The benfiquistas João Filipe, Florentino Luís, José Gomes, Nuno Santos and Mesaque Dju "traveled" to Finland for a brief moment and remembered the day of July 29, 2018, the date in which they became U-19 European Champions.
The young players also spoke about the return to the B team of Benfica, that starts the new season this Saturday, at 6 pm, against Leixões SC, in the first gameweek of the Second Division (Ledman LigaPro), at the Caixa Futebol Campus.
The forward João Filipe (Jota) is one of the Portuguese players who stood out the most in the European Championships. Five matches, five goals, four assists and a total of 384 minutes played. The player Made in Caixa Futebol Campus also won, together with Trincão, the Top Scorer of the competition trophy.
Jota said he did not forget the moments lived in Finland.
“It was fantastic, it was a hard work, but we manage to show all our value. All our talent, work and dedication were valued at the end and managed to end with a flourish”, said Jota.
Already with the eyes on the future, he says that he wants to make history again with the conquest of the U-19 World Cup.
“The World Cup is coming, and if we are already etched in history for being two-time European Champions and because no other national team has achieved that feat, if we manage to be world champions we will go to Olympus, we are ready for that”, he stressed.
José Gomes was one of the red bet of the national coach Hélio Sousa, at the European Championships in Finland. The forward played in four of the five matches played by Portugal, and scored one goal, in a total of 303 minutes played.
“It was a successful tournament for our team, it was very difficult, but at the end, we achieved what we wanted, which was to become European Champions. It is the second time, but it was like if it was the first”, confessed the footballer who had already been crowned U-17 European Champions.
At the eagles since 2010, the defensive midfielder Florentino Luís was a regular presence in the five matches plays by Portugal, totaling 480 minutes on the pitch and one assist.
“We feel privileged with two European titles, which, both in our ages and in more advanced ages, is very complicated”, stated the athlete.
The benfiquista Nuno Santos was used in three encounters at the European Championships. The 19-year-old forward bagged 68 minutes.
At the Euro final against Italy( 3-4), Nuno Santos, who was a used substitute (came on in extra-time), assured that everyone was nervous in the National team substitute's bench.
“On the pitch it is twice the suffering. I, who was on the bench, when we scored the second goal I felt a relief, but as soon as they scored the first and the equalizer, I started thinking a lot of negative things, but our focus remained on what we wanted to control during the game and we did it”, he told.
Mesaque Dju, also Made in Caixa Futebol Campus, stood out in Finland. He played in four matches, scored one goal, all this in 95 minutes played.
“I still seems a dream, I think we have not woken up yet. But after we get home, thinking on what we have done and seeing the images of our performance is very good . I will review these moments until the end of my life because they are unforgettable moments”, confessed Mesaque Dju.
Text: Márcia Dores
Pics: Isabel Cutileiro / SL Benfica