“TWe had Pepe, who is a monster, in a good way, and he will continue to be, I’m sure, also Fábio Cardoso, who was a revelation, because in all games he always flourished . And we had Mbemba, who went to the pendulum,” explained the manager of Porto.
The Congolese center, however, wanted “a clean salary of seven million euros” to continue.
“When a player, whoever he is, asks a club like FC Porto, or any Portuguese club, for seven million clean euros, I think it would be nicer to say: ‘Listen, I can’t go on, I have other goals and I really enjoyed being here”. And I entered his life,” explained the Porto manager.
With Mbemba’s farewell, FC Porto needed to “find a central defender who would give the maximum guarantee” and “the coach [Sérgio Conceição] gave the approval, no doubt, to David Carmo.”
“From there it was necessary to negotiate with António Salvador, which is always difficult. The clause was 40 million euros, there were offers of 30, which did not materialize because the player was not also not very interested in going to certain clubs,” said.
For Pinto da Costa – who was “impressed by the player’s character and posture”, like Sérgio Conceição -, “it was a great acquisition.
“Now it has to be demonstrated in practice. But I am convinced that we have signed a player who will be in the national team for many years,” said the Porto president, devaluing criticism of the clauses which are worth silver at Sporting. de Braga for David’s titles, Carmo for the “dragons”.
As for the departures, Pinto da Costa assumed he was unhappy with the farewells of Vítor Ferreira ‘Vitinha’ and Fábio Vieira, sold to Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal respectively, but downgraded a possible break in the team for this reason.
“All of them have cost me, with a few exceptions, if they don’t behave like FC Porto. I remember one day, at the same time, we lost João Moutinho and James Rodríguez. Losing two of those players is what creates a great shock for the team, but, with the same spirit as always, and with the finishing touches, FC Porto continued to be champions”, he recalled.
Goals for 2022/23 are to keep winning: “You can’t think we’ve done it before and we want to stay here. We have to want it. The goal has to be to do more. We have to think high voice. as we have seen lately, we will achieve the objectives. I agree with Pepe, this year we have to do better and we will do better”.
“I think there’s always been a positive mentality at FC Porto. I don’t remember finding teams at FC Porto that didn’t have that mentality, because whoever doesn’t have that mentality, the one who is not demanding with himself and with others, and does not have high goals, he cannot be at FC Porto”, he underlined.
For the moment, the Porto manager considers that the club has “a formidable workforce”, but does not rule out reinforcements, “if there is an opportunity”, and rejects “foolishness”.
“Clubs can’t think now that for having given 20 million euros to Sporting de Braga, we are going to give 10 million to any individual. We have our feet on the ground, we are aware that we have a good team and we have a coach who knows how to get the most out of the players’ performances”, he guaranteed.