'The Appeal of the Greatest Stages' shone at the TFS Stage
'The Appeal of the Greatest Stages'. This was the starting point for the third day of the Thinking Football Summit 2022, in a panel where Football was celebrated, composed by Fernando Meira, Ambassador of Liga Portugal, Marcos Senna, Ambassador of LaLiga, Gonçalo Uva, Senior Business Developer of APEX Capital, and Luís Freitas Lobo, sports commentator.
On the TFS Stage, Pedro Filipe Maia, Editor-in-chief of Eleven Sports, was the moderator of this morning's conference, in which Fernando Meira, Portuguese former international with vast experience in European leagues, began by making a retrospective of his career as a professional player.
"My first dream was to play at the D. Afonso Henriques Stadium, because Guimarães is my city. But the World Cup is the greatest achievement of any player. The exposure we have and the involvement of the fans in our daily lives give us extra motivation. That is indeed the time when a footballer feels most privileged," he said.
European national team and world club champion, as well as one of the protagonists of Villarreal's recent past, Marcos Senna, current Ambassador of LaLiga, was also one of the morning's highlights and had no doubts when stating that the World Cup is the most magical competition in the football universe:
"The World Cup is the best competition in the world, with many beautiful stories. It's addictive, once you play it, you always want to be there. I feel privileged because it is very difficult to be called up for this kind of competition. I am one of the few footballers who has played in the world's top tournaments and I can say it was something unexpected, but always with the aim of reaching the highest level."
But the greatest competitions are not limited to football. Gonçalo Uva, former rugby player and currently Senior Business Developer at APEX Capital, also left his testimony, valuing, above all, the rugby fans and a fortunate coincidence in the recent qualification of the National Team for the World Cup.
"Apart from a competent organisation, a big competition without fans makes no sense, because playing in a full stadium is a totally different experience and the adrenaline rush is inexplicable. Fortunately, 16 years later, Portugal will be back on the rugby world stage after drawing with the United States in the last play of the match," he explained.
Lastly, the sports commentator Luís Freitas Lobo, a profound connoisseur of the football industry, shared some of his best memories. "I belong to an older generation in which Portugal went a long time without going to major competitions and now qualify for all of them. The 2000 European Championship was the one I was most touched by, the 2006 World Cup was the one I lived most intensely and the 1984 France-Portugal match was the one that moved me the most, as I was only 13 years old and still discovering football", he said.
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