Portugal coach Fernando Santos admitted today that the appearance of cases of covid-19 in the team had “some impact” initially, but then everything “returned to normal”, in preparation for the League of Nations football.
“At first, there is an impact. We will not shirk responsibilities. It is a problem that crosses the world. But then, everything goes back to normal. The training was normal, ”said Fernando Santos.
The national coach spoke to journalists in Cidade do Futebol, in Oeiras, at the preview conference of Sunday’s meeting against France, of the third round of Group 3 of League A of the League of Nations.
“We are one of the most tested people there is. Everyone who goes to France is negative. They did a battery of tests. It does not affect us and we are not concerned ”, stressed the Portuguese coach, who celebrates 66 years today.
In the same press conference, defender Pepe explained that all players are adapted “to the new reality” and that nothing changes when it comes to playing on the pitch.
“The world is like that and we are aware of what can happen. We are prepared for that. It is a situation that is not only in football, it is worldwide. When we enter the field we don’t think about it, we don’t think about being infected. We want to do our best ”, explained the 37-year-old.
On Friday, goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was the second player to be dismissed from the ‘quinas’ team due to a positive test for covid-19, after central defender José Fonte, who accused him of being infected on Tuesday.
The Lopes case led to changes in the program of the Portuguese team, forcing the Portuguese delegation to travel to Paris a day later than planned. If everything stays as scheduled, the European champions travel to the French capital in the afternoon.
Portugal face France on Sunday, in what will be the European champions’ return to the Stade de France, after the historic victory of 2016, in the European final, in a clash between the top two in Group 3.
In the League A group, the Portuguese and the French have six points, with the formation of ‘quinas’ having an advantage in the goal difference, while Sweden and Croatia continue without points.