 13, 2007.

Rumor has it that Goon…

…lost his virginity before his own dad.

…sleeps with a pillow below his gun.

…one time shot down a plane just by pointing his finger and yelling ‘Bang!’

…can cure cancer with his tears, but unfortunately he doesn’t cry

…doesn’t read books, he stares at them and they confess whatever he wants to know

…plays poker so well that one time he bluffed a guy while holding a Forest, an Uno card, a Monopoly Get Out of Jail Free card, and his driving license.

…is the reason why Wally hides.

…can win a four-in-line game with only three chips.

…has been on Mars, and that’s why there’s no life over there.

…doesn’t wear a condom; he doesn’t need to be protected.

P.S. For those who don’t know Goon, he’s called Narciso Ferreira, and he’s a National Guard cop.


Enjoy the interview!

Tiago: Matignon mentions you as a mysterious, smiling Portuguese man; for those who still don’t know you, introduce yourself.

Goon: My name is Narciso Ferreira “Goon.” I live in Lisbon, Portugal, and I used to hang out with guys who know how to play Magic. My goal is that one day I’ll know how to play, too.

Tiago: Where did that nickname, Goon, come from?

Goon: From the card Goblin Goon. For reasons I never understood, people say I look like him but slightly stupider and a lot uglier. And I used to run four of them in my Goblins deck, so this is my punishment.

Tiago: What everyone wants to know is why do the French credit you as being so important for Matignon’s victory. So tell us, Goon, what happened at Worlds?

Goon: Due to being a bad player and on top of that being very unlucky, in the past I got upset with Magic all the time, so I decided to change my attitude (also because of some situations in my private life). Now I always have a positive attitude, not only for Magic but for everything in life as well.

When playing against Team France, I sat down, and I immediately start chatting and joking in a good way with Antoine even though he didn’t knew who I was (lol). And I started with a game loss. That’s okay; my good spirit didn’t change. After that, I still mulliganed to four, always taking it easy, and I still won game two on a mull to four. Even after losing game three and the match, my good humor and good attitude remained the same, and I think that attitude towards Magic inspired Guillaume Matignon.

However, I did nothing to deserve having him thank me; if there’s one thing I learnt in Magic, it’s that you only achieve results if you work hard and deserve them.

Tiago: You talk about yourself as being an unlucky, bad player, but over the years you’ve built a very respectable curriculum in the Portuguese Magic scene; would you like to share some of your Magic achievements?

Goon: I’m the current National Vice-Champion. I won a PTQ for Kuala Lumpur, and I’ve lost in countless PTQ Top 8s including three finals in a row. I’ve made Day 2 at some Grand Prix, including GP Lisbon where I went undefeated Day 1 with five wins and three draws (LOL). Online, I have two PTQ Top 8s and one MOCS Top 8.

Tiago: So this Worlds wasn’t your first taste of the Pro Tour; how did you do in Kuala Lumpur?

Goon: It was a lesson in humility that I’ll never forget! I arrived there thinking of myself as the best in the world, and then I lost all my rounds, and suddenly I felt like one of the worst players on the PT. I also decided I’d try all kinds of local food, and I think I got food poisoning, as for 48 hours, I sat countless times on the toilet, holding a bucket.

Tiago: I’ve heard you made a bet with Nuno Costa (Frederico Costa’s twin brother) for Kuala Lumpur…

Goon: It was my first Pro Tour. I thought I was the best in the world, so I bet I would finish higher than him.

Tiago: Nuno Costa finished 3-3… and you had two byes…

Goon: But I only won against the byes. That’s the perennial problem of the Portuguese Magic player. With the exception of our “The Big 4,” no one else is able to make results outside, or Big 5 if you want to consider Paulo Carvalho too.

Tiago: But at Worlds you had a chance to redeem yourself. With two more drafts at the Pro level, you had a chance to show KL was nothing but an accident. How did it go the Draft day at Worlds?

Goon: 0-6.

Tiago: I see…

Goon: I started with 4-2 in Standard, which was the only format where I felt prepared. After Nats, I had health problems, so I stopped playing. I only did a couple of drafts before Worlds. Actually, I think the drafts went well. I had bombs, good cards, removal, but the games went all the other way around; it was surreal, but I took it easily, always with a smile on my face, even though in Portugal, many people think I’m not a good player, and I just went to Japan to be a running joke inside the Portuguese Magic community. So these people were happy when Day 2 didn’t go well.

Tiago: I’m sorry; may I ask where you learned how to draft? Was it by watching the “Drafting with Madcat” videos?

Goon: Drafting with Tiago on Star City!

Tiago: Right, I guess I deserved that answer…

Goon: Seriously, I learnt most of the draft fundamentals with you, Marcio Carvalho, and Kuni (Kuniyoshi Ishii, Portuguese National Champion 2002 and 2005).

Tiago: And who do you playtest with for tournaments; are you part of any team? I know that before, you were a member of Team Nhekes, and after splitting up, there was a new team called Next Level coming up.

