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European Football Championship: No longer just the son of Sergio Conceição

European Football Championship: No longer just the son of Sergio Conceição
European Football Championship: No longer just the son of Sergio Conceição

The name Conceição brings back memories among German football fans. Sergio Conceição once sealed the elimination of a German national team from the European Championships. His son Ronaldo saved the opening match of the European Championships – and became emotional.

The hero of the evening for all of Portuguese football was thinking above all of his loved ones. “I dedicate this to my family, who have suffered a lot,” said Francisco Conceição in the Leipzig European Championship stadium. In the stands, she had cheered and cheered along with the co-favourites for the European Championship title as they beat the Czech Republic 2-1 thanks to Francisco Conceição’s goal in injury time. “I wanted to help the team in every way possible and luckily I managed to do that,” he said.

It wasn’t Cristiano Ronaldo, the 39-year-old Portuguese superstar, who secured the important victory at the start of the title campaign. Instead, he was the first to hug the savior with the name that is very well known in Portugal, but also among football fans in Germany. His father Sergio once sealed the DFB team’s embarrassing elimination in the group stage with all three goals at the 2000 European Championship.

The spark the Portuguese needed

In the second minute of injury time against the Czech Republic, Francisco Conceição had finally given up being just the son of Sergio Conceição. Whether it was Ronaldo, who was taking part in his sixth European Championship and thus more than any other footballer, or the 41-year-old Pepe, who is now the oldest participant in the history of the European Championship – everyone hugged and hugged Francisco Conceição, who is just 1.70 metres tall and who had only been substituted on around 120 seconds before his goal.

“He was the spark we needed,” said Portugal’s Spanish coach Roberto Martínez. And his goal was perhaps what the family, and especially father Sergio, needed. Because when son Francisco said he was suffering, he didn’t mean the 90 minutes plus injury time in Leipzig.

Father Sergio has been coaching FC Porto since the summer of 2017. He recently also coached his son Francisco. After he moved from Porto to Ajax Amsterdam in the summer of 2022, the traditional Dutch club loaned the attacker back to Porto in September 2023.

The dispute over father Sergio

A few months ago, the club exercised the purchase option. Father and son were united permanently in the same club. But then things got tough for father Sergio, and lawyers worked out an amicable separation. “Aborted meetings, accusations of treason, lawsuits and statements: Sérgio, Vítor Bruno and the 72 hours that caused an earthquake in Dragão,” wrote Portugal’s “Observador” at the time. Vítor Bruno worked as Conceição’s assistant for seven years and is now the head coach at FC Porto.

The explosion of emotions on Tuesday evening when son Francisco Conceição scored came at just the right time. Only a few minutes had passed between clenched fists, cheers from players and fans and simple disillusionment to severe disappointment. “Chico Conceição deserves it,” said national coach Martínez: “Francisco is an example of what it means to deserve to be on the team and to be ready to help the team.”

“Until the end, Portugal”

Ronaldo knew that too, and despite having many chances, he missed his 15th goal in his 26th European Championship match. But at midnight he sent a message to his fans and to the Seleção fans, including a photo showing him giving Francisco Conceição, who is 18 years younger, an almost fatherly hug: “Until the end, Portugal.”

Source: Stern

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