Gonçalo Paciência says the recent announcement that the European Championships will be moved to next summer provides him with further opportunity to earn his place with the Seleção.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen almost all football postponed across the globe, with Portugal’s defence of their European crown the first-high profile competition to be cancelled. Instead Euro 2020 will be played next summer and for Paciência the situation means more time to develop with German side Eintracht Frankfurt.
“The postponement gives me another year to show that I am a valid option and I will try to do that,” said the 25-year-old. “It’s another year to prove my worth.”
With two caps for his country, the former Porto man got his first goal at international level during the 6-0 win over Lithuania in qualifying last November. Having recovered from an ACL injury early in his Frankfurt career, the goal was an emotional moment for Paciência. “Everything that I had overcome, the injuries, crossed my mind. I celebrated as if I had won us the game.”
For now, Paciência continues to train at Frankfurt where sessions are conducted with small groups of players ahead of a hopeful return for the Bundesliga at the end of next month. “We always have contact with the same players, one in each corner of the dressing room and in training there is no contact.
“The club gives us food to cook at home, when we were staying at home [in quarantine] they brought us the food already made. We were given gym equipment, all at our doorstep
“How is Germany? Everything is more disciplined. There is no talk of the refereeing mistakes. Failure is human. The players are criticised more than the referees,” he revealed, adding: “The relationship between coach and player in Germany is much more distant and colder than in Portugal.”
By Sean Gillen