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Eloy: the young Portuguese who has an NFL dream of a scholarship

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Eloy: the young Portuguese who has an NFL dream of a scholarship

* Thiago Antunes

There is a 16 year old Portuguese boy who makes the American Dream come true. Guilherme Eloy, footballer of the Lisboa Lions, a team affiliated with Clube Desportivo Olivais e Moscavide, will study and play at Rabun Gap High School in Georgia. Thus, it will be the first Portuguese language to cross the Atlantic with a proposal to use this method.

But the oval ball was not always chosen. Guilherme started playing football at the age of four, later moved to futsal, but his physical size proved to be a problem for integration.

I played futsal in children’s games and was always above everyone else. In training, I worked only in physical form on the orders of the coach, they were afraid that I would harm others, and in games I even had to show a citizen’s card, it was a long process, ”he recalls. More football

Shortly thereafter, American football appeared. Although there was little confidence, Guilherme accepted the challenge.

“I decided to stop playing futsal and after a few days went to play football. I admit, I was afraid, they were all older, but they always tried to include me on the team. When I was afraid of contact, I was told not to give up, not to be afraid. I have something to thank my colleagues for, ”the young man admits.

Pedro Estevez, director of the Lisboa Lions football section of Desportivo Olivais e Moscavide, admits that he was surprised when he first saw Guilherme and believes in the young man’s success in the United States, although the dream is very difficult to come true.

“Get into the NFL the same amount. We have to be realistic and realize that this is difficult. In truth, I was very impressed when I saw him. The father sent a message that he wants to try himself in football. They told me it was big, but I didn’t know it was that big. When I saw him, I thought, “Oh my god, if this is the case at that age, when he turns 18, he will become a monster in the field.” I was thrilled and impressed when I saw him as a 14 year old trained with 20-30 year olds, and he was not scared. I didn’t know the rules well, but I wasn’t afraid, ”Pedro Estevez recalls.

Guilherme knew little about the sport at the time, but he gained practical skills even through video games.

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“American football is not as popular in Portugal as football or futsal. I think this is largely due to the fact that the media focuses only on football. This closes the doors to existing sports. American football has existed here for at least 12 years. This news from my adventure will give people a new perspective on American football in Portugal. Even scouts visit Portugal to see new players. Everything will change, ”Guilherme said.

The American adventure is about to begin, but it began to take shape a year and a half ago while playing at Lola.

“The negotiations date back to the end of 2019, when Guilherme played against the Algarve Sharks. He ran well, won the best tackle in the game, and was above average for his age. There was an American coach who saw potential in him and asked me to upload a video. He understands that he has many opportunities for development, ”says his father Nuno Eloy.

Joe Sturdivant, coach of the Rabun Gap school, did not rest until he hired a Portuguese player.

“The coach recognized his qualities. He said that Guilherme moves his waist well, that he keeps his hands on the ground well, that he has good technique. What we do not see. He immediately asked what Guilherme’s grades were and I explained that he was always very developed, he was on the school’s honors list and the grades were always excellent, ”says the father, who has a strong connection with sports: he is the president of Futebol Club Prior Valu and CTO of the neighboring Sociedade Recreativa Catujalense.

Despite the American interest in William, the financial hurdle had to be bypassed. And the first approach did not justify itself.

“They couldn’t offer a $ 105,000 scholarship, so they only offered $ 55,000 in their first meeting. This amount was not enough, and the money that we, the parents, had to give, was unbearable. But they promised to talk to us again. The school insisted and showed that Guilherme is no longer a player, he is the player they want to have. They ultimately increased the value of the bag, despite having to do our part out of our pocket, with a more affordable cost. Some acquaintances also helped financially, including our bosses when they found out about his story, ”explains Nuno Eloy.

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Routine focused on professionalism, without the usual warmth

With less than a month left, the 16-year-old is promising to “spend as much time as possible with friends and family,” with whom he will be away for a year. Nostalgia is the biggest problem, but the change of country is not scary.

“I have always liked English, but I will improve. Here in the classrooms we can think in Portuguese and speak in English, but there I have to think in English and speak in English. I have already talked to some of the new friends, they were very welcoming, congratulated me on my scholarship. It will be a rich experience, ”he said.

The father does not hide his sadness, although she is shrouded in great pride.

“Now we are upset because we will lose our son for a year. Now he only returns in May, he doesn’t even spend Christmas at home. But at the same time, we are glad that he is going his own way, ”says Nuno.

“I’m still not sure about the schedule, but I’ve already talked to some of my future colleagues and they told me that they wake up at five in the morning, shower and eat breakfast, and then go to class. Then they have lunch, in the afternoon they start with a workout in the gym, and two hours later they go to the field. The day has passed. I left here at seven in the morning for a run, but on my own initiative. There is a must, so the day begins. This is something more professional, ”he suggests.

The young athlete does not hide his motivation, despite the learned plan B.

“Now I go to ‘high school’ and get a scholarship. The players at the university are already professionals, they receive a salary. There’s always a professional course out there that opens the doors. If I am not called for a “call”, I always have a professional course in stock. I would like to study law and criminal justice and this may be my way out. The European Football League is also interesting, there are clubs that pay very reasonable salaries, four or five thousand euros a month, salaries of big businessmen here in Portugal, ”Guilherme said.

