Captain Daniel Simões said he and his Braga team-mates would "never forget these seven days" after his side won 2-1 against Leinster & Munster to win the 7th UEFA Regions' Cup on home soil in Portugal.
A rock at the heart of a hard-pressed defence in the final at the Estádio Cidade de Barcelos, Daniel Simões was thrilled to have reached the pinnacle of his career as a footballer. "It's a golden page in our history books," he told UEFA.com.
"It's possible that I still have plenty of years left in my career in football but I assure you that I will never forget all this experience, especially the moment when we lifted the trophy."
Goals from Pedro Nobre and José Fortunato, either side of a David O'Sullivan strike for the Irish side, secured the top prize in amateur football, to the delight of a healthy crowd. "I'm 27 and maybe people look at me as a veteran of the team because I'm the captain, but I still feel very young," said Daniel Simões. "I can't describe how happy I am with this win. All I can say is that this moment will stay with us for the rest of our lives."
Dito's nimble ensemble were paired with a muscular but skilful team in the decider, and Daniel Simões knew his charges had come through a tough test. "We had to fight for every single ball right until the last second," he noted. "They were worthy finalists. It only makes our win more memorable. Now each player will go back to their respective clubs and continue with their careers but they will never forget these seven days."
Meanwhile, right-back José Fortunato revealed that his exquisite chip for the winner six minutes from time came more by luck than judgement. "
I was ecstatic when I saw that I had scored but to tell you the truth I meant to cross the ball, not shoot," he told UEFA.com. "It was a surprise for me but thank god it happened and that I was able to help my team achieve its objective.
"Our aim was to win the match over 90 minutes and not to play extra time," added José Fortunato. "We played pretty well and we deserved to have our celebration and win the trophy. I haven't really taken in just how big this is for the region and the country, but I'm sure that in the future we will sit down and look back at this experience as something unique and remarkable. I feel like I'm floating on air."
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