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Monday, 18 October 2010 13:38

Paulo Machado: “I spent three thousand euros on tickets”

Insight into debut appearance in squad and being jumped by Almeida

Paulo MachadoDespite not making it onto the pitch, Paulo Machado’s first week with the Seleccao will live long in his memory.

The up-and-coming Toulouse midfielder forked out 3000 euros on tickets for friends and family… and ended up watching the Portugal versus Denmark match alongside them in the stands!
How did you find out you had been selected?
I was on the massage table almost falling asleep after training when the coach came up to me and said: “you’ve been selected for the senior Portugal team.” I didn’t believe it. Another time they had also told me the same thing but I had only been chosen for the U23 team. I went to the Internet but didn’t read the news anywhere and only when I saw it on television did I believe it. I rang my family, I was as happy as could be and I had to share it with them.
What did Paulo Bento say when you arrived at the training camp?
He congratulated me and said I was there due to my work and to continue to show that I deserve to be called up. It was good to be one of the best 23 players in Portugal. I always thought I was good enough to play for the Seleccao. It was just a matter of making that last little step, and Paulo gave me that nudge. I knew that he knew me from the youth set-up and he rated me, but that’s not enough.
And how were you received by the captain?
Well. It was good to meet him. Ronaldo is not at all like some people paint him. He congratulated me. His way of being – simple, always good humoured – impressed me. He likes joking about and I’m always in a good mood, so we get on well. People don’t know him and sometimes make things up, but in my opinion he is the very best in the world.
Is it true that you bought tickets for Portugal-Denmark, at the Estadio do Dragao, to give to your friends from the Bairro do Cerco neighbourhood of Porto?
I bought 230! I got together with my dad and we began making a list. At the end there were 130 names on it. Afterwards I rang around my cousins and when we counted again there were 200. And on the day of the match I bought another 30. I spent three thousand euros.
When you realised you wouldn’t be playing were you disappointed?
No, I can honestly say I wasn’t. For me there was no room to be sad on that day. It was the first time I was wearing the Seleccao shirt of the senior team, I just wasn’t going to get it dirty. My friends, for sure, were a bit disappointed; they’d come to watch me play, but I ended up going to the stands and watching the game with them, next to the Super Dragoes. And for part of the match everyone was looking at the stands because of the party we were having!
Did the other players know about this?
They said I was crazy, but they approved of my idea to go to the stands.
What was your initiation like?
In the changing room the normal stuff – some slaps around the head and ears… then when I was in my room watching TV on my bed they all came running in, wrapped me up in some towels so I wouldn’t escape and jumped on top of me. Having Eduardo and Hugo Almeida on top of you is not a comfortable situation!
Was it good to meet up with friends?
Yes, on one occasion we were reminiscing about the times from the U21s and FC Porto and I saw that I was surrounded by friends. Only Quaresma was missing.
In Iceland you made it onto the bench?
Yes, there I thought I may get on for a few minutes, as I knew it was likely a midfielder would come on, but it was Tiago. I wasn’t annoyed. We were winning and I know that sometimes you don’t have to necessarily play to help the team.
What was it like getting back to Toulouse?
It was fine and calm. My team-mates congratulated me on Portugal winning the two games and told me the time will come for my opportunity and not to be disappointed at not having played.
Why did you make a point of thanking Toulouse?
Because I’m happy at Toulouse, I like playing here a lot. It’s a competitive championship and I think that the club is also happy with me. If that wasn’t the case they wouldn’t have extended my contract until 2015. I’ve already got friends here and there are emigrants helping me settle. The president of the club even told me that there are now more Portuguese coming to watch our games. The Portuguese always support players who play for the Seleccao even more.
Do you keep track of the Portuguese league?
Always. I’ve got to see how FC Porto are getting on and I like what I’ve seen. I think they will be champions, but it won’t be easy because Benfica also have a good squad and they should improve. But there’s nobody like Hulk. If he wants, he’ll score 20 goals this season no problem. And Falcao is also fantastic. Sporting play well, but sometimes that’s not enough.

by Tom Kundert – Translated and abridged version of interview published in the Diário de Notícias, 15/10/10. Original author, Isaura Almeida
Comments (9)
no phone call?
9 Tuesday, 19 October 2010 08:48
Nice interview but a shame that he had to find out about his seleccao call-up via a colleague and then by tv to get confirmation.

Why couldn't Bento have called him up personally and told/congratulated him a day/several hours before the squad was publically announced?

Not a big deal, I know, but a sign perhaps that Bento isn't exactly a great communicator.
Good attitude and going from strength to strength
8 Tuesday, 19 October 2010 08:04
Machado has been steadily improving and remained a consistent player in a Toulouse team that has progressed in a similar way. He deserves his call up and will no doubt get his debut in one of the upcoming friendlies. Bento is not going to test around too much but I can see him test the ones who've been on the bench of late, esp machado. Good attitude too!

@Nathan/USA - no need to eff England; we'll just beat them next time we play them. God I love when Portugal beats England!
230 tickets...
7 Monday, 18 October 2010 21:28
Man it sure is a good thing he bought all those tickets... because the stadium was half empty... imagine how bad it would've been if it wasn't for his genorosity!
Seems decent enough
6 Monday, 18 October 2010 20:22
Has respect for the team and the process, hopefully he can progress to a bigger club soon and be noticed by the higher-ups. Portugal's midfield is a tough nut to crack though, with Moutinho, Meireles, Tiago, Micael, Veloso, etc..
good interview
5 Monday, 18 October 2010 18:27
I especially liked the comments about Ronaldo. It's very peculiar how only the media portrays Ronaldo poorly, wouldn't you say? All of his teammates and even his adversaries speak very highly of him and respect him greatly. The negativity cast by the media, especially the British media, is written out of ignorance, jealousy, or simply as a selling point. It's all lies. It's just easier to dump on a character as well recognized as Ronaldo. Eff the media, and eff England too, ha.
sporting comment.
4 Monday, 18 October 2010 16:18
"Sporting play well, but sometimes that’s not enough"

nice backhanded compliment.... :)
Well spoken
3 Monday, 18 October 2010 16:11
I'm in the same boat as gomes, I didn't know much about him. After this interview I'm hoping he get a shot at one point.

Its always cool to get some inside info on what life is like, epically in the early stages when a player has those first few days with the team.
2 Monday, 18 October 2010 14:19
i agree, hes got a great attitude for someone that hasnt gotten to play yet.... he'll get his playing time, hes a talented young player.
Great Attitude
1 Monday, 18 October 2010 13:56
It's great to hear from what seems to be a well grounded player, that's always trying to improve.
You have to always have the belief that you can play for the Seleccao, but never stop evolving and improving.
I admit that I really didn't know much about him, but am now glad to see that he got an opportunity, and hopefully can earn more in the near future.

Great Interview!

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