Joao Jose makes his last statement as Portugal's national captain
Povoa de Varzim, Portugal, July 5, 2015 – Joao Jose, Portugal’s captain says goodbye to the national team after 256 caps.
The 37-year-old Best Middle Blocker of the 2002 World Championships was calm on the farewell after the 2015 World League Intercontinental Round game with Finland: ”I feel as if something is going away. Something is going to stop existing. Every year if there was anything guaranteed is that when May arrives I would be here. To leave is to take off the shirt, to not sing the Portuguese anthem anymore. It is complicated. I think the time when I really felt I was leaving was when I started singing the anthem. We know that when we take off the national shirt we will stop doing it. It was a decision I thought through carefully. What am I going to miss the most? The people, apart from the pleasure of representing the national team. One of the strong points of our team has always been the team spirit, our will to help each other.”
Here is what else was said after the Portugal vs Finland match:
Hugo Silva, Portugal’s coach: ”We were unable to handle the pressure and when it was gone, we played like we did in the third set. What set us back to this pressure was the quality of the reception that was very bad. We were always behind our opponent, with margins of 2-3 points. I think that this team could always play on the level showed in the third set if it improves the reception. The balance cannot be positive, but it is good to remember that we are in an extremely tough group.”
Tuomas Sammelvuo, Finland’s coach: ”We have to be pleased with the two wins achieved in Portugal. We showed that we have fantastic players, even though this World League did not go as well as we wanted. Now we are going to rest and then prepare for the European Championship.”
Eemi Tervaportti, Finland’s setter: ”Our goal was to achieve one victory and that was done in yesterday’s match. Today we were relaxed, without pressure and we won the two first sets easily and, afterwards, in the fourth set we secured the victory.”