″ FC Porto really has a ‘team’. With every passing match… ″

Paulo Assuncao praises Conceicao and Porto players.

The 30th title of the national champion of FC Porto “was in the hands of the coach” Sergio Conceicao, characterizing former footballer Paulo Assuncao, appreciating the reaction to the farewell of influential Luis Diaz, Sergio Oliveira and Jesus Corona in January.

“The team lost an important player, Luis Diaz, but he stayed at the same level. It’s not easy to lose one of these elements and then continue at the same pace. I think the coach is the key, because even losing athletes who have weight, the team has grown and become a champion,” he explained to Lusa. Former Brazilian midfielder for Dragons (2005-2008).

FC Porto won the 2021/22 edition of La Liga with 91 points, six points ahead of Sporting, the former puck holder, overtaking the 88 bar set up by Benfica (2015/16) and in Sergio Conceicao’s first success with the Northerners (2017/18).

“The goal of this season was the title and the team achieved it by playing beautifully and with courage. It was a very good season and all the fans are happy to see FC Porto champion. The coach really deserves to win the title in a championship as it is contested like that and then I really like the players and the way they play It’s in Club Porto.

Paulo Asensao found “ADN FC Porto” in Sérgio Conceição, who won the third championship (2017/18, 2019/20 and 2021/22) in five seasons with “Dragões” command, repeating the successes he had as a player at the same club (1996/1997). and 1997/98 and 2003/2004).

“He is a great coach and an excellent person. If FC Porto can keep him for longer, they can only win. Sergio Conceicao has been at the club for a long time and he is respected by everyone. He shows in front of us. Any match is like a final. For him. Europe, the first league or the Portuguese Cup, he will do his best to win it. That is the mystery of FC Porto,” he said.

In a trip boosted by a record 58 unbeaten in the tournament, which he shattered in the only defeat he suffered in 34 rounds (0-1 with Sporting de Braga, on 31), the former midfielder described his “decisive moments”. The “classics” happened in the second round.

The return match with Sporting [empate 2-2, à 22.ª jornada] It was important. Porto could not lose, but they had to win or draw. I think it was a key match for the title. However, the battle ended with a difficult victory over Benfica [1-0, à 33.ª]He recalls, referring to Zedo’s crucial goal, which is to win the cup.

Paulo Assuncao, 42, admits his admiration for “almost all” the players, having highlighted the performances of goalkeeper Diogo Costa, defender Pepe, midfielders Ottavio and Vitor Ferreira and strikers Mehdi Taremi, Evanelson, Pepe and Francisco Conceicao.

“FC Porto really has a ‘team’. With each passing game, the players grow. It’s very difficult to face them, because they defend well and then they have this very quick exit to attack, with which they can analyze any team, praising the ‘outstanding and great professional'” who is baby.

The Brazilian was involved in the dressing room in 2005/06 and 2006/2007 with the 39-year-old Portugal international, speaking of the midfielder, two decades after his first division debut, “looks 20 years old, works all over the place.” This brings the .bred and ambiguity typical of FC Porto.”

“To get to that level at this age, to run the way you do and lead the defense, it’s because you train a lot and dedicate yourself on and off the field. Maybe you don’t waste nights or drink. When you rest, rest. That helps me a lot. For me, he’s going to play for a long time and I would like To see him play in the World Cup [com a seleção nacional]’, he confirmed.

The winner of three championships, two Portuguese Cups and one Supercup is hailing the 64th Cup win for the “Blues and Whites” in the “Era” of Pinto da Costa, nearly a month after the 40th anniversary of the incumbent’s first election.

“We have to tip our hat to him and he deserves so much more than he did at FC Porto in these 40 years. Being a national champion was really good, but winning the Portuguese Cup final [frente ao Tondela, em 22 de maio] It will be a great gift for him. Now I am very happy for the club and our president because I learned a lot there.”

Apart from this eventual ninth double, after 1955/56, 1987/88, 1997/98, 2002/03, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2019/20, Paulo Assuncao regrets the League Cup elimination. And the Champions League groups, in a campaign in European competitions that ended in the round of 16 of the European League, against the French team Lyon.

“Porto fell into a very complicated group in the Champions League. Playing with Liverpool, Milan and Atletico Madrid is very difficult. I think it was a bit of bad luck. With a group more or less, it could have passed, as in the Europa League. I think the time is right. He will come soon and FC Porto will once again be in the Champions League.”

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