João Mário: “We were at a great level in the Champions League, it will not be easy to repeat this year”

João Mário starred in a handful, in the 2022/23 season, both in domestic and international competitions, where he equaled the record of the historical Eusébio, of scoring in five consecutive games of the millionaire competition.

“It’s important, in a big showcase like the Champions League, to give your best, to raise your football level. For me, it was important to have a season on big stages, in decisive moments, at the level I was, because it gave me confidence, it gives me even more maturity to trust in my abilities, and I was very happy because it is not easy,” the midfielder said in an interview with UEFA.

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“We were at a great level in the Champions League, it will not be easy to repeat this year, but what we will try to do is, within our group, to do even better than last year,” he said.

Young Squad and Roger Schmidt

Young squad: “At my age, I obviously have more responsibility, I’m one of the oldest players in the squad and a team captain. It is important for our team to have young players, it is part of the identity of the Club. Having players from the lineup, and we have great talent. We have a good mix because it takes some energy and freshness, the youngsters give us that, and especially in the Champions League, it takes a lot of experience. I think it makes a lot of difference in games that hurt.”

Freedom given by Schmidt: “Yes, we (the players) have a lot of fun because there is great freedom on the pitch. Obviously, we have a tactical commitment to the mister, but it gives us a lot of freedom to put our capabilities and characteristics on the field. That makes all the difference, there is no tactical regime. As the games go on, with great displays you grow more and more, believing more and more, I think that’s our secret.”

The support in Luz: “We really like to play at home, because we know that our fans and our stadium have a giant strength, the other teams also feel it. We feel it, and it gives us extra motivation. It’s very difficult to play in our stadium, for any opponent.”

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