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Tatiana Pinto: “It’s important that people like Cristiano Ronaldo support us”

Key in Portugal’s historic qualification for its first World Cup, the Levante midfielder talks to AS and analyses the current season.

Tatiana Pinto: “It’s important that people like Cristiano Ronaldo support us”

Tatiana Pinto sits down with AS before matchday 20 of the Liga F (Levante face Sevilla away). The 28-year-old is a complete professional who can defend, attack and score, having bagged nine goals in 20 games for Levante and a key player for coach José Luis Sánchez Vera.

“I played with boys until I was 13 years old and I always felt like an important part of the team”. Tatiana took two seasons to reach the top flight. Since then she hasn’t looked back after spells with Albergaria (Portugal), Sand (Germany), Bristol (England), Sporting (Portugal) and since 2021, with Levante where her current contract ends in June: “I don’t know what will happen yet. What I want is to take the team to the Champions League. We deserve it”.

—How did you celebrate Portugal’s historic qualification to the World Cup?

—We had a really good party... (laughs). It was a very special moment and that’s how we celebrated it, first on the pitch and then we continued the party at the hotel. When we returned to Portugal we also celebrated with the fans, who met us. It was very cool, a moment that I will never forget.

—Did you receive any special congratulations?

—The day we arrived in Lisbon, the President of Portugal (Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa) received us and it was an immense pleasure. Also players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Bruno Fernandes congratulated us. It is important that people with such visibility in football support us.

—Have you set a goal for the World Cup yet?

—Simply to enjoy it. In April we have two very competitive friendly matches and the objective is to prepare as well as possible for the World Cup because we are in a very difficult group (USA, Netherlands and Vietnam) and only by playing against the best will we improve.

—How is women’s football in Portugal?

— It’s growing little by little. We are a little behind Spain for example. There are more and more professional teams, although the league is not totally professional yet. The national team is improving and it helps to have players with big clubs such as Diana Gomes (Sevilla), Fátima Pinto (Alavés), Andreia Jacinto (Real Sociedad)... That also helps the team grow.

—Do you see any chance of fighting for second place against Real Madrid?

—I see options of being in Champions positions: third or second, I don’t know. But we continue to work hard every day and we put everything we have into trying to secure three points in every game.

Interview with Tatiana Pinto in the Ciutat de Valéncia.
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03/03/23 Interview with Tatiana Pinto in the Ciutat de Valéncia. ALBERTO IRANZODiarioAS

—Your contract ends in June, what are your plans for the future?

— I feel very good and am very happy here. I don’t know what will happen yet. I am focused on my day to day and enjoying the present.

—If Levante qualified for the Champions League, would you stay?

—What I want is to take Levante to the Champions League because we deserve it.