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Borges upbeat about Portugal chances

Published: Tuesday 26 June 2012, 9.43CET
Coach Edgar Borges is optimistic Portugal can make a positive impact at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, telling UEFA.com: "We won't write off our dream."
by Hugo Pietra
from Lisbon
Borges upbeat about Portugal chances
Portugal coach Edgar Borges ©FPF/Francisco Paraíso
Published: Tuesday 26 June 2012, 9.43CET

Borges upbeat about Portugal chances

Coach Edgar Borges is optimistic Portugal can make a positive impact at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, telling UEFA.com: "We won't write off our dream."

Following a year away, Portugal returned to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals in style after the elite round hosts topped Group 4 undefeated. In the finals, they will meet hosts Estonia, Greece and Spain in Group A, and coach Edgar Borges is upbeat about his team's chances, telling UEFA.com: "We want to qualify from the group at least, but it could be more."

UEFA.com: What are your aims for the finals? How do you rate your chances?

Edgar Borges: At the beginning of the season, we outlined a group of objectives which we want to fulfil in the European Championship finals. First of all we want to guarantee a place in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup finals. After that, we will take it step by step. 

UEFA.com: Portugal does not usually aim for the title in such a tournament. How far can you go?

Borges: We will fight to reach the semi-finals, and try and keep going after that. We won't write off our dream of being in the final and possibly winning the trophy either. However, we cannot skip stages in getting there. We have our feet on the ground. We will work very hard to represent our country with dignity.

UEFA.com: How difficult was it for you to pick the 18 players for the tournament?

Borges: These are the 18 players who brilliantly achieved qualification for the finals and are those who give me, at this moment, every guarantee to represent Portugal in the best possible way in the finals.

UEFA.com: Did you have any doubts when you had to choose the players?

Borges: As I keep saying, we had the luck to work with a vast number of quality players so it was a major but good headache when I had to draw up the list.

UEFA.com: In the elite round, Portugal beat the Republic of Ireland, Israel and Ukraine. Where do your team's strengths lie?

Borges: We showed some quality football as we were a mature team during the elite round. We played against good teams but we were better. The spirit of unity we showed means we can have some very positive thoughts for the future.

UEFA.com: Portugal will meet the hosts Estonia, Spain and Greece in the group stage of the finals. Which team are favourites in Group A?

Borges: There will be great teams playing and any one of them could be the winners. We want to play in the World Cup so our goal is to qualify from the group at least, but I think it could be more.

Last updated: 26/06/12 9.59CET

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