Excitement is building ahead of the U20 World Cup with the big kick-off a fortnight away.

In the middle of a five-day training camp in Rio Maior, PortuGOAL held a series of interviews with some of the Seleção's biggest stars. 

Watch and read the exclusive interviews with strikers Gonçalo Guedes and André Silva, winger Gelson Martins, midfielder Estrela and defender Domingos Duarte. 


[An English translation is provided below the screen for the interviews given in Portuguese] 


Portugal and Benfica striker Gonçalo Guedes:

Tournament expectations: "We'll take it game but game. Our first game is very important for us and we'll make sure we are very focused to make sure we're prepared." 

The favourites: "There are teams with great names, obviously like Brazil and Argentina - I think that's what everyone thinks. But we'll follow our own path and we don't think too much about our opponents."

Team spirit: "We're a very united squad, everyone gets on with everyone else and I think this can only benefit us." 

On being youngest player: "Yes sometimes I'm the butt of jokes, but we all joke around with each other." 

On stellar individual year: "It was difficult to imagine it could be such a good year, but my aim was always to renew my contract with Benfica, which was very good for me. The goals I set myself for this year were achieved I believe, and that makes me very happy." 

On new 'Golden Generation': "No, we're not concerned about that. We're focused solely on preparing ourselves as best as possible to get to the World Cup in good shape so we can go as far as possible." 

On pressure of being a striker in Portugal: "I deal with this normally. It doesn't worry me much. I just try to do my best, like all my team-mates, and what will happen will happen." 


Portugal and Orlando City midfielder Estrela:



Portugal and FC Porto striker André Silva:

Tournament expectations: "We have high expectations, like all the other teams, we all want to reach the top. But to do this we have to be the best side, to work as hard as possible, and to work harder than the other sides, and I think we are on the right road." 

On being same squad as last year's U19 Euro squad and team spirit: "Yes, this squad has been together a long time and I feel we have always had a good environment and good friendship among everybody. And we have always had a lot of confidence in ourselves, which is important, and what happened in the Euro made us even more confident." 

On significance of U20 World Cup: "We're aware it's a great opportunity, a lot of people would like to be in our shoes, so we have to give everything we've got." 

On pressure of being a striker in Portugal: "No, I think Portugal also produce good strikers, the only thing is I don't think they do everything to train these players to the maximum of their abilities. But I try and work hard every day and do my best so that I can please others."  


Portugal and Sporting defender Domingos Duarte:



Portugal and Sporting winger Gelson Martins:

Tournament expectations: "We'll be taking it one game at a time to try and have a good World Cup. First of all we're just thinking about the group phase, which is the most important thing. Then if we want to go to the final we have to think game by game." 

On being same squad as last year's U19 Euro squad: "Yes, it's an advantage that we have a united team, we've been together for a long time. Add to that we have some new players who can be a big help."

Team spirit: "We're a very united squad, everyone gets on with everyone else, and I think this can only benefit us." 

On stellar individual year: "I didn't expect it to run so smoothly. I thought it would be more difficult. In truth it was tough to begin with as I didn't play much at the start of the season, but then I began finding consistency and that helped me a lot to prepare for the World Cup." 

On chances of breaking into Sporting team next season: "For now I'm just focused on working hard for the World Cup. Afterwards we'll see what options are taken. I want to play the World Cup at my best level so that whatever happens next I am prepared for it." 

On possibility of lifting the trophy: "Yes, we've imagined this, but we have to take it game by game and put into practice what we do in training, which is the essential thing." 


Tom Kundert was asking the questions

Related: Mission New Zealand 2015!


Comments (1)

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Great stuff Tom. The kids seem to be even more guarded in their responses then the seniors! Estrela seemed to be the only guy willing to get a little personal.

Great stuff!

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“These players continue to surprise me every day.”

Rúben Amorim
(Sporting coach after 3-1 Lisbon derby victory against Benfica at the Estádio da Luz)