Guilherme believes that it is for those playing the “defender” whose function is to command the defense and interfere with the opposing quarterback.

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“One of the things I try to be better at is leadership. Since I am in the center of the line looking at the ball, I have to give instructions to my defenders. I want them to trust me, to be happy with me as the core of the family. We are together for what comes and goes. From a technical point of view, I’m better at punching the line, capturing the quarterback well, trying to interfere with the pass, I need to get there quickly so he doesn’t miss the pass, ”the young man explains.

Vita Wea is the player that Guilherme chooses as a benchmark in the NFL and his favorite team is the Las Vegas Raiders, but before moving to the US, the young man from Pauvois de Santa Iria received advice from another athlete who embodies the American dream: basketball player Nehemiah Keta.

“He told me that I have to stay focused, never give up, always be focused, work hard and study a lot. These were wise words. He is from Vale da Amoreira. This is not my zone, but it came from a reality similar to mine. He managed to stand out here, he immediately went to university and will now join the NBA, he will be the first Portuguese to play there. This is something inspiring, ”says Guilherme.

Aloy doesn’t just live a dream on her own behalf. This fuels the ambitions of young people who are going against the trend and playing sports that are little recognized in Portugal.

“I am very glad that we were able to open this door for Guilherme. He is the perfect embodiment of what is possible. This is their elite sport, and their achievement at such a young age is impressive, ”says the director of Lisboa Lions.

“It can be difficult, we will always have adversity, but just work, stay focused and follow the right path. It turns out that this is a good way to popularize sports in Portugal, because very few people do not know that there is football in our country. Guilherme can become the brand of American football in Portugal, ”says Pedro Estevez.

The suitcase is almost full. Guilherme Eloy is aiming for the NFL.

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Marseille in California. ″Where the Portuguese is, there is Portugal″

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Marseille in California.  ″Where the Portuguese is, there is Portugal″

“You are the future,” President Marcelo Rebelo de Souza told a three-year-old girl dressed in traditional Portuguese clothing who came out to greet him on the podium where he spoke at Artesia Portuguese Salon. The city, located on the outskirts of Los Angeles, has not hosted the President of the Portuguese Republic since 1989. This weekend, he did it with pomp and the setting of an ornate Portuguese-American community bursting with pride.

“We have never lost the honor and responsibility of being representatives of this beautiful flag,” said Jimmy Enes, a member of Artesia DES, a Portuguese descendant, in a welcoming speech delivered in perfect Portuguese. “When we are asked who we are, we always answer”i am portuguese“and not”Portuguese-American“or ‘Portuguese American’,” he said. “That’s why we’re trying step by step to protect our heritage on the outskirts of Los Angeles, one of the greatest cities in the world.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo is injured by the Portuguese national team and thanks the fans for their support

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Cristiano Ronaldo is injured by the Portuguese national team and thanks the fans for their support



Cristiano Ronaldo got a cut on his nose and needed a bandage (Photo: MICHAL CIZEK / AFP)

Photo: Lance!

Gratitude. It seems that the attacker Cristiano Ronaldo shared his social media with Portuguese fans after a clash with Czech goalkeeper Vaclik. In the auction, the assailant received a cut on his face and needed a bandage to stop the bleeding.

“Great game, important team win! We remain focused on our goal. Thanks to the Portuguese public for the fantastic support,” the striker wrote on his Instagram account.

The match was marked by a great performance Portugal national team, who beat the Czech Republic 4-0 to take the lead in Nations League Group 2 with ten points with one matchday to go in the group stage of the tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo ended up losing to his team.

After the match, the leader of the Portuguese national team appreciated the result achieved on the road. “It was a very important victory and all teammates should be congratulated on the result,” commented the 37-year-old striker.

With three wins, one draw and one defeat, the Portuguese team has the best attack in their group with eleven goals scored and a net difference of nine. The team is one draw away from qualifying for the tournament series. The next match against Spain is next Tuesday in the city of Braga.

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Thomas Gouveia remains the best Portuguese in the Swiss Challenge

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Thomas Gouveia remains the best Portuguese in the Swiss Challenge

Writing with Lusa

Tournament of the second European circuit.

Thomas Gouveia solidified his status as the best Portuguese in the Swiss Challenge this Saturday by finishing the penultimate day of the second European round robin in a group of 31st placed golfers.

Thomas Gouveia hit the card with 73 shots, one over par on the course, after two birdies (one under par hole) and three bogeys (one over), after making 71 shots in the previous two days for a total of 215.

Thomas Bessa needed 75 hits, three over par and tied for scarecrows, he finished 48th with 218 total, five short of Vitor Lopez, 60th with 223, after today needs 78, with just one bird . to fit five scarecrows and a double scarecrow.

The Swiss Challenge, which concludes on Sunday in Folgensburg, France, is still led by France’s Chung Veon Ko with a total of 206 shots, one short of Denmark’s Martin Simonsen in second place.

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