Goon: Next Level. The problem is some of the boys got distracted by women, and Magic was put aside.

Tiago: What’s the current setup of Team Next Level?

Goon: Me, Vasco Cruz, Vasco Bonifacio, Filipe Constancio, and Daniel Moura.

Tiago: Still one of the most powerful teams in Portugal…

Goon: But only me and Vasco Bonifacio remain active in a serious way; the others lost or are about to lose their virginity, so they aren’t active in Magic.

Tiago: I’ve read on your MSN status you’re looking to recruit some new team members. What are the requirements to be on Team Next Level?

Goon: Having spoken with a woman before and knowing how to play.

Tiago: Fair enough! Let’s put Magic aside for a while and talk about things that really matter. What are your thoughts on the movie
Prince of Persia?

Goon: Looooool. I agree with everything Fred Bastos said. The movie is very weak; Marcio doesn’t know s*** about movies.

Tiago: Do you agree with people who say to take Marcio Carvalho’s advice, but only for Magic…?

Goon: Yeah, he only knows about Magic. And girls. Because of girls, he hasn’t been playing lately.

Tiago: Now that you mention Marcio and girls; tell us the story that happened on a plane which only you have witnessed…

Goon: Hey, Marcio is going to kill me if I tell it.

Tiago: No, it’s fine; don’t worry. I’ll change his name to Mr. X, so no one will know it’s him.

Goon: Okay, so I and Mr. X are already inside the plane, me sitting next to the aisle and him next to the window playing on his iPhone. I noticed a really hot chick boarding, and I told Mr. X:

Goon: Look at that chick; she’s really hot!
Mr. X: Man, she sure is. Obviously she’s not Portuguese.
Goon: No, no, she is Portuguese.
Mr. X: She’s too cute to be Portuguese.
Goon: Bet on it?
Mr. X: How much?
Goon: (since I’m a big idiot, I only said) Ten Euros.
Mr. X: Deal!

So the girl gets out of her seat to go to the restrooms, and when she’s passing by us, I tell her: “I’m sorry, but my friend here says you’re way too cute to be Portuguese.”

She starts blushing but answers, “No, no, I’m Portuguese!” And she stays right there, standing and looking at Mr. X waiting for him to say something, but Mr. X immediately starts playing his Slam Dunk iPhone application, leaving the girl standing in the middle of the row. Lol.

After she left, I kept telling Mr. X he was an idiot; the girl was kind of into him and waiting for Marcio to make a move. But the story doesn’t end here. A half hour later, the girl feels like she needs to go to the toilet once again, and she conveniently stands up when there’s a queue for the toilet. Only the queue finished four rows behind us, but she stopped and waited right next to our seat row, leaning on the seats and looking at Mr. X. And I was telling him, Mr. X, come on; say something. But he just ignored her; he didn’t even turned his face away from the iPhone.

Tiago: Perhaps the girl was into you; how do you know she was into Mr. X?

Goon: It’s obvious. I’m old, fat, and ugly, and looking at my clothes, you can see I have no money.

Tiago: But there was one time you were at a public urinal, and a guy started hitting on you. It’s better if we hear it from you, rather than from a third party.

Goon: That’s false; it never happened to me. It might have happened to my friend.

Tiago: All right, how about plans for 2011. Are you inspired by Wafo-Tapa, who started last season PTQing and then reached Level 8?

Goon: Hey, that’s not for me, maybe Marcio could do it. As for me, I expect to reach Level 4, and I’ll try to go as many Grand Prix as I can.

Tiago: So are you going to come and visit me for GP Shanghai?

Goon: Yup! I want to go to all the European GPs, plus some outside. This is going to be my year, or at least I’ll give it a try. I still haven’t found someone willing to come, though.

Tiago: You know in Shanghai, you won’t need to. I’m here; I can hang out with you.

Goon: Yup! It’s going to be awesome.

Tiago: You would be kind enough to buy me a dinner, right?

Goon: Everyday if I had to. Anyone who treats me well deserves everything. Besides, for the little I am in Magic, you’re one of the people I should thank.

Tiago: I make the words you addressed to Matignon my own, no need to thank. Whoever works hard and deserves it will do well.

However, since you’re in a good mood, let me tell you that I’ll be in Portugal this month or the next, so I’m going to go ahead and reserve a table in your name.

Goon: Are we eating at the Chinese buffet?

Tiago: No, not anymore since that time you, shovit, and madcat joined a draft queue at the Chinese restaurant and lost even before I finished my starter.

We should go to the grill place next to Devir Arena, so I can teach you how to draft in the afternoon, and later, I can turn to the waiter and say: “As a starter, bring my big, huge friend a big, huge Portuguese sausage.”

Goon: And isn’t it good? Tastes really good.

Tiago: I’m glad you like it, ’cause you’re paying!

Thanks for dinner and big thanks for the interview. Ladies and gentlemen, that was one of the new icons of Portuguese Magic, Narciso Goon Ferreira! If you guys think this is funny or interesting, I might be doing some more in the future.