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FC Porto became national champion and the players were thrilled after the victory over Sporting, 2-0

It was a night of glory at Estádio do Dragão. FC Porto won the Portuguese championship, for the 29th time in this competition, and reached the achievement in great style. In a classic against Sporting, the tie would have been enough for the team led by Sérgio Conceição to win Liga NOS, but the blue and whites did even better and won 2-0 against the team from Alvalade. At the end of a memorable victory, the players responsible for the achievement were the mirror of the joy felt by the entire blue and white nation, which, due to the pandemic, was unable to celebrate with the legends.

Danilo Pereira
“I had been waiting for this moment for a long time. Fortunately, I had the pleasure of scoring this goal. It was a tremendous feeling. Becoming champion like this is great. The fans weren’t here, but I’m sure everyone is happy at home. Thank you for the support, we are all together. It wasn’t easy, we knew that from the start, but, deep down, what helped win this match and this title was the union of the group, of everyone. No matter what people say, and that we weren’t well, the group remained united. We always knew this moment could come, and, fortunately, here it is. It wasn’t a consistent season, I know this, but I knew this moment would happen. I’m confident in myself, and I want to thank all those who supported us in these difficult time, those are the real fans. Thank you to this group as well, as they were always by my side. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy championship, every team is starting to prepare better for the big matches. I think this championship is getting harder by the year, and we need to stay united, to reach more moments like this. The feeling is always great. Like I said, the fans weren’t here, but I’m sure everyone is happy. Those outside, those watching from the TV, they are happy for what we did. They know it wasn’t easy, but we always had their support and that’s important for us. The fans know we are going through a difficult moment. They behaved during the celebrations of São João, and I believe they will behave now. Like I said, the moment isn’t easy for anyone. We need to be careful, and the fans will be.”

Pepe
 “The team deserved praising for the work done, not just for this match. Even though Sporting is in a great moment, we were able to counter their weapons. The spirit of sacrifice of the team was obvious. Over a year working without stopping, even with this situation with Covid-19, the club and the coach chose to not stop. We had work to do at home and we always respected that, with the objective of becoming champions. I think we should all be congratulated today. Not just the players, but everyone that is part of FC Porto, the fans included. Above all, the union we feel, the players know that they represent a very important region of the country and we all deeply identify with the North. We all carry a little of the region. In the moments of sacrifice on the pitch, we all have that little extra strength needed to overcome the difficulties on the pitch. If I’m not mistaken, in that first match, against Gil Vicente, I stated that we lose together and that we would win together. Tonight proves that. Tonight, we won together. The entire club and the fans, for always believing it was possible, from the start, and tonight is for them. We never rested, we always worked. Many decided on taking fifteen days off, but our coach, together with the group... We won. We can talk of many things, but when we had those conversations, on video call, about what we could improve - we had a lot of time to discuss that -, we talked about the teams that would face us with five defenders. We had time to talk, both the players and the coaches, about what we thought and could improve. Then we always worked to progress. In football, that’s always hard, but we always try to progress. The spirit we had, our coach’s belief, even when we were seven points behind... He would tell us to keep working as we were doing, because we would become champions, and here we are.”

Alex Telles
“This was the hardest season, in every way. We were seven points behind, many people threw in the towel for us, but we knew we could make it. We always believed in ourselves, and now everyone can celebrate. With respect for our work, for our leader, who never let anyone give up. He told us to keep working like this. It would be a blasphemy to not win the championship, with this team, and after all we worked for. The strongest squad would win, and we never stopped believing. Everyone’s focus was on work. We knew that we would play again, and our staff did everything they could to keep us fit. FC Porto is a great club, they let us go around our life, but everyone supported us during the quarantine. That’s why we came back strong, and the work we did during confinement was amazing.”

Marchesín
“I am very happy. The team shows great union, strong bonds. I am happy that we are together in this, celebrating. The fans on the street, and at the hotel, they were always with us. They remained in the distance, but they were with us, always respecting the safety rules, and that was important. I am happy, but we have to keep working, we have an important match against Benfica, and we always want more. FC Porto always wants more, and there is that big match to go. We always believed, we knew we would face them and that it would be an important match.”

Wilson Manafá
“It was a difficult championship, but, with our strong spirit, we became champions. Last season, we also deserved to be champions, but this time we did it. I come from a humble town, and, if anyone had told me I would become champion, I wouldn’t have believed it. I still can’t believe it. I have no words. I can’t explain it. I fought hard to be in these stages. Becoming champion is the icing on the cake.”

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