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“I trained the right side…it didn't matter” ::

“I trained the right side…it didn't matter” ::

Before he became a regular at Sporting, with Ruben Amorim, it seemed that Joao Palenha would be just a promise to Alcochete that would go untapped. Between loans (Moreirense, Belenenses and Braga) and seasons in which he almost did not play, the midfielder recalled the difficult times he spent at the club, especially during the Jorge Jesus “era”.

“There were certain moments when I had doubts that things would go well. I also went through difficult processes and I remember that in my first years at Sporting and the first team I spent a year and a half practically without playing, at that time with Jorge Jesus, meaning that I felt that my role within that team was not important. “I remember I was coaching right-backs and centre-backs and I felt like they weren't giving me the value I deserved, even though I was still a kid,” the current Fulham player said, in the podcast 1 PARA 1: Written by journalist Pedro Pinto.

Ballena and Jorge Jesus were in the main squad of Sporting in the 16/17 and 17/18 seasons, and in the first half of the first year the midfielder was at Restelo, on loan. During this period, which was a season and a half, the player played only 18 matches. A two-season loan to Braga followed, a decision that, according to the Portuguese international, changed the course of his career.

“When I moved from Sporting to Braga, when I was on loan for two years, fortunately things started to go well, and that's when I started to think I could go far, in other words, that flame was lit again inside me. Then the national team came.” “And I was a national champion at Sporting. I won many titles at the club in the following years I spent there with Ruben Amorim. In other words, people got to know a different Joao than he had at Sporting in the first years, and so did I.”

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Joao Palinha