The competitive pause in the national competitions gave way to the national team matches and, a few days before the match against Romania, midfielder Pêpê was invited to join the national team, joining team-mate Fernando.
The picker’s call was met with some surprise and the place at eleven looked with a mix of pride and responsibility. “I always work to help my team and if that work allows me to have visibility to represent my country… all the better. Given that being in Estoril a few minutes, I knew that it would not be easy to be an option, but because of the misfortune of a teammate I ended up being called. It is always a great pride to represent Portugal and have another opportunity to show my value” he said in statements to the club’s official website.
In the two UEFA European Championship qualifiers, the Under-21 Team drew (1-1 against Romania) and a win (2-1 with Switzerland). The Estorilista player, starter in the matches of this double day, made an analysis to the last duels. “We have had some difficulty in maintaining a steady performance over the 90 minutes and we ended up allowing some of our opponents to recover from disadvantages on the scoreboard. Fortunately the last results were favorable” he said of his particular case. “I felt good even though I need to regain my competitive rhythm and confidence to show more of my football. I know I can do even better.”
The Under-21 National Team currently occupies third place in Group 8 of qualifying for the 2019 European Championship with seven points, five points behind leaders Romania and two of Bosnia. The call to represent the national colors is seen by Pêpê with an extra motivation that wants to transpose to the works in Amoreira. “I have returned to have competition and this is very important for the physical and motivational levels, I feel full of desire to help Estoril to get out of the situation in which it is, because the working group has a lot of quality.”
The Estorilista team returns to the competition on November 26, the day they face the Marítimo in the 12th round of the NOS League.