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Photo by José Lorvão

Amorim: "There is still a lot to win"

By Sporting CP
11 May, 2024

Sporting CP visit GD Estoril Praia on Saturday (6pm)

A week on from their Liga Portugal title win, Sporting Clube de Portugal travel to the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota to play GD Estoril Praia on Saturday. It will be the 33rd and penultimate matchday of the season.

Ahead of the game, coach Rúben Amorim began by talking about how he experienced the club's 24 such title.

"It was a big party on a special day, but that is already in the past. Everyone was waiting for the title to be confirmed -me more than the players and staff, because I was the only one who was dressed to go on the bus. My belief is always greater than that of the rest of the people. It was a special day, but after two days it no longer feels like anything because we have things to do and goals to achieve," the coach told journalists.

“We still have the Taça de Portugal and we continue on our path, forgetting about the party a little now. Tomorrow we will try to win and not concede goals. The record is 27 victories in a season and we can achieve 28. Above all, if we want to win the next trophy we need everyone to keep up the pace and be prepared so that we can choose the best team. There is still a lot to be won."

He clarified that, due to fitness problems for Franco Israel and Antonio Adán, it will be 19-year-old Diogo Pinto who will play in goal for his debut with Sporting CP's first team.

“Antonio is still injured and cannot play, Franco has had surgery and is out for the rest of the season. For now, Pinto will be the starter. We have Francisco [Silva] on the bench and [Guilherme] Pires as third choice goalkeeper, but we trust everyone. He's a kid who's grown up here, he'll be making his debut for the first team and it's a big weight to carry. But the context helps because we are already champions and all the other players will help him, because he is prepared to help us keep a clean sheet.”

In addition to Diogo Pinto, the coach was asked about a possible debut for Geovany Quenda, but dismissed this hypothesis, revealing however that there could be another player featuring in his first official match: Miguel Menino, a 21-year-old midfielder from the B team.

“There could be a situation where a kid who came up here makes his debut, but it won't be Quenda. We believe a lot in Quenda and that he will eventually be a champion at Sporting CP, but there are other kids whose future, given their age, could lie somewhere other than Sporting CP -and we pay attention to that. These are kids who helped us a lot in training, but they didn't have the visibility others got and they aren't in our plans for next year. Menino will be called up, Quenda will not. We believe he will be a champion at Sporting CP, so he will have time to do so."

As for GD Estoril Praia, who are currently 13th in the table and fighting to stay up, Amorim does not expect an easy time.

“GD Estoril are a team that play well, and playing away from home is not the same as playing at home."

“The team that will play will be set up to win the game, but it will not be the same as against GD Chaves. Management will be carried out so that during the week of the Taça de Portugal everyone is at their best. But you will see from the XI that we want to win, because we have important objectives, such as surpassing Sporting CP's best points and victories records and continuing to keep clean sheets. We have become champions, but there is already the weight of winning another trophy and thinking about next year. The good feelings are over, now it’s time for the Taça de Portugal, the records and preparing for next season.”