Before officially announcing that he had already acquired Portuguese nationality, Pedro Pichardo, a triple-jump athlete, made a point of visiting the president of Benfica, Luís Filipe Vieira, to greet him and transmit to him the pride of representing Benfica and now being available to represent the Portuguese people.
The news was announced to the press in a press conference at Estádio da Luz, on Thursday afternoon, December 7th. “For me it means a lot to have Portuguese nationality, it is a great pleasure and a privilege to represent Portugal and this great club which is Benfica. The Club is giving me this opportunity to represent it in the national and international championships and it is up to me to represent it in the best way”, stated Pichardo.
When asked if he intends to return to competitions in August and with the color of Portugal, Pedro Pichardo replied: “I am always available. . I am currently in good physical shape, which is the most important thing. I think the question of where I will compete or not is not up to me, it up to the International Federation. I am ready to represent Portugal”, he said.
With the possibility of becoming Portuguese champion in the next Indoor Track Championship, Pedro Pichardo confesses that he is motivated and that is the main objective.
“I just have to wait for the moment and jump, the goal is to be a champion, but I have to wait for the moment and then I will know”, he said.
Fernando Tavares: “Pichardo is a safe bet”
Fernando Tavares, vice president of Benfica, considers Pedro Pichardo an added value to the Club's athletics.
“Benfica has the ambition of winning the European Champion Club Cup in outdoor track, we are working for that and Pedro is part of that agenda. He is an important key for that objective to be achieved. Benfica wins and the Portuguese sport also wins, because now they have a top-level athlete, the best triple jump athlete Benfica already had, but that now has as a Portuguese athlete”, said the vice president.
Text: Márcia Dores and Marco Rebelo
Pics: Isabel Cutileiro