Welinton Júnior, now with South Korean side Gangwon, remembers the moment he lived in 2021/22, playing for Portimonense
« Scoring against Benfica is not easy at all, it’s something you never forget. If you score a goal, it’s forever », confesses Welinton Júnior to O JOGO from Gangwon, in distant South Korea, just a few days before Portimonense welcomes the Eagles (Sunday, 6pm).
The Brazilian striker left the Algarve team in June, after being the team’s top scorer in the last two seasons, and, amidst the nostalgia he already feels, he remembered the goal scored against the Reds in 2021/22. « Facing Benfica is always special and, in the case of a striker, the desire is to score. In that game, it worked. Carlinhos made a great pass, I isolated myself and beat Vlachodimos », says Welinton, who, despite the defeat (1-2), preserve the moment with charm. « And now we have Carlinhos back in perfect shape! It will be precious and will help a lot », he highlights, alluding to his compatriot’s brace that gave him the victory in Guimarães.
Despite the distance, the forward follows Portuguese football and the Algarve’s career, having no doubt that this first victory in the championship « is extremely important », as it « gives more confidence and motivation to the group » on the eve of hosting Benfica , an opponent who « is always powerful, beyond the results he may obtain ».
Welinton guarantees that Portimonense has « the conditions to score » and calls for a fundamental attitude. « In games like this, I used to say that we have to worry a lot about concentration. That’s it. It’s a game that everyone wants to play, especially at home. But, I repeat, you can’t make a mistake. »
The Brazilian adds that « Paulo Sérgio transmits all the confidence to the squad and, as an intelligent coach that he is, he is preparing an appropriate strategy to surprise Benfica ». In his opinion, « the coach studies his opponent very well and puts into practice the work he insists on during the week, often with good results », highlights Welinton.
In a brief overview of these months in South Korea, the player says he is enjoying the experience, on a sporting and personal level. « My daughter attends an international school and is very happy. »