Madeiran footballer Telma Encarnação has confirmed that she will stay at Marítimo until she wins a title for the club and has predicted that the “green and red” tagline contested in the Women’s First League will soon be “bigger”.
“Before I leave, I want to win something in the Maritimo colors, whether it’s the League Cup, the Portuguese Cup or even the championship. I know this club will be bigger,” said Al Jazira sportswoman, who was featured in the women’s first division championship and in the national team.
Telma Encarnação needs no introduction into the world of football. At just 20 years old, he already has four seasons at the highest level in Portuguese football, adding 48 matches for Portugal, 11 of them for the main team.
He made his goal-scoring debut for AA “quinas” team in June last year, against Nigeria, and he did not hide his emotions, he even started to cry. The match, which ended with a score of 3-3, was part of the “Summer” tournament organized by the United States.
At the age of eight, he began playing football at a club in Camara de Lobos, where he was born, called “Os Zavilhas”, “in the free-boys team”.
“With the boys, it was more difficult and every time I went up the difficulty increased. I felt I had to work even harder to be able to play,” the striker confirmed, explaining that at the age of 13, Maritimo made the proposal, which has since signed a coaching contract.
In 2018, when he was only 16 years old, he made his name on one of the pages of the history of Almirante Reis club: on May 27 of the same year, after defeating Condexa 6-0, Maritimo for the first time ascended to the I Division, becoming the first team A female, outside the mainland, is ascending to the highest level in Portuguese football.
In the year of the great achievement of Madeira’s “Lionesses”, Telma Encarnação signed her first professional contract and is now in her fourth season in the “Elite” competition in the service of the “Green-reds”, which she has worked with. A contract valid until 2025.
“When we went up, I wasn’t ready for what was waiting for us. I realized that the degree of difficulty was much greater, I already felt it when we were struggling to get there. Football has a lot more rhythm than we are used to here in the area,” he recalled to Lusa.
Maritimo is currently playing for the fourth consecutive season in the first Spanish league, as part of the qualifying stage for the Champions League, and with four matches remaining, they occupy third place, with 18 points, with nine points behind leaders Benfica (27) and six runners-up, Sporting (24). .
The next match between the two islands will take place on the 1st of May, with Benfica, who have not yet lost at this stage of the competition, receiving Benfica.
When asked about the indomitable “incarnates”, Telma Encarnação asserted that the numbers are at the stadium door and that “inside the stadium is equal”.
“Our goal is to keep third place, and obviously we want to beat Benfica at home. Defeating us at home is difficult and any team knows that”, reinforced the marine sportsman, who has an average goal of one goal per match, having already scored 22 goals this season.
After addressing the collective goals, the athlete from Camara de Lupensi proved that she is confident in what she is still striving to achieve on an individual level.
“in a short time, [quero] Finish the tournament with good results. in the medium term, [pretendo] Win the Navy title, whatever it is. In the long term, I would like to play in the Champions League.”
Maritimo has focused on women’s training for the past five years and currently has all levels, a total of 97 athletes, having recently become the only Maderan team to set up schools.
“I think it’s great that this is happening,” said Telma Encarnação. “The girls also want to play football and what Maritimo has been doing is responding to that demand. He has a lot of quality at the younger levels.”
The player admits that she missed an example when she started playing football, because “there was no Maderan team in the first Spanish league.” Now he feels the “weight of responsibility” for being what he didn’t have.
“I feel I have more responsibility, because there are children who have inspired me and want to follow my example,” he said, noting that “it is not easy to get there, let alone keep,” but “opportunities must be seized with all forces.”
For Catarina Silva, an athlete with a marine background, “it’s a huge inspiration” to see her compatriots reach such high levels in the sport and it “makes us believe it’s also possible to get there.”
Commenting on the trajectory of Telma Encarnação, a player with “amazing potential”, the 16-year-old who plays in the junior team made no secret of her admiration for her teammate, who believes she “could become one of the best developed countries in Europe or even in Europe.” the world “.