Portugal coach Roberto Martinez before the Czech Republic match: “I brought seven shirts”

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez before the Czech Republic match: “I brought seven shirts”

“You had a perfect qualifying campaign. What needs to be done to repeat that in the group stage?
It is a new period opening up with competition. We have three matches. The competitiveness of the locker room is greater than it was during the playoffs. We have new players who have shown a very good level. Now we have to work hard. The talent is there, that's a fact, but we must show strength without the ball, and show our psychological resources, so that we can face adversity. We are ready but we have not yet reached the maximum, and this can only happen after the three matches.

There are players playing their first European Championship, and Ronaldo will be his sixth. How important is the captain in helping young people?
It's very important. From my experience in international tournaments, I know you need that combination of experience and fresh talent. That's the case here. Cristiano and Pepe have experience that is found in almost no other dressing room, and they are the two biggest players in the competition. We also have Joao Neves and Francisco Conceicao, who are increasingly influential with us. This combination is necessary for communication to occur, for us to have the same focus, the same commitment, and the same goal.

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Do you have items in your bags that you can keep until July 15 (the day after the final)?
We must believe in ourselves, it is important to dream. If we don't dream, it's difficult to succeed in football. But we also have a responsibility to play well. Tomorrow's match is the perfect moment to show that we are ready, and that we have the means to achieve our ambitions. After the first three games, we will be able to check whether we deserve to move on. I brought seven shirts (smiles), not three. But it really depends on the level we show in the first three matches. »

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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