President of the Republic encourages women’s national team before departure for the World Cup

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The President of the Republic congratulated today the Portuguese women’s soccer team for having reached “faster” than the men’s team the first participation in a World Cup, during a reception at the Palace of Belém.

The women’s national team leaves today for New Zealand for an unprecedented participation in a World Cup, and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa went back to the origins of the Portuguese women’s team and compared them with the origins of the men’s sector, praising the greater speed in reaching major competitions to further increase the achievement currently reached.

“Our first international women’s game was in 1981, in France. We were invited to go there and it was difficult to find a team, we looked around in the districts to see what was available and it was a team of 16 youngsters, and we drew. As for the men, the first time they reached a World Cup final round was in 1966, 45 years after their first international match”, she pointed out.

The Portuguese head of state noted that Portugal reached a final stage faster than any other country, and he also praised the spirit shown by the women’s national team in facing such a difficult challenge, encouraging them to keep their ambition high.

“It would be bad if your spirit wasn’t this, that it was the spirit of going there to see what you can do: ‘let’s see what you can do, let’s go there to represent the national colors reasonably, to tie a game and find a nice way to resist the impossible’ – your spirit is to do the impossible,” he praised, surrendering to the ambition of Portugal’s players.

Finally, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa promised to follow the Portuguese team’s games in the World Cup and transmit strength to the national committee as well as the rest of the Portuguese public.

“It is a great honor for Portugal to be able to accompany these compatriots of ours from a distance, on the other side of the world, at 8:30 in the morning,” said the head of the Portuguese State.

In their respective speeches, the president of the Portuguese Football Federation, Fernando Gomes, and the national selector, Francisco Neto, thanked Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for his affection and support.

“I could not fail to thank Mr. President of the Republic at this moment, after having received us in February, when we won our place in the World Cup,” recalled the head of the Portuguese Football Federation.

A moment later, Francisco Neto was convinced that the work done so far is motivating the pride of the national head of state.

“It’s not just this moment, Mr. President has also been following the growth of this team and we are sure that, on behalf of the Portuguese, he must also be very proud of what we have achieved,” dedicated the coach.

After the three speeches, the captains of the Portuguese women’s national team, Dolores Silva, Silvia Rebelo, and Ana Borges, handed Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa a jersey, a scarf, and a ball, duly autographed by the entire team.

The President of the Republic then greeted the entire Portuguese delegation, took his characteristic selfie – using the cell phone of the player Kika Nazareth – and joined the group for an official photo taken while everyone present sang the national anthem, ending with a message of encouragement for the Portuguese team that leaves today for New Zealand.

The ‘Quinas’ team debuts in a World Cup against the Netherlands, the World Cup runner-up, on July 23, followed by matches against Vietnam, on July 27, and the current holders of the trophy, the United States, on August 1.

In preparation, the Portuguese team faced the European champion England, with a null result (0-0), and defeated Ukraine in games played on consecutive days (2-0 on Friday, at Estádio do Bessa, and 6-0 on Saturday, behind closed doors), to give confidence for the demanding Group E they will face in the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia, between July 20 and August 20.

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