The Portuguese team of badminton will beat their inexperience and the favorite Netherlands in the qualification for the European championship of mixed teams to be played in Caldas da Rainha between Friday and Sunday.
Portugal, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Iceland will compete for the Group 3 winner in the finals, scheduled for February 2019 in Denmark.
"We have a very difficult group, all the teams are complicated. The Netherlands is the big favorite," said Portuguese coach Jorge Cação in a statement to Lusa.
Duarte Anjo, Bernardo Atilano, Bruno Carvalho, Tomás Nero, Sónia Gonçalves, Adriana Gonçalves, Catarina Martins and Ana Reis are the ones selected for the matches against Switzerland on Friday, the Netherlands on Saturday and Iceland in the dominion.
"The game with Switzerland can be balanced because, despite being at a level slightly above ours, we have some chances. It would be important to win this game to gain more motivation for the rest of the competition," said Cação.
Although Iceland, in the opinion of the coach, is the "most accessible team", Portugal's qualification for the European is conditioned by Dutch power and lack of international experience of Portuguese players.
"We have to be realistic," said Jorge Cação, adding: "We have a podium team," said Jorge Cação, noting that "there is a lot of competition. difference in the level of play for the Portuguese ", lacking" greater international experience, competitive pace and speed. "
Like the selector, Tomás Nero also defended that it was "unrealistic to think about the victory against the Netherlands", whose goal is to play the games to the maximum, but he placed great expectations on the other two matches, all played for the best of three ' sets'.
"We are more confident than we were two years ago in Sweden, because we are going to play at home and that helps. Switzerland is very strong in women, but in men we are more or less at the same level and we can fight and have chances. within our reach and we are going to win, "said the 25-year-old Lisbon.
In preparation for this qualifying round, the Portuguese played Wales International, scoring for the European and world rankings, and won the Welsh private match (6-3) in the last week before starting today the internship, in Caldas da Rainha.