THE BALL – Sérgio Conceição, father and son name: “She will always have a huge impact all my life” (interview)

On Father’s Day, we wanted to get to know the son who goes by his father’s name well: Sergio Conceicao. He is the eldest son of five children. He is 25 years old, plays at right-back (but was previously a winger, like his father) in E Amadora and has a bad temper (like his father, they say, he also says). Friendly with a wide and sincere smile.

– We are at Jose Gomez Stadium to meet Sergio Conceicao player in Estrella da Amadora. Whoever is reading us at this point, what should they know about you? who are you?
– I’m a very ambitious person. I have a bit of a complicated personality, but thanks to that personality I never gave up, after so many hurdles I faced even today in football. I came from the bottom and that belief in me made me in Liga 2. Today I went through everything with my work and that’s what I am most proud of. All I’ve achieved so far has been through my race and not through other things people sometimes think. It’s easy to point out if you have the name I have, but that totally misses me because I know what I can do and I know what I did to get here.

– You say you came from below, so why not train as a player in a big club?
– Yes, yes, and I had to go through many difficult things and that makes me proud to know where I am today. If I was told, when I was 18, that at 25 I would be at my club, in Liga 2, and because I’m happy to play football, it would be hard for me to believe. There have been many setbacks, but I look at them positively, because it was these setbacks that made me grow, and that is what made me the professional I am today. I am very dedicated and love what I do, which is the most important thing.

– What are these setbacks?
– I’ll leave it to myself. There were many things not worth talking about now.

Did you always carry the house on your back and did that make your job to be a soccer player so difficult?
– Yes, because I arrived in Portugal when I was 16/17 years old. Every year I would go from house to house because I always accompanied my father. That was really good because it gave us the family stability and family unity that I see in very few families. But, until I was 18, until I went to college, I always followed my dad everywhere and that obviously had repercussions for football after that. I wasn’t as recognized in training as I’d like and I didn’t have consistent training.

– She moved to Estrela da Amadora last season. why?
– The chief called me. It was a less positive year at Academia and when I got a call from the president [André Geraldes] I didn’t think twice because I thought it was the right project to be able to relaunch my career and be able to do what I love most, which is play football.

– When I got to Estrela, the club was trying to get back on its feet. Was the fact that you came to the Lisbon area, away from home and family, an affirmation of Sergio Conceicao in his character as a footballer, far from his father and the weight of his name?
– yes. Since I was young, my goal has been to assert myself as who I am now. When the president called me, I felt it was the right move. I had a very difficult year at Académica, a club that I love so much and my family is so good at because they are all from Coimbra and just my two brothers and I were born in Porto. The fact that I wasn’t successful at a club I really like made me sad and when I got the call, with the president ready to count on me, I thought about taking the risk and it was a winning bet. I thought it was the perfect project because it was a historic club that fell asleep and was back on its feet. He will soon be in the I Liga and that makes me proud to be part of this project. So far we’ve managed to take the club out of the Portuguese league in La Liga 2 and make it completely stable. I am very proud of all that I have done here so far and will be very grateful, to both the members of the Board of Directors and the technical teams that have been given to me for all that I have done thus far. As for the name I have, it will always weigh on me for the rest of my life because my father is a very important figure in the world of football, especially in Portugal. I soon managed to live with it. When I was younger it was more difficult, today I am used to it and I have always had the spirit of wanting to make a difference, in what I do rather than what I have. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life and that’s what I want to keep doing.

Estrela da Amadora this season will easily ensure that La Liga 2 remains, and next year the goals will be different. Individually, what is your assessment of this season?
First the group, then the individual [sorriso]. Collectively in the tournament we had a smooth test though considering that at certain times our team got a little hurt and that prevented us from fighting for something more today because the individual and team quality of the players would have been higher in a rating. I think it’s been a year of learning for the club and us players, so next season we will be above what we want. Individually, this season has been very positive. Only an injury at the beginning of the year prevented me from playing forever. I fulfilled the expectations they set in me and I am very happy to have proven to so many people that I can be at this level and maybe one day later another higher.

You started as a winger like your father, then fell back and are now right back. You’re a captain, and that’s why they gave you the captain’s armband, Estrella?
– yes. Last season he was the third captain. The lion, who was the first captain, finished his career. The second, Yoran, left. I was third and this season the club decided to give me the captaincy. I was very happy to be captain of a historic team in Portugal.

Read the full interview in print or Digital from the ball.

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