The midfielder said, on Wednesday, a funny episode that occurred after the Liverpool match, while calculating the first day of the English Premier League.
After years at Sporting – punctuated by loans to Moreirense, Belenenses and Braga – Joao Balenha has decided to take another step in his career this season and venture into the Premier League, signing Marco Silva with Fulham. The differences between the Portuguese and English leagues are many, and even after a month and a half in England, the Portuguese midfielder already has good stories to tell. First, the debut against Liverpool, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
“The way we started is always good. Here it’s like Sporting Benfica or Sporting FC Porto every week. If they told us before we were going to draw against Liverpool, I’d say it was good, but in the end, I didn’t feel completely satisfied, the atmosphere here is different. I was a little nervous. The thing is, because it was my first home game. I felt a different anxiety. Fortunately it went well. I tried to motivate myself my way up and remember how hard I worked to be at a level it was always my dream to play in the Premier League and to be among the best,” he began Saying in an interview with Channel 11, admitting that he ended up coming home… with his wardrobe.
“After the match, in Portugal, we used to give an interview and leave. It’s not like that here. We finished the match and were still talking to about five TV channels. Then they called me to talk on the radio. We didn’t talk to the radios. I didn’t like it because in the end I came out.” And the club bus wasn’t there anymore. It wasn’t waiting for me. I thought ‘Great, so no one waited for me?! ‘. I had to take a tour but it’s funny moments. For example, Bruno Fernandez has already told me that at the end of the games I can go home. And I saw some of my colleagues doing it. In Portugal this was unimaginable. Here the mentality is different,” he said between laughter.
Although he has made no secret of his dream of playing in the Premier League, Joao Balenha – who recalled the training he had done at Benfica in the youth teams and the disappointment of having received no response – admitted that when he received the proposal from Fulham, he did. Don’t accept it right away. On the contrary, because leaving Sporting was a decision that cost him dearly.
“My goal was to play in the Premier League. In addition, the fact that there was a Portuguese coach for Fulham helped. We spoke two or three times on the phone and that was very important to me. The manager knew me, knew my potential, it was the time to leave Sporting. Cycle closed I think Hulk himself thought about that too. As far as I know, I only had a suggestion from Fulham. He came to me and what motivated me the most. It wasn’t an easy decision. I didn’t say yes right away. My goal was to play in the Premier League, but I didn’t. It wasn’t easy to change the club that made me a player, where I grew up. At Sporting, he was a good choice. Robin Amorim will always be a very special coach for me.”
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