The The task is very difficult, but Bernardo Saraiva, the son of former world player of the year Mager, does not hide that he dreams of being a better beach soccer player than his father two decades ago.
“I am aware of the reference he was and still plays in the sport, and all that he has achieved, but I would like to become even better,” said the 18-year-old, who plays for Sporting in the elite division, at once.
When Bernardo Saraeva was born, his father played beach soccer, therefore, his relationship with this sport was almost secret.
However, he only gained strength three seasons ago when he decided to leave football, where he represented the teams Sacavenense, 1.º de Dezembro and Belenenses SAD, to devote himself exclusively to beach soccer for the “lions”.
“I had the opportunity to celebrate the great achievements among the champions, and after winning the 2015 World Cup [em Espinho]I realized I wanted to make my career in the sand,” he began by explaining to Lusa Agency.
Bernardo noted that today he is a teammate of some of those players who made history alongside his father, such as Belchior, Rui Coimbra or Joao von Gonçalves.
“Belshier has known me since I was born,” he shot, praising that, daily, he learns a lot from them.
On the fact that he is the son of a sports legend, the young footballer said that he has learned, over time, to deal with the pressures of continuing his father’s legacy and with the fact that his path has been called into question by the family’s connection to the former best player in the world.
“What I have already achieved, or will be able to achieve, is my merit and the result of my efforts,” highlighted the young man who, at only 16 years old, celebrated, in 2020, by winning the title of National Champion in the service of the Leonine emblem, in which the main team alternates and secondary formation.
Asked about the similarities between him and his father, Bernardo referred to his “love of the jersey and determination in every movement”, noting that he was still taking his first steps in the sport.
“I don’t have his shooting power,” the HRM student joked, and he, unlike Majer, is more adept at handling with his right foot.
On the big difference between the two, the winger explained that this is how he “attacks” shots.
The father has confirmed the words, and insisted as a joke on clarification.
Mager, when called up for conversation, defended: “At the end of his career, he didn’t have the same material availability, but when he was his age, he ate sand.”
The former Portugal international – naming a youth tournament in which many stars of the sport have emerged, including his son – has highlighted reading the game and solidarity with teammates as key traits for the grandchildren, noting that only with a lot of work will you be able to reach the level that you want.
“I am sure he can become the best player in the world, much better than I was, but he will have to work hard because today there are so many talents around the world,” said the 45-year-old former Sporting. An athlete, he remembers when he started playing beach soccer the reality was completely different.
The former Portugal national ‘captain’ reiterated that he did not pressure his son to follow suit, but said he was very happy to have chosen Bernardo.
“I want him to be happy, whether it’s hockey, soccer, handball or any other sport, but it obviously makes me a little bit happier because he chose the sport that I love the most,” he said.
Mager left a unique legacy in the sport, having celebrated three World Championships (2001, 2015 and 2019), five European Championships (2007, 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2019) and five times (2003, 2005, 2006 and 2015). 2016), considered the best player in the world of the method.
He participated in nine World Cup tournaments and scored in his 22 years of career 1,082 goals in 583 matches.
However, despite having a curriculum brimming with team and individual achievement, nothing would make the current PFA Beach Soccer Coordinator more excited than seeing his son Bernardo considered the best player in the world.
“It will be a day a million times happier than the one in which I had the honor of being distinguished,” she concluded without a chance, once again, the person whom the famous France Football magazine considered, in 2019, the best beach soccer player in the story.
Bernardo burst out laughing when he heard his father’s words, realizing he has the genes of someone who knows what it means to be the best player in the world on sand. “In the first stage, I want to help Sporting achieve their goals and be called up for the Portuguese national team, but I do not hide that I would like to be recognized as the best player in the world … and a better player than my father,” he admitted.
Always be the first to know.
Consumer Choice Award for the sixth year in a row and five stars for online journalism.
Download our free app.