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Portugal's Tatiana Pinto on returning to England for Women's EURO, her team's ambitions and the key to a good breakfast

"I hope that we can bring some sun in July to England," the midfielder told the official Women's EURO TikTok account as her side prepare to return to the nation where she once played with Bristol City.

Tatiana Pinto in action for Portugal
Tatiana Pinto in action for Portugal Getty Images

Portugal midfielder Tatiana Pinto sat down for a chat with the @womensfootball team and talked through her team's prospects at their second way as well as revealing her fondest footballing memory and the key to a great training camp breakfast.

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What’s the mood like in the Portugal camp?

We are all very excited because I think this tournament this summer is huge. The [stadiums] are full, so we are all very excited and happy to be there. It’s like coming back home because I spent almost two years in Bristol, so of course, it’s a special club for me because Bristol was where I changed my mindset. Before that, I didn’t expect to be a pro, so I had a lot of players around me that made me think: “OK, I can do it; I want to be a pro.” So, I’m very thankful to them.

I can tell [my team-mates about] the weather [in England] because it’s crazy. You can have winter, summer all on the same day. But I hope that we can bring some sun in July to England.

Tatiana Pinto celebrates a win at the 2017 finals
Tatiana Pinto celebrates a win at the 2017 finalsSPORTSFILE

How will you prepare for your games against Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden?

Well, we are just training a lot, very hard, very tough, getting fit, getting prepared step by step. I’ve never had the opportunity to play against the Netherlands, so I’m very curious because I’ve already played against Switzerland and Sweden, so I really know what to expect.

How would you describe this Portugal team?

We as a team have a mix of experience and very young talented players. We have some young players [who are] very good and it’s a very interesting combination. They are very simple [easygoing] kids; they try to learn from the more experienced players, so it’s very cool. And of course, as the Portugal national team, we are a team that likes to have the ball and to control the game.

Which Portugal players are your ones to watch for the finals? We have two players that might make the difference because they’re very special. I’d say Kika Nazareth. She’s very young and very talented, and I would say Andreia Norton. She was our MVP in the Portuguese league, so I think they can impress, for sure.

Tatiana Pinto at a Women's EURO 2017 press conference
Tatiana Pinto at a Women's EURO 2017 press conferenceSPORTSFILE

Do you have fond memories of playing with Portugal at Women's EURO 2017?

It was our first tournament, so of course, we were very, very nervous as a team because it was our first time. But I think we did well. I have great memories. I really enjoyed and appreciated everything. I actually had my family there watching, so that was very special.

What I [will pass on to my team-mates] is that in these kinds of tournaments, we have no space to make mistakes because all the national teams are very talented, are very well prepared, so it’s a high level. So, we need to work on our mental side, and I think that’s the most important [thing]: to get prepared for that pressure and for that environment.

What advice would you give to young players starting out in the game?

First off, they need to have fun. That’s the most important [thing]. And second, I would say dream big because it’s free, so dream and be [do it] because you never know; nothing is impossible.

Did I start out playing against boys? Yeah. Actually when I started to play football we did not have a female team for my age. So, I had to play with boys until [I was] 13 years old. But they were very cool for me; I was the only girl in the team.

Tatiana Pinto at the Women's Under-19 finals in 2012
Tatiana Pinto at the Women's Under-19 finals in 2012SPORTSFILE

What is your fondest footballing memory?

I played [in] the [2012 Women's Under-19] EUROs in Turkey. And we were in the semi-finals against Spain. We were drawing 0-0 and in the 84th minute, they scored and it was devastating. OK, I would say [that] this is sad – it is – but for us, as a national team, it was our first EURO and we got to the semi-finals, so it was a huge achievement for us. So, I am very proud of that; it was a very good moment for me.

Who is your room-mate with Portugal?

Right now, it’s Inês Pereira, the ‘keeper, and she’s such a good girl to have around. She’s very quiet. She likes to watch Netflix, to sleep, to play FIFA, also. We also talk a lot.

What's your normal footballing breakfast?

That’s an important question, yeah. Food is very important in football. Well, first out of everything: coffee with almond milk. Then, it depends on the day. Imagine: if I have two sessions in a day, of course I need to eat more carbs. So, imagining that I have two sessions in a day, I will eat, maybe, two slices of bread with eggs, cheese and a lot of fruit. Fruit is very important for me, so I’ll make a big bowl of fruit, mix it and take everything.

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