Friday 02 December 2022, 06:29

Nuno Gomes: Playing in a World Cup is the fulfilment of a childhood dream

“The World Cup is a festival, it’s fun, it’s passion for your country and your team. But, it’s also getting to know people from other countries and having fun together.” We are living in uncertain times filled with conflicts and global crises. The world is divided. The FIFA World Cup™, through the power of football will bring people together to cross borders, unite and celebrate together. Football Unites the World will be a global movement to inspire, unite and develop through football. FIFA Legends have shared their stories of how football united their respective countries during uncertain times. Before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicked off, we heard some memories from former Portugal star Nuno Gomes.

Featuring in two FIFA World Cups and three UEFA EUROs, Nuno Gomes was a key figure during a golden age for Portuguese football. Gomes scored heavily to help Portugal qualify for Korea/Japan 2002 and end their 16-year absence from the World Cup. The forward helped Portugal to fourth four years later as Seleção das Quinas achieved their best-ever result on football’s greatest stage. “I think, for me personally, to play for your national team is the top of your career,” Gomes said. “It’s the greatest achievement of your career to play for your national team. And, of course, when you play for your national team, you want to play in big competitions. When we talk about big competitions, the World Cup is number one.”

The former Benfica superstar has continued his love affair with the World Cup post-playing career, working on TV during Brazil 2014 and also Russia 2018. Gomes says Qatar 2022 will kick-start football dreams for youngsters all over the world. “Talking about the World Cup, I think the first thing that comes to my mind is it [was] a childhood dream for me, as I grew up watching football, dreaming about being a professional footballer, and, of course, those times when I was watching the World Cup games on TV at home. “As a young kid that loved football, of course, I was dreaming about one day playing in the World Cup [wearing] the Portuguese national shirt. It’s a childhood dream for me. When we mention the World Cup, that is the first thing that comes to my mind.”

FIFA Legend Nuno Gomes of Portugal poses for a portrait