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15 Jul 2015
A mutual affection of a special kind
The entire Portuguese team spent an emotional morning at a care center, Cerciespinho, for disabled people
The Portuguese national beach soccer team, together with a delegation from the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015 Local Organizing Committee and Pinto Moreira, President of Espinho City Council, paid a visit this Tuesday to Cerciespinho, an institution that has been helping individuals with learning difficulties for the last 39 years.
The Portugal players were welcomed by drums played by the young people, and of course, plenty of chants of support for the team. After that there was time for some eagerly awaited photos, hugs and kisses with the beach soccer stars, with the director of Cerciespinho making a point of thanking the team for their gesture on a special day that left everyone smiling.
"The beach soccer team was kind enough to visit us here in 2014, and it was great to see how they interacted with people with learning difficulties without any kind of awkwardness. This is not as common as you might think, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," said Lino Rodrigues, before giving his guests a guided tour of the facility.
“The work that Cerciespinho is doing is really impressive. We were thrilled with everything we saw. We have champions in beach soccer, but here everyone is a winner every day," said Joan Cusco, a member of the FIFA Beach Soccer Committee.
The Portuguese FA presented the organization with an official Portugal shirt signed by all the players and FIFA donated balls used during the Beach Soccer World Cup, while Cerciespinho returned the gesture with gifts of photo books that portray the everyday life of the users of the center.
“We’re very proud to be here. Our visit has brought happiness to those who really deserve it," said Portugal coach Mario Narciso, as team captain Madjer hugged the fans affectionately.
“It’s an important visit. Being here makes us appreciate what really matters. We came here last year, and it’s amazing to see how everyone remembers our names, and the game we all played together,” said the Portuguese star.
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