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The time is right for the next step::

The time is right for the next step::

One of the best midfielders in the Primeira Liga lives in Moreira de Conejos. Gonzalo Franco, 23 years old, player of the tournament. Numbers don't deceive: there's a reward for consistency Zero zeroThe only Portuguese midfielder with higher numbers is Joao Neves: Speaking of the Benfica midfielder, Franco, in this exclusive interview with our portal, is considered “similar” to the Algarve player.

Gonçalo Franco goes through the biggest national crests and the main crests from other leagues, analyzing Minho's excellent season and giving some clues about the future. One thing is already certain: this is the time to change gears to a higher stage.

The contract with Moreirense expires in June 2025 and the Canons will always have a say. It is worth noting that Zerozer wrote in January That Benfica was one of the most enthusiastic teams for the son of the historic Pedro Franco, a center with signed credits in the 1990s.

[A PARTE II será publicada durante a tarde desta segunda-feira. Nela, Gonçalo fala sobre a família, a passagem pelo FC Porto e a história desconhecida entre o pai e… Cristiano Ronaldo]

Zero Zero – a provocation to start a conversation. Gonzalo's goals have been saved in the last two matches. Just a coincidence or is there an explanation?

Goncalo Franco – I saved the best for last (laughs). All players want to score goals, and I'm no exception to the rule, and it happened to be two good goals. Everyone makes fun of me, but above all I'm very happy about the good season. I could have scored more goals, yes, but I'm proud.

zz – Have there been any position changes in the last few games?

gf – No, I've been playing the same way since the beginning of the year, looking for goals, assists, and doing my best on the pitch. She scored a goal against Casa Pia in the penultimate match and was crucial in reaching 52 points and equaling Moreirense's best result. In the last match, I had a moment of inspiration and scored a great goal from outside the penalty area.

zz – He was the Moreirense player with the most minutes, the most appearances, and the best scoring average. Is this the best time in your career, when you reach ideal maturity?

gf – Yes, I can consider it my best season. The data is clear. In a team full of quality, I have these very good numbers. I've had great seasons before, even in League Two I think it was a great year. But in this tournament we got an excellent rating and beat the club record of points, entering the history of Moreirense. I have never reached 55 points. I am very happy about this recognition.

zz – Rui Borges was a coach unknown to many people. Was his work a surprise to you as well?

gf – Yes, it was a pleasant surprise for everyone. I didn't know him. I played against them in League Two, but in pre-season we realized that the season was going to be positive. We had a very good season.

zz – What surprised you most about Ruy Borges?

gf – The way he runs the group. This is essential. I've had coaches who didn't do it the best way, in my opinion. The coach showed how he would handle the matter and announced it to all the players. It moved me, I was really impressed with the way he was able to do it.

zz – What did Rui Borges ask of a midfielder like Gonzalo on the field?

gf – The manager asked everyone who played in that position to always do the same. Hence, it is the player's characteristics that make the difference. I was asked to bring balance to the team and show up in the finishing areas. This was the general request. The rest were moments of inspiration, always aimed at helping the team.

zz – The collusion with Ofori and Alanzinho was clear, even after Castro's entry in January. This good performance of the “engine room” was key.

gf – I played with Ofori and Alanzinho in Serie B, and things went very well, we knew each other already on the pitch. Castro's arrival has been good, he has adapted perfectly, he has quality and experience. The manager quickly explained what was needed.

zz – Did Moreirense have a good locker room this year?

gf – We had a great group. In the past I had teammates who didn't play and the way they interacted with the players changed. This happened to me too. The key this year was: those who weren't called up were left out and in the first training session of the week they were with us, training as if they had played. It's the details that make the difference and are the key to success. Al-Roy [Borges] He knew how to motivate those who did not play.

zz – The team seems to be adapting well to what the matches require. I didn't die holding on to an idea.

gf – We prepared the matches very well. The technical staff did a great job with competitor videos, for example. We always knew where we could hurt the opponent. One of the training sessions this week was all about talking and explaining everything clearly. It was a more relaxed training session, with the manager telling us where and how we could hurt the team on the other side. Another reason to praise the manager.

zz – Joao Neves was the only Portuguese midfielder to have a higher rating than Gonzalo in La Liga, here at zero. Were you surprised by the data?

gf – By chance I was (laughs). It is a reflection of my daily work. My career is very short, there's no time to waste and I'm very focused on this. I was very happy to find out about this.

zz – There are even those who compare him to Joao Neves. Are there similarities between the two or do you differ?

gf – We are two similar players. They're both short (laughs). We love having the ball, and yes, I can consider myself similar to him. Only the club changes (laughs), and it's not the same.

zz – Given all this data, is it a good time to take a new step in your career this summer?

gf – Yes, no doubt. We all dream, we all want to reach the highest level. It's time to take a new step, seize this moment. Take it easy, things will happen.


“I will take it easy and make the right decision.”

zz – There are several invitations. Is it nice to know that you're not limited to just one path?

gf – I have several options and will consider what is best for me. My family was always with me and gave me advice, and my managers Pedro Cordero and Moreira de Sa were always with me. They advised me to calm down, they told me that everything would happen at the right time, and the truth was that I had several options and I would choose what was best for me.

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zz – In modern football, everything goes so fast, you don't enjoy your career in the same way. We have already seen Gonzalo's name linked to Benfica, FC Porto, SC Braga, and many more clubs. How did Gonzalo manage this emotionally?

gf – I don't change my way of being. We like to receive good news, and I'm proud to see my name associated with all these clubs, it's very good. I'm very happy, but I try to be the same person and get along with everyone. I don't have many enemies (laughs). I will be calm and make the right decision at the right time.

sIn this national team tournament for Euro 24, it was still early for me

Gonzalo Franco

zz – When choosing a new club, what are your concerns? The team's playing style, coach's name, working conditions, sports project? In addition to the financial aspect, of course.

gf – I like to research everything and understand the project. I'm going to take a new step now and I don't want to stop there. I want to understand the steps that need to be taken so that I can reach the best clubs in the world. I see everything about this club.

zz – Can you imagine being part of the next cycle of selection? Roberto Martinez usually talks about a group of 50/60 players.

gf – Yes Yes. My business has grown, I'm better known and I have this goal. If you keep doing things well, things can happen. I have a goal, which is to join the national team.

zz – In Zerozero we have two matches for Gonzalo for the U20 national team. Do you confirm this data?

gf – Exactly, I've been summoned to Lexus. I did not expect. I hope to go back there. At that moment I wanted to say so many things and nothing came out. I was very nervous, I can admit that (laughs). To be among the best in my country is the best. I still struggle to find the right words, it was an honor.

zz – In this cycle, which now ends with Euro24, is it still too early for you?

gf – I think so. There are players who are still better than me. But I know my day job will take me to the A team.