Youth League 'perfect' for Porto
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
"This competition is perfect for our young players," said FC Porto coach Nuno Capucho after a 3-1 win over Club Atlético de Madrid, André Silva also talking to UEFA.com.
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In a contrast with the UEFA Champions League game between the clubs' senior teams later today, coaches Nuno Capucho and Roberto Fresnedoso preferred to focus on "the experience and pedigree gained" rather than the result itself after FC Porto beat Club Atlético de Madrid 3-1 in UEFA Youth League Group G.
André Silva scored twice and João Graça converted a penalty to give Porto a three-goal advantage at half-time, with Ivi's late goal nothing more than a consolation for Atlético. The home win lifts the Portuguese outfit to second in the section, three points behind leaders FK Austria Wien and level with their Spanish opponents, but what lies ahead for the future stars seems to be the most important thing.
André Silva told UEFA.com: "They were a difficult team, we knew the match wasn't over at half-time, the match only ends with the final whistle, and we kept united until the end and were able to secure this victory."
Capucho added: "This competition is perfect for our young players to test the quality of the Portuguese youth system and of our own club against some of the best European players of their age. If they are to fulfil their dreams and reach the higher stages of football then this is their first real taste of what they have to do in order to get there."
A UEFA Cup winner with Porto in 2002/03, Capucho knows exactly what he is talking about, having helped Portugal capture the 1991 FIFA U-20 World Cup on home soil. "I hope they can learn from this fantastic experience, not only on the pitch but also in dealing with the analysis and comments of the media and playing in front of bigger crowds like today," the 41-year-old added. "They need to realise that playing football is something really beautiful but never easy.
"We lost 3-0 in our first match in Austria but I think my players learned their lesson and what they did wrong. Today we were a real team and I just hope we can keep this pace in our remaining matches."
As for Fresnedoso, who as a midfielder helped Atlético win a Spanish double in 1996, he looked on the brighter side despite his team failing to pick up where they left off in the 4-2 home success against FC Zenit on 18 September. "From the organisation to the spectacle and experience that this competition gives the players, everything has been wonderful. There are only positives.
"These matches are very important for a player because they require an intensity you just can't find in our domestic league. It allows them to grow as players," explained the 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Championship runner-up.
"Of course I'm not happy with the outcome of today's game but our main goal in this competition is to gain experience and become a competitive team in all areas. For that, we have to be able to learn from our mistakes. We will go as far as we can in the Youth League."