UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Bruno Varela keeps Portugal smiling

Portugal goalkeeper Bruno Varela said he was thrilled to be playing with a "very united team" who are progressing well on the road to a possible first Under-19 title in Lithuania.

Bruno Varela is keen to enjoy Under-19 success with Portugal
Bruno Varela is keen to enjoy Under-19 success with Portugal ©Sportsfile

With his team set for a UEFA European Under-19 Championship semi-final against Serbia, Portugal goalkeeper Bruno Varela took time out to tell UEFA.com about his footballing beginnings, role models and the importance of team spirit.

UEFA.com: You are now an SL Benfica goalkeeper, but where did your career begin?

Bruno Varela: I started out playing in my neighbourhood when a couple of guys from local club [UD] Ponte Frielas saw me and asked me to sign up. I was really proud to represent them and have many good memories from my time there. They helped me so much during the first steps of my career.

UEFA.com: Who do you look up to in the game?

Bruno Varela: My biggest idol is Petr Čech from Chelsea FC. I have been watching him for a long time and I like the way he plays. My role model is Benfica's senior goalkeeper Artur. I work with him every day and it's a real pleasure to do so.

UEFA.com: What does it mean to you to play for your country at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship?

Bruno Varela: It's a huge motivation to take part in this tournament. Reaching the final stages of youth football is a great achievement and playing here is amazing. It's the best thing that can happen to us as athletes.

UEFA.com: What do you do in between games when you are not training here in Lithuania?

Bruno Varela: I like to play the PlayStation with my team-mates. We also listen to music or surf the internet. I listen to different kinds of music. I like Kizomba [Angolan dance music] and afro house, for example. There is always somebody different who puts the music on in the dressing room before games. Carlos Mané and Rudinilson [Silva] chose what to listen to before our first game against Spain.

UEFA.com: Who is the joker in the team?

Bruno Varela: João Cancelo is the worst; Fábio Cardoso too. I guess I am also. I like to put my team-mates in a good mood. Obviously, I am closer with my Benfica colleagues here, but I get along with everyone. We have a very united team at these finals.

UEFA.com: What are your footballing goals?

Bruno Varela: I am still at the start of my career, but my goal is to get as far as possible in the game and I am going to work hard in order to achieve that.

Selected for you