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Thursday, 12 July 2012 09:02

How Portugal won over Polish hearts

Opalenica proves the perfect base for Portugal at Euro 2012

portugal-in-poland-euro2012.jpgAs well as an exhilarating performance on the field of play at Euro 2012, Portugal also made a positive impact off the pitch, winning plenty of friends among the populations of the host countries, especially in and around their Opalenica base in Poland.
Local resident Marcin Nowak, who made a point of sharing his memorable experience of “when Portugal came to town” with us, and Andy Brassell, who covered the Selecção at their training camp throughout the tournament, describe how the locals took to the team.
I am writing to you regarding EURO2012 which took place in Poland and Ukraine last weeks.

I am an inhabitant of Poznan, one of the host cities. Portugal was staying in Opalenica, which is around 35 km from my house. We went with my 8-year-old son, Alan Nowak, for the second open training session without having tickets. My son was allowed to enter the stadium with other local living kids. He could see your National Team and also have very nice big photo with all players, which I attached to this email.

(For a full-size image click here to see the photo on the Opalenica website)

Training was after the first game - the loss to Germany - but we hope that we gave a little of our hearts and after everything went OK. We are also your very big fans (also my small daughter - 4 years old) and we were really supporting you in every single minute.

Forza Portugal! Viva Portugal!

Best regards from Nowak family!!

“Dzeikujemy Opalenicy!” (Thank you Opalenica!)

“Dzeikujemy Opalenicy!” read the banner held up by the Portugal squad ahead of another open training session at their Polish basecamp. Paulo Bento’s men had just reached the semi-final of Euro 2012, and after returning from Warsaw, where they beat the Czech Republic, wanted to extend their gratitude to the locals.

There was no doubt that sleepy Opalenica regarded Portugal’s stay as a real event. It was clear as you approached the town, with a bedsheet tied to a tree sprayed with a welcome to the players - and Cristiano Ronaldo in particular. Official flags and banners did likewise in town. 

When the public were invited into the camp, they took the opportunity with gusto, and the atmosphere was carnivalesque. As the loud music from the speakers which welcomed the players on the pitch subsided, the cheers from the locals in the stands swelled up to fill the vacuum. The players were immediately at home, and delighted in spending time signing autographs and posing for photos with fans.

Custódio spoke warmly to the media about the welcome Portugal had received from Opalenica, and the attachment was clear. Spain left their camp in northern Poland behind, proceeding directly to Kiev after winning the semi-final. Had Portugal emerged victorious from that penalty shoot-out in Donetsk, they would have returned to Opalenica to prepare for the final. It really was their home from home while at Euro 2012. 
Comments (3)
serial killer
3 Friday, 20 July 2012 13:33
Bento looks like he is going to rush the photographers and eat people
for winning more hearts
2 Sunday, 15 July 2012 05:19
i think this is the formation best suited to portugal in wc 2014.
Lopez pepe alves coentravo
Quaresma fernandez moutinho nani
vaz te
its a 4-4-1-1 with ronaldo in a free role as a second striker.
bruma,veloso,meireles or viana cavaliero
Bruno Alves
1 Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:11
It looks like Bruno Alves had something .... or someone on his mind during the photo. Lol.

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