Two days for Estoril Praia – Sport Lisboa e Benfica match, for the 31st round, Gonçalo Santos spoke about the importance of the victory and the strength shown by the supporters in Portimão and stresses that the team feels the commitment that has to face each of the four next games. In an interview for the official website, the number 13 stressed that playing against ‘big’ teams is special but doesn’t change the training routines.
Estoril has played a few games without winning, some of them without that ‘little star’. Did the team feel any injustice in part of these results?
Gonçalo Santos (GS) – The team felt essentially the position in the league table. It’s true that we have always maintained a good level of performance, it’s true that we have been winning in the last two home matches and we drew, but we always believed in ourselves and we knew that luck would have to change.
The match in Portimão was faced as a final. What do you think that made the difference in this match, against a team less pressed?
(GS) – Essentially the determination and the good football that we practice in Portimão made the difference! We were better throughout the match, it was a victory more than fair and we could have scored more goals.
In the end the team were greeting the supporters. It felt like a great communion and then they waited for the team. What message did they pass on to Amoreira?
(GS) – At the end of the game we were grateful for all the support and affection they convey to us. After a very intense game until the end we couldn’t stop sharing the joy with them. When we arrived they told us once again that they believe in us. On our side is the commitment and responsibility to prove them right.
Now SL Benfica. What effect can the defeat with FC Porto have on them?
(GS) – The home defeat with FC Porto and the loss of first place was a blow to their aspirations. Maybe they can come hurt and with the feeling that they have already lost the championship … if so, we have to take advantage of this moment and put into practice what we work during the week.
What are the arguments for Estoril to be happy in the next match?
(GS) – Our game ideal doesn’t change according to the opponent and whoever accompanies all our games know this. Let’s take over the game and play to win. The moment of the two teams can be fundamental, we must provoke the nervousness and the uncertainty in the SL Benfica’s team.
Playing in a full crowded stadium always gives another ‘taste’ or doesn’t change anything when the whistle sounds?
(GS) – Playing at home against a ‘big’ team is always special. The moments before the game are tenser and there are a lot more people to see us but we are professionals. When the game starts we have to forget this greater visibility and focus on the game. We will certainly give a good image, to all our supporters, the most important for us, those who come to all games.
What message would you leave to those who might be more ‘disbelievers’?
(GS) – To believe in us until the end, because in the end we will celebrate all together. We have the notion that it’s difficult but we have four ‘finals’ ahead and everyone is important to get where we want to be.