Rui Jorge on João Neves: «I hope he doesn’t come back»

Rui Jorge praised the Benfica midfielder, describing his «high-level behavior and performances» under his command in Portugal’s under-21s

The announcement of the list of 23 players for the double matchday of the under-21 National Team took place moments after Roberto Martínez announced the 26 players called up for the first team of Portugal. In this way, it was not surprising that João Neves was the main highlight of the question and answer session that followed for Rui Jorge, the under-21 national coach who did not hide his pride at seeing another of the athletes he guided in the team of hopes jumping to the main team.

Under-21 national team: Hugo Félix and two more new additions to Rui Jorge's squad

Under-21 national team: Hugo Félix and two more new additions to Rui Jorge’s squad

Portugal faces Belarus and Greece in the qualifying round for Euro 2025

«I am pleased that João Neves has moved to another level and I wish him all the best, he had an exemplary performance in this under-21 space and we are always happy to see this rise to the next level», acknowledged the coach, praising the conduct of the Benfica midfielder whenever he was under his command.

Seleção: João Neves makes his debut in Roberto Martínez’s squad

Portugal face Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Regarding what the Benfica midfielder can give to the National Team, Rui Jorge leaves that assessment to his superior, Roberto Martinez, who a few minutes earlier confirmed his call and praised him.

“That question should have been asked earlier and I think it has already been answered (he smiled). What I can say is that João Neves is a player who in this under-21 space and from what we have observed in this space, has always had high-level behavior and performances here. When this is the case, the players move to another level, they will be evaluated at another level and this will always be his selection. I hope he doesn’t come back, if he comes back he will be very well received», he assured, finally.

With regard to the double commitment against Belarus, on the 13th, in Barcelos, and Greece, four days later, Rui Jorge hopes to «show quality», win, and stay at the top of the group, avoiding unnecessary extra work.
“I have the same desire as always: to play good football, show the quality of our players and get a good result. It is important, we are at an early stage of the group and Croatia, which at the outset is the team with the greatest capacity (ed: besides Portugal) has also fulfilled its objectives», the coach also recalled.